Amazon Prime Video’s latest original movie Sherni is now streaming on the platform, and boy, it looks fresh with a capital F! The Vidya Balan starrer has been directed by Amit Masurkar (Newton, Sulemani Keeda), and boasts of a stellar cast including Vijay Raaz, Neeraj Kabi, Ila Arun, Sharat Saxena, and Brijendra Kala.
Before we discuss the movie further, watch the trailer here.
After watching Sherni, we couldn’t help but wonder how such stories can raise so many poignant questions about our world and society in general. Here are five thoughts we were left grappling with after watching the film.
#1 Women are Often not Taken Seriously in a “Man’s World”
We can see that Vidya Balan's character is that of an authority figure, who’s been brought in to deal with the Tigress situation, and yet, people seem astonished that a woman was chosen for this. Traditionally speaking, the administrative side of wildlife and forestry has been a male domain, and when a woman steps into this world, suddenly she has to deal with the male gaze which can range from patronizing, to insubordination to actually dangerous at times.
#2 Wildlife Conservation is a Balancing Act
The premise of the movie shows villagers living at the edge of a forest facing problems due to a tigress who’s been attacking them and their farm animals. While they’re afraid of the wild animal and are appealing to the authorities to “do something about it”, we also see a conservation officer talking about how the most important thing is to protect the tigress. There’s no one who’s in the wrong here really. Farmers will farm. Carnivores will hunt. But as wild areas are shrinking in size and human settlements move closer to forests, such conflicts will rise. There’s always two sides to the story in such matters, and clearly there are no easy solutions.
#3 ‘Men only’ Jobs are an Outdated Notion
It’s 2021, people! Please don’t be surprised to see women step into professions that were once male-dominated. Gender has nothing to do with how hard a person can work, or how smart they can be in their jobs. Pulling up one’s sleeves and getting down and dirty out in the field - women can do that too. In fact, it’s actually refreshing to see women in these roles. Diversity is a good thing. Embrace it.
#4 Bollywood has No Dearth of Talented Actors
Just look at the strength of the cast in this film. The collective resumes of people like Vidya Balan, Neeraj Kabi, Vijay Raaz, Ila Arun, Sharat Saxena can be stitched together to make an encyclopedia. With multiple volumes! Thanks to OTTs, we are now in the golden age of content where different kinds of stories are being told, featuring actors who are more into acting than being part of the “celeb” life.
#5 Not Just a Story About Man vs Wild Animal
While on paper the story is about an endangered animal facing angry humans, we can’t help drawing parallels with how a lot of women are treated in hostile spaces. When faced with hostility, often a woman might react in a certain way that might get her the tag “difficult” or sometimes way worse names. Getting someone like Vidya Balan to play the lead highlights that angle as well. And guess what? It’s a story written by a woman - Aastha Tiku.
Sherni is now streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
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