Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Directed by: Harmesh Malhotra
Starring: Sridevi, Shatrughan Sinha, Pran, Kader Khan
Released: 1988
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

If you ever wondered what would it look like when a Bollywood star actress turns into female Rambo, this is a film that will give you an answer. Sridevi, for many the ultimate Yash Chopra´s „ideal woman in white“, obviously thought a change is needed and after being promised some black leather clothes and butt-kicking, she decided to give her dates to Sherni. Well, the result was not worth it. Sridevi plays a village girl Durga (quite an appropriate name considering what is inevitable), who, like all the Bollywood village girls at the beginning of the movie, is more into playing with kids half her age then anything else. She is also known for her explosive temperament and will beat the heck out of everyone who dares to create any injustice. Needless to say it doesn´t make her exactly popular among men. She lives with her mother and two younger siblings, and they wait for their father to return from prison, into which he was sent after false accusations from the villanious Thakur Dharampal Singh. Why or what the accusations were....... is obviously not important because it´s never mentioned or explained. Just the whole plot stands on it. I guess the filmmakers could not find any good excuse, so audience – just deal with it.
"But at least it allows me to have the coolest hairstyle."
But those terrible six months in jail have really angered the old man, and so he flees and with other guys grabs some guns, forms a bandit group and goes hide into the mountains, from where he leads a war against the Thakur. Durga refuses to go with him and to support her family she starts dancing on the streets. But what would one thought – people consider her a prostitute!! How unexpected and shocking. But fortunately a knight on a white horse saves her from all the insults! Or more like a dashing secret police officer coming in a red bus. OK, so it is ridiculously (compared to Sridevi) old and fat Raj (Shatrughan Sinha), who immediately takes an opportunity and acts like a long lost son to one of village women (fortunatelly she dies before she finds out she was deceived). He came to see how police operates in the area, and he is not amused. Police is one hand with the evil Thakur.
Now who wouldn´t fall in love at first sight, right?
....and who doesn´t fantasize of romancing this, hmm?
Meanwhile Durga falls in love with Raj (I guess script demanded it) and is having romantic thoughts while dancing and imagining him like a dummy (duh.... now that is something new and in a way also disturbing). While doing that she is spotted by Thakur´s evil brother Teja, who lusts after her, and after having her thrown into jail, having her released, getting her to his house and unsuccessful try to rape her, he and all the other evil guys chase her to her home, and before she can alarm her family they come and shoot everyone except her (why do villains do such silly mistakes?). So she shoots several of them in return and runs into the mountains to her father and his gang. And here comes the moment we all have been waiting for – Durga sheds off her saree and slips into tight black leather pants. Whoo hoo!! And not her father, but she becomes the menace to the evil guys.
A story, that just might have had some potential to be interesting or moving, is unforgivably killed thanks to plotholes and laughable handling of the characters. Not to mention other little things like Pran´s silly hairstyle, already mentioned old and fat Sinha, and of course Durga going berserk dressed like for a Harley ride. For a simple village girl she handles guns way too professionally and needs no training at all. Her falling in love with Sinha is good for nothing, their complete lack of chemistry and non-sensial pairing doesn´t bring any romantic touch to the film anyway. In fact the whole character of Raj is needless and those few of his important scenes could have been done differently, making Sherni a film completely without a hero. Sridevi acts well, though not her best, but all her efforts lead nowhere, because I just could not take her seriously in that outfit and all. Nobody else is really worth a mention.
She dances well and in the first part looks good, but music fails her (like many other things in this), except for the last song, during which you can finally stop laughing for a while and admire Sridevi´s dancing (but I was still asking myself how in the world could Teja have not recognized her).

I would call this an unsucessful attempt at heroine-oriented movie, that turned out unintentionally hilarious in the end. 
So you didn´t like my movie?

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