We are at another weekend and this weekend is a huge one. Not only does it bring to us a set of new releases but also the final of the World Test Championship between India and New Zealand. And I cannot hold my excitement any longer. But back home, we at popcorn reviewss will continue to have our shop open and get you the latest reviews. And we start with a biggie. I have just finished watching Sherni on Amazon Prime. Directed by Amit V Masurkar who brought up the amazing Sulemani Keeda and Newton, this had got me excited when its first look was out. It showed the director’s fascination with the jungle, this time an animal “beast”(or is it human again). Does the film manage to roar, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Sherni follows the story of a set of forest officials on a tiger trail who is a man eater after there are frequent deaths in the village. What follows is a quiet circus that opens a can of worms. The story is outstanding and nothing that I have witnessed in any film so far, leave alone Bollywood. Such a subtle story that has a potential to leave a lasting impact! The screenplay is extremely well penned. If you are familiar with the work of the director, he has a tendency of leaving many empty spaces in the screenplay in which you get a feeling that very little action is taking place. But if you look closely and follow the subtext, there is a whole lot of underlying drama taking place. And this is on full display here. The drama is realistic and moves at just the right pace. The narrative is extremely balanced and does not take sides on which party is right. To give you a small perspective, the land encroachment is as much of a problem as the villagers not finding a spot for the grazing of their domestic animals. And there are subtle digs at patriarchy(a word made famous by me in a few podcasts that I was a part of) or the politics featuring the forest. All this wraps up into tale that leaves you in a state of shock towards the end but with a ray of hope. And the last image of the museum is such a contrast to the real animals in the forest. It is strange how the same humans who are in awe of the “fossil” animals at the museum are scared looking at them in the jungle. Hence proved! Humans are the most selfish and self centered lot encroaching the jungle which is the habitat of many animals and later crying foul when they are attacked in return. * Slow Claps *. With that little rant, this screenplay is nothing short of a masterpiece that acts like a mirror in which you and me both are responsible for the habitat loss of many animals.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are minimal and the ones we use in our daily lives. But the best part is they are not at all preachy and they leave a lasting impact precisely due to this reason. The music os good but the BGM is simply outstanding. Director Amit V Masurkar has such a subtle form of telling a story that it acts as a breath of fresh air. He doesn’t like to emphasize his point nor does he double underline the things he wants to convey, yet he is able to effortlessly and with ease. He has delivered yet another masterpiece!
The performances are outstanding. Gopal Datt as Saiprasad impresses in a cameo, so does Ashwini Ladekar. Ila Arun is a treat to watch as Pawan’s mother. Mukul Chadda as Pawan is subtely brilliant. Brijendra Kala as Mr Bansal is absolutely brilliant. He also gently adds a layer of dark comedy to his character. Neeraj Kabi as Nangia is top notch and a character that will keep you guessing with his sensibilities. Sharat Saxena as Pintu Bhaiyya is one character that will anger you to no extent which means his performance is of the highest order. Vijay Raaz as Noorani is wonderfully restrained and he brings out so many shades to his extremely affable character. And without an iota of doubt, the performance of the movie is delivered by Vidya Balan who shines as Vidya Vincent. She could so easily have got carried away with the role. But the skill which she possesses is so brilliant and subtle that she delivers a performance yet again for the ages. This “sherni” silently roars in yet another acting masterclass!
Sherni is a roaring masterpiece, no two ways about it. A poignant tale that will force you to think and contemplate! Such movies aren’t made everyday, DO NOT MISS THIS! Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Highly Highly Recommended.