Cast: Vidya Balan, Vijay Raaz, Sharat Saxena, Brijendra Kala, Neeraj Kabi
Director: Amit V. Masurkar
We have heard several tales of morality which leave a strong message in our minds. Vidya Balan starrer Sherni which has been released on Amazon Prime hits us like a power punch bag. Embellished with a magnificent star cast, Sherni takes the viewers into the world of two tigresses who fought for their rights.
The film speaks of the tale of two tigresses, one of whom is a maneater and the other who is trapped in a wily game of the bureaucrats. Vidya Vincent (Vidya Balan) is the second tigress who is on the hunt to capture the first one. The Forest department is trying its best to capture a Tigress named T12, which is out of the jungle along with her two cubs after a watering hole got dry. Vidya who is a District Forest Officer (DFO) is handling the matter and trying to resolve the issue quickly but amid the obstacles in the government system, her speed gets tardy. Her boss Bansal (Brijendra Kala) is running away from his responsibilities and brings in a private hunter Pintu Bhaiya (Sharat Saxena) to kill the Tigress. At the same time, politicians are engaged in their own dirty games and turn the issue into an election opportunity.
In such a situation, there are many difficulties in front of Vidya. Now will she be able to catch the tigress or will Pintu Bhaiya come in the middle or the ruckus of the leaders standing in the election will spoil her work? Well, everything summed up in the duration of 130 minutes.
After Newton, Amit V. Masurkar brings one more thought-provoking film for the audience. Just like Newton, it will stretch audiences' minds to think, that is why it becomes so important for noble officers to work as per the ethics. The first half focuses more on a satirical take on the government system and the second half takes a dramatic turn on the situation. Amit has beautifully directed the jungle shots and showcases the red tapism in the bureaucracy.
Screenplay by Aastha Tiku joins the aspects of the tigress on the prowl and the officers who are stretching the procedure of capturing her. In the here and there situations, Aastha becomes hysterical about politicians who rather prefer to take the advantage of a serious state of affairs. Tiku's screenplay forms a major part of the film's narrative. Whether it is a politician who hijacked an awareness camp and promises the civilians to provide electric fences, delivering cattle feed at home for free. The makes the film realistic.
Rakesh Haridas' cinematography is awesome and the background score by Benedict Taylor and Naren Chandavarkar fits best with the jungle theme. Nothing seems foolish here in Sherni and it is connected well with the ground variety.
More about the performances, then Vidya nailed the character of the DFO officer. Just like her previous films, she better finds to shed the image of a glamorous actress and adapts the realism with calmness and a hidden rage that makes her a perfect fit for Vidya Vincent's character. Talking about the supporting cast, Vijay Raaz as Hassan Noorani who is a professor of Zoology shines in his part, whereas watching Brijendra Kala in his character of Bansal is a treat. Sharat Saxena in the role of Pintu the poacher is witty and arrogant. Last but not least, Neeraj Kabi has a short role but as usual, he turns out to be a panel pin who breaks into any wall.
In the nutshell, just like Newton, Sherni too gives you equal measures of apprehension, disenchantment, hope, and amusement. It raises questions on the importance of the forest conservation system we are so proud of. How jungles are being cut down, resulting in deforestation, how good we are protecting the species from extinction and how bureaucracy has been polluted with the greed of development at the cost of living animals. In the end, Sherni gives a satirical conclusion on how animals eat men who are destroying their homes and how men kill them for entering into their land. All-embracing, Sherni is a binge-watch for this weekend, we are going with 3.5 stars!