Sherni review – Vidya Balan joins the hunt for a man-eating tiger

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Balan excels as a resolute forest officer battling sexism and corruption, as well as nature, in the latest satirical thriller from Newton director Amit V Masurkar
After the success of his 2017 political black comedy Newton, director Amit V Masurkar once again aims to shed light on India’s contemporary social issues. Ostensibly a thriller, Sherni tackles sexism and the absurdities of bureaucracy, all in relation to the age-old conflict between man and nature.
The title, which means “tigress” in Hindi, refers not only to the wandering animal at the centre of the film’s clashes but also the protagonist, forest officer Vidya Vincent (Vidya Balan). A taciturn government worker, Vidya’s fierceness shows itself in her astonishing resilience: determined to capture the man-eating tiger alive, she rails against her uncaring, opportunistic superiors and the local politicians who use the animal to incite villagers to violence. In the end, Vidya’s compassion bucks against an incendiary, bloodthirsty hunter who only wants the poor beast dead. Continue reading…