Review: Sherney (Hindi Movie)

Receiving the National Best Actress Award, Vidya Balan starred in last year’s biopic of mathematician Shakuntala Devi. It was streaming on OTT. This year too, she acted in the movie ‘Sherney’ which is a documentary drama. The movie has been streaming on Amazon Prime since last Friday. In 2018, a tiger named Avani (T1) attacked and killed about thirteen people in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district. The man-eater was killed by some hunters. Concerns were raised across the country over it. Some wildlife conservationists were alarmed that the tiger had been injected with anesthetic, captured alive and brutally killed without attempting to leave the wild, and that there was no evidence that it was actually a man-eater, knocking on court doors. Based on these elements, director Amit Masurkar made the film ‘Sherney’ without any court drama.

When it comes to the story… Vidya Vincent (Vidya Balan) Divisional Forest Officer. Has worked desk for almost eight years and comes into the field. Comes and becomes just one and a half months. Sasemira tells her husband Pawan (Mukul Chadha) in Mumbai that she will resign as she is unable to work in the forest area as a single woman. He argues that quitting a government job is foolish. She performs the job of a toothless clerk, not to mention her loving and married husband. Meanwhile, a tiger starts killing tribals in a forest area under education. No matter what preventive measures education takes in terms of government, her superior Bansal (Bijendra Kala) is on her knees. Leaders of two political parties in the tribal area are turning the issue into vote politics. The tribesmen are driven to attack the forest officials and burn their vehicle. Day by day the situation is getting out of hand. Like Sademia in Sandat, Pinku (Sarath Saxena) pressures the forest authorities to use him as a virtuoso in tiger hunting. Hasan Nurani (Vijay Raj), a Zoology professor cum DNA examiner, was the only one who stood up for education in the whole affair. With his help, was education able to save the tribals from Sherney? Did Pink’s attempts to hunt and kill the tiger pay off? Has there been a full stop to the corrupt activities of forest officials? Who taught the political leaders of the tiger hunt? These questions are answered in the second sense.

Occupying forest areas is not new today. Contractors have been digging crores of acres for a long time, some officially and some unofficially in the name of mining. Now a new culture has begun. Thousands of acres have been planted in the middle of the forest-populated area in the name of environmental protection. This made it a forbidden area for the surrounding villagers to graze cattle. Truth be told… man today goes uninterruptedly into the forest and gets what he wants. And what is wrong with wild animals coming into the wild and eating the food they want? Milk man is one of all living things in nature. But for his selfishness he is turning into a savage who takes all living beings under his control. Director Amit Masoorkar showed the same thing in this ‘Sherney’ movie.

The good news is that this is not just a ‘shirney’ story set in the jungle. It is also the story of an employee who gets into trouble every day in a society where there are beasts beyond the forest. This female officer is subjected to all sorts of troubles by not letting herself do her job, just as she did various heights to kill a wild tiger. The film tells the story of the negligence of the higher authorities, the arrogance of the people, the helplessness of the tribals, the contractors who encroach on the forest lands, the obstacles posed by some in the name of environmental interest, and the conspiracies of the political leaders. But the sad thing is that director Amit did not want to show us the winning climax that we see in regular movies. The education character was left helpless, with a preference for naturalness. The film ends with her doing something she likes to do. With that said the ending feels poor to the average movie goer. But for those who are a little tired of the stereo-typed name-calling, this is the place to be.

When it comes to cast, Vidya Balan has done well as a DFO officer. However, she did not show the agility in the movie ‘Mission Mangal’ which came out two years ago. It is okay to act stable in the role of ‘Shakuntaladevi’ who came in between, but Vidya Balan played the role of a forest officer in this film. It would be nice to be more involved and active in it. Not to mention that Vidya Balan can play any role with his own body language and gestures. The same thing worked in this. Bijendra Kala as Bansal, the officer above her, entertained the viewers a bit. Vijay Raj played the role of Hassan Nurani. Sarath Saxena, who has acted as a villain in Telugu films, has done a good job as a hunter Pintu Bhaiya. Other lead roles were played by Vijender Kalla, Lokesh Mittal, Neeraj Kabi, Ila Arun and others. Rakesh Haridas Camera captured the wild beauties nicely. Most importantly the night scenes were thrillingly screened. Like wide angle and aerial shots are good. Benedict Taylor elevated the background music scenes. The screenplay should be as tight as possible for Aastha Tea. However, the dialogues written by the successful Mishra with director Amit are very natural. At the same time there are things to think about. Dialogues like ‘Once you see a tiger a hundred times in the jungle, it will see you ninety-nine times’ are good.

Bhushan Kumar, Krishna Kumar, Vikram Malhotra and Amit V Masoorkar should be commended for believing a story and making it more natural rather than from a commercial point of view. His fans want an even better film from Amit who made a meaningful film like ‘Newton’. He was a little disappointed in that. The movie, which is being streamed on Amazon Prime, can be watched by environmentalists and those who love forest backdrop movies.

Rating: 2.25 / 5

Plus points
The natural acting of the actors
Cinematography, Dialogues
Background music

Minus point
Slow narration
Reminiscent of documentary drama

Tagline: ‘Sherney’ with fangs!

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