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Sherni Review: A rustic, realistic and gritty drama set in a jungle

Director Amit Masurkar makes a grand return after Newton (2017), delivering a compelling, thought-provoking drama set in a jungle with 'Sherni'.

 

The story follows a steadfast forest officer, played by the ever-dependable Vidya Balan and her journey to track down a man-eating tigress.

 

The film is technically brilliant and Masurkar has injected more tension and suspense, clearly learning from the laggard sections of Newton that made it a tedious viewing experience.

 

He has clearly matured as a director, delivering his messages and politics in a more engaging and entertaining manner with Sherni.

 

Through finely crafted sequences, he highlights the selfish motives of politicians and bureaucrats that upset the delicate ecological balance within forest-adjacent communities.

 

Vidya Balan is electric as the ever-indignant lady officer, forced to endure the taunts and jibes of a casually sexist family and surrounding society.

 

She conveys so much with her body language, elevating the performance to another level entirely. Vijay Raaz, Sampa Mandal and Brijendra Kala are superb in their supporting roles and it was refreshing to see Sharat Saxena in a well-written, fully fleshed out role for a change.

 

Ultimately, Sherni is a lens turned on all of us. At the end of the day, who is the actual uncivilised beast-the morally corrupt humans or the tigress who is just fighting for survival?

 

A must-watch. Recommended!

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