Rani Mukerji’s Mardaani 2 could not have come at a better time. But then, a good time for a revenge drama where the cops are chasing a serial rapist and a murderer is a bad time for the rest of the country.
Gopi Puthran weaves a gripping tale and he doesn’t loosen the grip through the whole of the 1-hour-45-minute run time of the film. And that right there is Mardaani 2’s biggest win. The tight screenplay leaves room for our Hindi film heroine’s stray hair because she is not just a pretty Bollywood face, but has no space for one stray scene, emotion, line or expression.
As Gopi Puthran moves from the writer’s position in Mardaani (2014) to the director’s chair in Mardaani 2, Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani) and the story move from Mumbai to Kota, Rajasthan. Kota here plays a significant role, but contrary to the protests that mushroomed claiming the film is trying to malign the image Kota has, the city remains a symbol. It represents a mindset; a mindset we women have struggled with far too long – the battle of staying within our ‘aukaat.’