In the age when headless torsos surface (literally) with alarming and disturbing regularity, Mardaani 2 serves as a timely reminder of the atrocities dished out against women, in particular. The sequel to the 2014 hit has Rani Mukerji Chopra reprising her role of SP Shivani Shivaji Roy. The sequel shifts to Kota, Rajasthan, as the backdrop where a scheming and devious Sunny (debutant Vishal Jethwa) rapes and brutally murders women – his wiles helping him attain his abominable desires. Even while dealing with a recalcitrant subordinate, Shivani accepts the challenges thrown by Sunny.
Mardaani 2 begins on an apt note: proffering the viewer the information that every year, there are 2,000 cases (just the reported ones) of rape committed by boys under the age of 18. The tension throughout the film is palpable, with the ‘egoist, new-age criminal’ letting loose a trail of horrific crimes in his wake. Rani Mukerji plays the deglamorised role to perfection, with 25-year-old Gujarati TV artiste, Vishal Jethwa, impressing as the confident, grey-eyed immoral antagonist.
The political complicity is understated and is left to hover in the background. Sunny’s dark past is revealed at the opportune time. Mercifully the film is bereft of songs, though John Stewart Eduri’s background score is, at times, loud for the proceedings on screen. Rajesh Sharma as TV host Amit Sharma, does well in his cameo. Puthran, who’s written the story, screenplay and dialogues, does well in his debut Hindi directorial venture, although the screenplay allows the villain to get away with too many coincidences. Also, the denouement could have been a shade better written.