Mardaani, The Hindi crime drama film directed by Pradeep Sarkar and produced by Aditya Chopra featuring Rani Mukherjee in the lead role, with Jisshu Sengupta and Tahir Bhasin, hits the movie halls tomorrow.The film tells the story of a female cop whose interest in the case of a kidnapped teenage girl leads her to uncover secrets of human trafficking by the India mafia. (This left me wondering, if we have not seen such scenes in our masala movies!)
The story is as I have already pointed out, nothing new, neither is the name! But the Chopra camp is promoting it with their heart, soul and mind as one of the strongest films ever made by them- story, direction, acting, and screenplay etc. etc. wise! They have done whatever they could do for the new ‘bahu’ of the family-projecting Rani as a ‘Mardaani’ and trying to make her saleable once again- if not saleable then at least making her eligible for few awards at least! Probably this would be Aditya Chopra’s marriage gift to Rani as all know that being a ‘bahu’ of the Chopras, she would not have been bereft or deprived of any luxury found on this Earth. The only thing which cannot come back to anyone is time. I mean they cannot give Rani back her time when she reigned like a queen- the time when she was the queen of Bollywood! But they are trying their best to revert ‘the time’ and for it they have done also their best to put all the ingredients of emotions in the film, which they could.
When I read somewhere that a certain scene of rape of a teenager was censored, I applauded the Censor Board. To make a film ‘hit’ and strengthen a certain character you cannot seek props in pathetic scenes! At this point I somehow remembered Rishi Kapoor of Agnipath who too had indulged in flesh trade of teenagers. But the scene was done aesthetically and projected Rishi Kapoor as a hard core lecher. Somehow here, I too would have not agreed that just to project Rani, as a Mardaani, such scenes should have been allowed.
Now let us come to the promotion of the film. Rani Mukherjee is projecting herself as a feminist. Right? Then why the word ‘Mardaani’ is used for the film’s title? Doesn’t it have a ‘mard’ in it? Now this question was brought up by my daughter, a student of D.U., who had been invited with her other college students to visit the Rani’s promotional show of the film with NDTV but she couldn’t make it due to some reasons. She asked me, ‘Mom, if they are projecting Rani as a feminist then why use even the root word mard in their expressions?’ I was dumfounded but then it made me write this article.
The time was different, when the term ‘Mardaani’ was used for Rani Laxmi Bai. Our ‘Rani’ was fighting against the Britishers and the Jhansi people had nicknamed her as so but the Bollywood ‘Rani’ is trying to make big again in the tinsel town by projecting crime scenes and fighting against them on screen. I just wonder, how and what is she going to achieve this way- Fame? Name? Money? Awards?
The criminals of child flesh trade can never be nabbed this way. So is this movie an inspirational one where women of our households go out and seek the criminals? Or the police force gets inspired to do their jobs diligently? But the most important thing, ‘Rani, if you are a feminist, get rid the word, mard from the title of your film!’ Don’t be a Mardaani- Be an Auartzaadi! What say critics?
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