Sherni movie rating: 2.5 / 5 stars (two and a half stars)
Featured actors: Vidya Balan, Vijay Raaz, Neeraj Kabi, Sharat Saxena, Brijendra Kala, Ila Arun, Mukul Chadda
Director: Amit Masurkar
What is good: It takes you right into the jungle and sucks you in completely, but “what to do when you are there” is the starting point for “what’s wrong”
What’s wrong : Yeah. You are right ! You are greeted by a tigress who is not at all used to jumpscares but a lot of monotony
Toilet break: This is also beauty; you will get what happens even if you miss a considerable piece
Watch or not? : You can give it a try if you liked Newton by the same director (with Rajkummar Rao) but if slow-burning movies don’t suit your taste buds, skip it.
In the jungles of Madhya Pradesh lie two Shernis, one is called T12, also known as the man hunter and the other is Vidya (Vidya Balan). She is posted as the new Divisional Forestry Officer for the region. A reserved but confident Vidya is given the case to find T12’s movements to prevent her from stalking the humans.
Being as honest and passionate as one could be in the deadly MP jungle, Vidya struggles to delve into the political scenario favoring the patriarchal system around her. Surrounded by worthless men, she finds a worthy colleague in Mansoor (Vijay Raaz) who helps her find a way to deal with the tigress.
Sherni movie review: scenario analysis
After Chhatisgarh (in Rajkummar Rao’s Newton), Amit Masurkar takes us to the dense and nightmarish jungles of Madhya Pradesh with Sherni. Oddly enough, the two films are more alike than they are different. Here we have Vidya, a dedicated employee and not a woman of many words like Newton. The two are in the jungle fighting for a cause that would ultimately help the villagers, but Vidya and Newton still struggle to explain them in the same way. Both know that this jungle could end their lives, but they still do their duty seriously.
Masurkar brings in a new writer, Aastha Tiku, who reflects his treatment of Newton. Sadly, Aastha’s story dives into Act 2, where Newton stood. She masterfully builds the plot but fails to gain the attention in the story. He resumes in Act 3, pre-climax, but the task of getting there is painful. In Newton, you connect better in the villager way due to a conflict well established by the writers. Here, the tigress wiping the villagers subplot is too weak to develop a bond with the characters.
This, along with Dipika Kalra’s tense edit, robs the crunchy, crunchy element that made Newton the movie it is today. The 130-minute duration is starting to bother you sooner than you might expect. Amit Masurkar, Yashasvi Mishra keep the dialogue too close to reality which favors some scenes but falls flat many times due to the monotony.
Cinematographer Rakesh Haridas worked in the camera department of the beautiful Hellaro under the direction of DOP Tribhuvan Babu Sadineni. Rakesh’s camera work is pretty much adequate, won’t let you down, and isn’t contrived to see it as a flaw. Surely he made a conscious choice to go the minimalist route rather than going everywhere with the high-tech drone plans. This helps him maintain a distinct aura of Sherni throughout.
Sherni Movie Review: Star Performance
It’s a bittersweet thing to be a great actor, your average performances suddenly appear, becoming clearly evident after taking on groundbreaking roles. The helicopter Eela, Tribhanga did this to Kajol and Vidya faced this with Shakuntala Devi. Vidya pulls out all the stops to be this sober but agile ranger officer who tries to do her duty despite roadblocks set up by a patriarchal society. But, the problem of Vidya being “overqualified for the job” arises due to the poor writing of the characters.
Vijay Raaz gives Vidya solid support, downplaying her character to a higher level. The simplistic nature of Raaz’s acting and Masurkar’s take on real-life characters do the trick for the veteran actor. This explosive lineup of talented actors also includes Neeraj Kabi, Sharat Saxena, Brijendra Kala. All three give unique characteristics to their respective roles. Mukul Chadda plays Vidya’s husband, but his character suffers unnoticed burns in a sea of gifted masters.
Sherni film review: direction, music
Director Amit Masurkar, hoping to recreate Newton’s magic, takes multiple false turns in the jungle. A well-crafted story with better balance in character writing would have done wonders for the film. Even now there are times that stun you (like a politician who loses consciousness after being furiously pursued in his office by members of the opposition who then help him recover), but they are too limited to discuss. . He ends the film on a melancholy metaphor using a museum of taxidermy (an art of preserving animal bodies via stuffing) with the much needed missing chills.
Fortunately, there is only one song (the old musical group from Nucleya), Bandar Baant from Bandish Projekt and it has a purpose. With the shameless lyrics of Hussain Haidry, this track adds dope to the visuals. The minimalist BGM of Benedict Taylor & Naren Chadavarkar gets the maximum marks to create the desired impact.
Sherni Movie Review: The Last Word
All in all, this Vidya Balan-led action-adventure has a lot to love, but we’ve seen them perfected in an already superior product created by the same director. It is neither a disappointment nor up to the hope that one might have after knowing the cast and crew of the film.
Two and a half stars!
Sherni released on June 18, 2021.
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