You’ll Love It. You’ll Hate It.
But Will Definitely Wish This Film Were Better.
(Love For Rani Mukerji Spilleth Over!)
Rani Mukerji needs to show up oftener on the big screen. She’s so good. She’s SP Shivani Shivaji Rai posted in small town Kota pitched against patriarchy and a serial rapist played by a young lad Vishal Jethwa. It’s a dark and violent film that reflects our dark and violent time, but… It falls short in my eyes because it relies on lines about women written for whistle podu…
Best part of the film? Rani Mukerji of course. She’s great as a woman cop who speaks her mind, and is posted in the middle of small town patriarchy. The trouble is, the damned trailer gives away too much.
Vishal Jethwa is rather creepy young fellow (great debut), who would have been even more villainous had he been given a you-talkin-to-me Travis Bickle kind of madness instead of Frank Underwood talkin-to-the-audience style menace. That’s the writer-director’s decision, and it then falls into overacting ki chai ki dukaan type situation.
The third character in this film is patriarchy, that is rather crude in its depiction with constant mention of the word ‘aukaat’. The senior cop Shekhawat, the other cops at the station (who mostly eat wada pav in Kota, Rajasthan are all patriarchy.
What?! Wada Pav?
No pyaaz kachoris or mirchi ke pakode in sight?
Who did research for the film?
NO SANE PERSON WILL SHOW A DUSSEHRA MELA IN KOTA ON FILM WITHOUT FEATURING PANNALAL KE PAKODE IN AT LEAST ONE SCENE.
But I digress. Let me come back to patriarchy. And this is where the film gets boring. Erm… Predictable. The film seems like you’ve seen these things like… Forever. Women who work, women who study and want to be professional, men who want to undermine a woman at work… blah blah blah… And yet, somewhere inside you know it needs to be shown for the crap that it is and what horrors women put up with every day.
This just means, I heard tons of cliches through the film. From both the heroine and the villain and the patriarchy ke patr.
Of course I cringed when the policewoman with Rani pukes at the sight of the mutilated corpse of girl, and the woman forensic pathologist says, ‘I hope you catch the bastard.’ (I almost puked at the cliche there!)
The most horrendous part is the awful TV anchor played by Rajesh Sharma who asks Rani Mukerji: If a man had been in your place, would the villain bait him?
When Rani launches into how women have to work twice as hard etc and Rajesh Sharma does the ‘If men are Raavans you think you are Seeta maiyya?’
Rani Mukerji thankfully did not say, ‘Sometimes Seeta, sometimes Durga’…
At this point someone in the audience was clapping hard and whistling too. So I shrugged, and watched.
Perhaps I watch too many cop shows on Netflix. But these are things to ponder:
If a girl’s corpse has been submerged in water, will the semen evidence be not contaminated?
How did the two women in the last act free themselves to do the final brave act?
With what did he tie Rani up? Plastic ties? Are they easily available in Kota?
How did the Bomb rescue happen? Why were we not treated to ‘blue-wire green-wire’ sweat on the brow moment?
Where did the baddie find Rani mask? It’s not like there are Kinkos ready to help you download pictures and print masks? Where did he find the time to do this stuff? He’s from Meerut, How does he know his way around Kota? Did he take training from Jason Bourne?
I loved the ease with which the villain did things, including get into her house. And yet again, I hated him speaking directly to me. It would have been creepier for us to know what the bad guy was doing and cringe when the good guys were falling into his trap…
5 Stars For Rani Mukerji Belt Whip
2 Stars For Creepy Lad In Magenta Saree
Minus 3 stars For breaking fourth wall
Minus 2 stars For trite, ghise pite ‘Woman is Seeta also Wonder Woman’ type dialog
Total: 2 stars.