“If you pass through the jungle 100 times, you may spot a tiger once, but the tiger will have seen you 99 times”
The dialogue sends a chill through your spine and sets the tone for the movie. Vidya Vincent, played by Vidya Balan, is a divisional Forest Officer entrusted with wildlife conservation in the forest. Vidya is joined by Hassan Noorani, played by Vijay Raaz. Noorani, a college professor/entomologist by profession and animal-lover by heart is the only honest man among the dishonest bureaucrats. They team up to raise awareness among the villagers and rigorously train the forest friends. While Vidya and Noorani look for a viable solution to conserve the forest. Over time, they realize that the tigress only wants to travel to the safe haven of the National Forest with her newborn cubs. The tigress is acting out of her nature to kill while traveling. A true Sherni who isn’t trying to be one, but is one actually. They understand that providing a safe passage by capturing them alive and releasing them in the forest is the best option. They are met with constant roadblocks and easy-quick solutions,i.e, killing the tigress. The media is fed with lies and the whole issue gains national attention. Social activists are rally everywhere to save the tigress with her cubs. Yet, a certain section of people gangs up to prove the fact that “man-eater” tigress should be put to rest.
Sherni depicts how once you start walking on “sarkari rasta”, it awaits you with the long vistas of red-tapism and the rampant misuse of power and position. Toxic chauvinism and trophy-hunting coupled with political ambition become the hurdle for the honest DFO’s work. The climax only speaks volumes about the dirty truth about our society.
Plan a trip to Gir National Forest
Vidya Balan’s scintillating performance as the DFO has quite aptly justified the fact that actions speak louder than words. Vijay Raaz, as Noorani, plays the perfect companion in bringing the instrumental change in the mindset of the local people. Neeraj Kabi plays the role of Mr. Nangia, who is compelled to turn a blind eye to local bureaucracy and shut the case with force. Amit Masurkar has spun the storyline of the movie in a way that leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
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