Sherni Movie Review: Amit Masurkar’s Sherni explores the man-animal divide and talks about wildlife conservation.

Vidya Balan Movie Sherni releases online on Friday, June 18, 2021. The supporting actors (Vijay Raaz, Neeraj Kabi, Sharat Saxena, Brijendra Kala, Mukul Chadda) bring to the proceedings a high level of authenticity.

Sherni, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is based on the controversial killing of Avni, a tigress in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra in 2018. Killing a beast of prey has always been associated with masculinity and bravery, despite the efforts of conservationists to create awareness about co-existence and sustainable living. Sherni is free of much of the drama and flamboyance associated with such films. It’s a quiet film that doesn’t exaggerate or play up emotions even when there are opportunities to do so.

Sherni Movie Cast :  Vidya Balan, Mukul Chadda, Vijay Raaz, Neeraj Kabi, Sharat Saxena, Brijendra Kala.

Director: Amit Masurkar

OTT PLATFORM: Amazon Prime Video

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)


Watch the trailer of Sherni on Amazon Prime here —

Stories mirroring the man Vs. animal conflicts aren’t new to Indian cinema. But what happens when a tigress is on the prowl, and a woman forest officer finds herself in the thick of things? Director Amit Masurkar’s Hindi film Sherni looks at this story through the eyes of its protagonist, portrayed by Vidya Balan. Ahead of the film’s première on Amazon Prime Video on June 18, Vidya discusses what it meant to play a female forest officer making sense of the conflict as well as battling patriarchal notions.


6 साल डेस्क के पीछे बैठने के बाद अब विद्या विन्सेंट बतौर संभागीय वन अधिकारी बिजशपुर पहुंची हैं। बिजशपुर के हरे- भरे जंगलों के विस्तृत दृश्य के साथ विद्या का नए अधिकारियों के साथ परिचय होता है। साथ ही मिलती है जिम्मेदारी, एक आदमखोर ‘शेरनी’ को पकड़ने की, जिसने आस पास के गावों में आतंक मचाया हुआ है। गांव वालों के पास मवेशियों को चारा खिलाने के लिए एक ही क्षेत्र है, जहां हर समय शेरनी के शिकार का खतरा बना रहता है। कई मवेशी और गांव वाले इसमें अपनी जान खो चुके हैं।

जैसे-जैसे फिल्म आगे बढ़ती है, हम देखते हैं कि कैसे विद्या अपनी टीम और स्थानीय सहयोगियों की मदद से पर्यावरण में संतुलन बनाए रखने की कोशिश करती है। विद्या कहती है- “कोई भी शेरनी आदमखोर नहीं, भूखी होती है।” गांव वाले भी पर्यावरण की महत्ता को समझते हैं। जंगल के जानवरों से सतर्क रहने की हिदायत देने आए प्रोफेसर हसन (विजय राज) को गांव का एक बच्चा कहता है- “टाईगर है तभी तो जंगल है, और जंगल है तभी तो बारिश है, बारिश है तो पानी है और पानी है तो इंसान है..” लेकिन विद्या के इस मिशन के रास्ते में कई बाधाएं हैं। वह शिकारियों, गांव की राजनीति, विभागीय राजनीति, पितृसत्ता सोच के साथ लगातार लड़ती है। वह अंतर्मुखी है, लेकिन कमजोर नहीं.. शायद कुछ कुछ जंगल के शेरनी जैसी। शेरनी को अपना रास्ता मालूम है, लेकिन मनुष्यों द्वारा निर्मित बाधाएं हैं। वहीं, विद्या के सामने सामाजिक बाधाएं हैं। क्या ‘शेरनी’ इन बाधाओं से पार जा पाएगी? इसी के इर्द गिर्द घूमती है फिल्म की कहानी।


After sitting behind the desk for 6 years, Vidya Vincent has now reached Bijshpur as a Divisional Forest Officer. Vidya gets acquainted with the new officers with a wide view of the lush green forests of Bijshpur. Along with this comes the responsibility of catching a man-eating ‘lioness’, who has created terror in the surrounding villages. Villagers have only one area to feed cattle, where there is always a danger of lioness hunting. Many cattle and villagers have lost their lives in this.

As the film progresses, we see how Vidya tries to maintain a balance in the environment with the help of her team and local colleagues. Vidya says- “No lioness is a man-eater, she is hungry.” Villagers also understand the importance of the environment. A village child tells Professor Hassan (Vijay Raj), who has come to instruct him to be alert from the animals of the forest – “If there is a tiger, then there is a forest, and if there is a forest, then there is rain, if there is rain, then there is water and if there is water, then there is a human.” is…” But there are many obstacles in the way of Vidya’s mission. She constantly fights with poachers, village politics, departmental politics, patriarchal thinking. She is introverted, but not weak.. maybe a bit like a lioness of the jungle. The lioness knows its way, but there are obstacles created by humans. At the same time, there are social obstacles in front of Vidya. Will ‘Lioness’ be able to overcome these obstacles? The story of the film revolves around this.

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Right from a tight screenplay by Aastha Tiku to thundering performances by supporting actors – Sherni is a towering example of how to present a multi-layered story in this Amazon Original. It strongly shows how the existence of red-tapism, intertwined at workplaces with casual sexist comments flying here and there – amid a dark exploration of wild spaces. Vidya Balan plays Vidya Vincent – a Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) has a major task to tame and capture the T12 tigress, who has claimed several lives and is on a prowl. The plot moves smoothly showing how Vidya finds herself trapped in a man’s world with many pressure-building tactics trying to hold her back. 

What’s Good: It takes you straight into the jungle & sucks you in entirely but ‘what to do when you’re in it’ is where the ‘what’s bad’ starts

What’s Bad: Yup. You’ve got the point! You’re welcomed by a tigress which isn’t at all used for the jumpscares but a whole lot of monotony

All images: Courtesy Amazon Prime