Director/ Writer- Gopi Puthran
Cast- Rani Mukherji, Vishal Jethwa, Jisshu Sengupta, Shruti Bapna, Rajesh Sharma, Sumit Nijhawan
In a nutshell:
This film is a taut and tense action thriller,about a top cop chasing a serial rapist killer, that knocks the wind out of you and leaves you terrified and unsettled.
Whats Striking :
In this sequel of Mardaani,Gopi Puthran( writer director)chooses a pace,format, and an antagonist that aim to send chills down your spine and he achieves precisely that but not by showing gory details but by mixing madness with misogyny, by using the vulnerabilities of our real life, by creating water tight situations for our protagonist, by kindling our deepest fears of helplessness.
The chase is so clockwork that it leaves you breathless!
The story hits the ground running and opens in a very unusual way. The antagonist( Vishal Jethwa) introduces himself to us,proudly claiming about his sick mindset, addiction and prowess of trapping young girls. And chillingly, with racing heartbeats, we see a young hapless girl falling prey with an ease that makes us uneasy.
Shivani Roy( Rani) gets posted as Kota SP and gets the challenge of cracking the barbaric rape and murder case of that young girl. Apart from the unknown rapist, she faces additional challenge of fighting the faceless sexist mindsets around her and the misogynistic internal rivalry .
Her confidence and claim in media to get to the rapist killer incites him to challenge her further by committing a spree of killings right under her nose.Every time she gets trumped, not just by that sick psychopath but also by her own departmental politics ,she wows to get the better of him.
The first half of this fast paced film goes into the scaring the sh_t out of you.
In an “edge of the seat” second half, she races down the town with just 48 hours up her sleeve to hunt and nab him and man..he’s a real challenge for not only her but your senses!
The screenplay was absolutely gripping .The fact that the audience were completely hooked was evident from the applause that came at instances when the villain was finally caught up with.
I am sure many of them were clenching their fists and jaw when he was being thrashed.
It’s not only the writing and direction that deserves a credit but also the editing (Monisha Baldawa) that leaves no scope for breathing or lag in pace.
Performances by Rani and Vishal are the pillars.
Just as Mardaani gave us a realistic fearsome villain like Tahir Raj Bhasin, Mardaani2 introduces an even more menacing Vishal Jethwa this time.
Rani Mukheri yet again plays up a top notch performance as the bad ass, no nonsense cop who doesn’t mind being driven by emotions and her beliefs.Seen after a long time onscreen, she’s in top form.
Vishal Jethwa( a TV star debuting in films) , gives a superb portrayal as the psychotic Sunny. He’s so convincing as the sharp and heartless killer, that he remains on your mind much after you leave the cinema. His young boyish innocent looks actually make him more realistic and thereby scarier. He could be just anyone lurking around the corner.
What could have been better:
Some more focus on deserving side roles like Sumit Nijhawan( Brij Shekhawat) ,and one or two instances wherein the Shivani Roy should have acted a little more realistic than actually running in to get almost killed.
Would choose not to mention the climax in this list as I feel the makers wanted to avoid being caught on the wrong foot propagating anything controversial.
I think the film is a brilliant thriller. Its taut, edgy, strikes a raw chord and then offers you the gratification of the villain finally being caught up with .
Because of the disturbing realities around us in current scenario, it leaves you deeply unsettled .
Score 8 on 10.