Cast: Rani Mukerji, Vishal Jethwa
Director: Gopi Puthran
What’s it about:
A serial killer is on the loose. He is young, remorseless and kills out of misplaced male ego, gross hatred for women and due to a disturbing past. How long before the law catches up with him?
Rani Mukerji is back as the tough-talking top cop Shivani Shivaji Roy. This time the setting is India’s small yet educationally important town Kota in Rajasthan. The film opens with a chilling scene of the young psycho killer Sunny (Vishal Jethwa) talking to the audience about just how disturbed and dangerous he is. Soon there is a rape and a murder and as soon as Rani enters the scene, it turns into a thrilling chase between the killer and the cop, even as the killings continue.
Rani is once again in the top form as the top cop. She gets everything right - the expression, the demeanor and the conflict of being a woman in a man’s world dealing with horrific crimes against women. The newcomer Vishal Jethwa makes a stunning debut as the bad guy here. He is lethal and unforgiving in his performance. He is strong and convincing but the call to make him break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience doesn’t work.
Also, the director makes him look like some sort of a master planner and way too smart for his own good. He keeps outsmarting the cops with such ease that it starts to feel contrived. The film’s pace is fast and the thrills are aplenty but it does become a bit preachy about gender equality. The message is quite in-your-face and driven repeatedly. There are no songs in the film to kill the pace and the background score is subtle to add just the right amount of tension. The edit is crisp, which helps in ensuring that you stay invested even when the writing falters due to too many cinematic liberties.
Nonetheless, Mardaani 2 achieves what it sets out to do with a few bumps along the way. A must watch for the fans of Rani Mukerji.