‘Mardaani 2’ Suffers From Patchy Writing Despite Good Performances
Rani Mukerji as police inspector Shivani Shivaji Roy on the sets of <i>Mardaani 2</i>.
Rani Mukerji as police inspector Shivani Shivaji Roy on the sets of Mardaani 2.(Photo Courtesy: Yash Raj Films)

‘Mardaani 2’ Suffers From Patchy Writing Despite Good Performances

Rani Mukerji reprises her role of Inspector Shivani Roy. In her previous outing, she uncovered a child-trafficking racket. Years later, Inspector Shivani is now posted as SP in Kota. Still as fierce and a no-nonsense cop, this time around she is being challenged by a psychotic serial killer who rapes and then tortures his female victims . The misogyny mouthed by him is nauseous and the attack carefully planned.

We dive into this barbaric world where director Gopi Puthran doesn’t waste much time in telling us about a killer on the loose. It’s a relentless battle of wits, the crime committed is barbaric and the attacker always a step ahead of the police.

The premise and set up do touch a raw nerve given the current mood in the country and so, there is added responsibility on the makers to put forth a balanced and nuanced point of view.
Rani Mukerji in <i>Mardaani 2</i>
Rani Mukerji in Mardaani 2
(Photo Courtesy: YouTube Screengrab)

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In the film, there are clearly two villains. One - the antagonist Sunny, and the cat and mouse game that he plays with the police. We are familiar with the trajectory that it will follow and yet one is fully invested in it with the climax giving us clenched satisfaction. The other is the everyday casual sexism that Shivani and other women face. From men in the department who are insubordinate because they can’t take orders from a woman to the often repeated insinuations on their character that they has almost become numb to. The film falters repeatedly while tackling this.

The ‘in your face’ lecture on gender equality seems forced and a self conscious inclusion that leaves the viewers even more distracted.

A lot hinges on the cast and they do come good. Rani is at ease playing the tough cop Shivani Roy with restraint. Newcomer Vishal Jethwa is unhinged, harnessing his mad streak effectively!

But even as one is reeling under the grotesque nature of the crimes that the film deals with, it all seems strangely clinical and mechanical. The patchy writing doesn’t let the film become anything more than a formulaic exercise where the tough cop will get the bad guy and we forget all about it as soon as we leave the hall.

Our rating: 2.5 quints out of 5!

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