Finding The ‘Sherni’ Inside All Of

Vidya Balan starrer 'Sherni' received raving reviews. R and S discuss their take-aways from the movie over a virtual cuppa coffee.

The Vidya Balan starrer movie ‘Sherni’ has come out with some raving reviews. R and S discuss, probably over a ‘virtual’ cuppa coffee on their take-aways from the movie.

R says

When I first saw the picture/poster of Vidya Balan starrer ‘Sherni’, in my head I was looking at Vidya once again on a mission( read ‘Kahani’ , ‘Kahani 2’ , ‘Mission Mangal’ ) to emerge victorious.

And Vidya Balan or not, the protagonist, in most Bollywood movies, emerges victorious, doesn’t matter what they are fighting against. And we’re all better that way – after all we do not go to the movie theatres to see the ‘grim-ness’ of reality.

Sherni, once again, brings out the ‘ills’ and ‘evils’ of our society, throughout the movie right until the end.

For instance, it can never be easy to the ear or to the ego or the morale of women doing her job well, to hear a sexist comment like ‘All they could do was send a female officer’.

In her efforts, as DFO (District Forest Officer ), to save a tigress from being hunted down and killed there she faces politics to be tackled at every step.

The same politics which leaves no option to the people of the village to take their herd to the forest for grazing; as their usual safe patch is sold for plantations.

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The subtle, understated Vidya is persistent and consistent in her fight to capture the tigress without killing her, despite all odds.

The movie does bring out a lot of issues our society is wrought with…S, did you see the movie? What do you think?

S says

As it happens in life, sometimes it is difficult to know what the ‘right’ side is. On one hand, the villagers and their cattle’s safety is at stake. On the other, you have someone who is fierce and fearsome but also incredibly vulnerable to man – one of the titular ‘sherni’. Whose safety would you choose? Throw in nasty some village politics and you have a perfect sticky mess at hand.

And who better to navigate this sticky messes than a woman. Vidya Balan fits this role perfectly – but doesn’t she always? If nothing else, it is her stoic capability which stays with you long after the movie ends.

That makes the movie enough for me. We need to see women like these,  capable – for other young girls and women to believe in it too. Vidya’s character isn’t flashy…isn’t loud…and she certainly isn’t able to pull off miracles. But she does her job and does it well. Just like a tigress doesn’t roar unless she has to, or attack unless she has to – Vidya’s character bides her time, chooses her words and her actions only as necessary. Most of all, she tries to do the right thing without being cowed down or bogged down by anyone.

Women from all areas of life know just how difficult that is – to stick to your ‘guns’ even as the men around you see to hold the literal ones – as in this movie.

What’s your takeaway R?

R says

Two Takeaways S – A woman’s fight against all odds and how vulnerable any other specie except the ‘human’ one, has become. We have encroached the ‘animal space’ so much that we give them no other option than to be ‘killed’.

With villages interspersed in forests, and a bigger issue, as shown in the movie, mining. Mining in forests destroys the habitat for the resident animals. As a subtle dialogue by Vidya in the movie goes ‘Jaanwar Adam-Khor nahi hota, bhooka hota hai’ ( An animal is not a man-eater, it is just hungry! ).

A dialogue which gets lost by the cacophony of politics ridden men. That is my biggest takeaway from the movie.

S says

Survival of the fittest has indeed changed to survival of the smartest. But we are in the danger of being too smart for our own good. Some days back I’d read about how AI designers have to grapple with moral questions such as in an accident if you could just save either – do you save one life or do you save many? Which life is worth saving, after all?

Some questions have no easy answers. Anyway, back to ‘sherni’…even Vidya doesn’t manage to solve all the problems in her world. But she still walks away with her dignity, her morals and her newfound hope intact…well mostly.

In the end I suppose that’s all that matters.

Image courtesy – Youtube 

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About the Author


We are an author duo who love writing together. We have written a couple of books together, Tete a tete with R&S and Anu and Isha. read more...

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