Amazon Prime’s Sherni, an original Hindi film, has started streaming on the digital platform today. Directed by Amit Masurkar, Aastha Tiku has written the screenplay. The film stars Vidya Balan, Vijay Raaz, Neeraj Kabi, SatyaKam Anand, Sharat Saxena and Brijendra Kala. The duration of the film is 2 hours 10 minutes.
The opening scene of Sherni film is a Forest Officer enacting how a Tiger walks in the jungle. The officer and his colleagues are placing cameras between the trees to capture the footage of the forest beast. Vidya Balan plays Vidya Vincent, the new Divisional Forest Officer responsible for solving the human-animal conflict. There’s panic and chaos in the village when a Tigress kills several animals and some villagers.
The plot of Amazon Prime’s Sherni reads, “An upright Forest Officer who strives for balance in a world of man-animal conflict while she also seeks her true calling in a hostile environment.” Director Amit Masurkar has stayed true to what he has summarised in the film in one sentence.
In Sherni, Vidya and her team lay out a plan to capture the Tigress unharmed. This chaos turns out to be an opportunity to politicize the matters for opposing local politicians GK and SK. As Forest Officers, Vidya and her team must safely capture the Tigress and rescue her in the National Park. There’s also a pompous shooter Pintu (played by Sharat Saxena), who believes the only solution to save human lives is to kill the Tigress.
Along with Vidya, another character who is honestly trying to find a solution benefitting both the humans and the forest beasts is a college Professor named Noorani (played by Vijay Raaz). Through a street play organised in the village, he explains to people that just like us, animals have the right to live. He tells them how important they are to maintain nature’s balance. Noorani tells people that Tigers don’t like killing people; they’re just hungry.
Sherni is full of people with different ideologies. What works is not only the solid story but also the lead characters. Just because it has Vidya Balan doesn’t mean she’s the saviour. She is an honest employee who is only doing her duties. In fact, she not so fond of animals, and that’s shown initially when a kitten enters her house. But as she tries to find a midway solution in this man-animal fiasco, her character shows growth and starts caring for them at a personal level too.
Nowhere does Masurkar want to show that she will roar which will lead to a tremendous change. The director has proved this by showing how Vidya doesn’t react when there’s a sexist joke made. Another instance is when Vidya’s mother-in-law forces her to wear jewellery and go out for dinner. The tone of the film isn’t sensational or fast-paced; it’s considerably calm till the end. The calmness represents the Tigress who only wants to satiate her hunger. But every time there are people on screen, it’s nothing but mayhem.
Sherni is an eye-opener to a reality we all know but are too stubborn to admit. The film brings a question to your mind – will this conflict ever be resolved without any deaths? At this point, no one can deny the fact that it is humans who have ventured into the wildlife territory while these animals are only trying to survive. It’s also disheartening that even though the wild beasts kill some people, humans will always have the upper hand in deciding who lives and who doesn’t. Our corrupted and selfish nature will prove fatal to us and every species around us.
Sherni Review: Is it worth watching?
Overall, Vidya Balan starrer is a must-watch. The film will grasp your attention from start to end. The performances are spectacular, the story is thought-provoking, has deep layers, raises awareness and questions, and impacts you. But if you are expecting a heroic ending like a typical Bollywood film, that’s not going to happen here.
Sherni is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.