Rani Mukerji who was recently in Gujarat for promotions for her upcoming film, Mardaani, decided to meet the chief minister of the state, and its first female chief minister, Anandiben Patel.
For the actress, Anandiben Patel is a huge inspiration for her unfettered work for women. On spending time with Anandiben, Rani spoke to her at length about the various issues surrounding women such as safety, education and overall wellbeing. She also expressed her aim to be able to help them in whichever way possible as far as their women oriented campaigns go.
Speaking about their interaction, Rani said, “The Chief Minister is an actual ‘Mardaani’, the kind of work she is doing for women is inspiring. She has made so many changes for women police force and women in general, it’s amazing.” Conversely, Anandiben congratulated the actress on making a film as inspiring and as strong as ‘Mardaani’.
Rani Mukherjee fighting for the rights of female officers
Actress Rani Mukerjee has established a strong connection with the police force following her work in the upcoming film Mardaani. The actress, who plays an Indian Crime Branch officer in the film, has made a stand for the real-life female police officers.
On visiting several Crime Branch offices, she expressed her discontent at the existing situation of the female officers.To prepare for her role as a Crime Branch officer, Rani visited some female officers and noticed they were not provided with basic facilities such as separate toilets. Appalled by the situation, she decided to bring the matter to the attention of the authorities and appeal to the police commissioners of various jurisdictions to arrange for basic facilities for the female cops.
Talking about her role, India’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief, Himanshu Roy, said: “Rani approached us when she was preparing for her role. She wanted to play it realistically and we have just helped her do that. She wanted to know in detail about the challenges faced by cops and the lifestyle we lead. So we put her in touch with two lady officers from the Crime Branch. She then spent some time with them to get a better idea about their lives.” Roy adds that the actress met the female police officer whose life inspired Rani’s character in the film. “I cannot reveal her name, but yes, she was an officer at the Crime Branch,” he says.
“When I kick, ten people won’t fly. It’s a real film” – Rani Mukherjee on Mardaani
Female cop characters in Bollywood are often portrayed in a superhuman monotone colour, as either props for humour or too far fetched from reality. Actress Rani Mukherjee describes how real cops are very different in terms of both personality and demeanour. Speaking about her character soon to be released Mardaani and how realistic the portrayal is, she says, “In this film, I am playing a no-nonsense courageous, brave female cop. It is a very real portrayal of a cop. It is something that I haven’t seen in Bollywood before and that makes Mardaani very special. The attempt here is to show female cops in the way they are in this country.”
Rani goes on to describe how cop films in Bollywood are increasingly detached from reality: “There is a great bias that exists between female and male cops. I would like to ask a question to all those people who feel a lady cop is different from male cop, would a lady pilot fly a plane differently from a male pilot? Why is it even fodder for humour? Will a lady pilot fly a plane upside down? Even with cops, even if you are a female you are doing your duty as brilliantly as any other male cop. Just because it is a female cop, one would say eh kya hai re! We are subjected to cop films, where a cop is kicking and ten people fly. So obviously that you will not get to see because it is not real. You will get to see a real portrayal.”
Setting a new benchmark in the emerging female-centric genre in Indian filmmaking on a world cinema platform, Rani Mukherjee champions her most challenging role to date in Yash Raj Films’ raw, gritty and topical thriller, Mardaani, releasing in cinemas worldwide on 22nd August 2014.