It was the trailer launch of Yash Raj Films’ Mardaani and the new Mrs Aditya Chopra’s first public appearance after the hush-hush Italian wedding. The setting was a poor look-alike of a cop’s cabin with a white satin sheet covering the table, behind which Rani Mukerji (yes, she keeps her name) sat on a revolving chair. She was dressed in stressed denims and a black tee with a white jacket. Accompanying her on the dais was — no one else from the film.
The queen of one of India’s largest production houses reigned supreme. It’s her first film after her much-awaited wedding, and one with director Pradeep Sarkar seven years after their Laga Chunari Mein Daag debacle. With Mardaani, Pradeep is directing his first-ever action thriller. The story revolves around Shivani Shivaji Roy, a tough-as-nails crime branch cop, who wants to wipe out the menace of child trafficking and about how she takes on the biggest mafia head.
To all the questions posed to her, her answers ranged from “You eat the laddoo, then we will speak about my wedding” to “I asked a female cop to slap one of the boys to get a feel of how powerful they are”! When asked about Preity Zinta’s FIR against Ness Wadia (Preity and Rani have been the best of friends, the worst of foes, and are back again as friends), Rani initially feigned ignorance, “Is she in trouble? I thought Preity could never be in trouble. Actually, I don’t think it is right to comment on this matter since it is very personal and I hate interfering. But I’d like to say that she and I had decided to get married in the same mandap so that our weddings could be as successful as our films together have been. I beat her to it. Now I am hoping to hear that good news from her.”
Rani said she was happy to be part of a woman-centric film, more of which should be encouraged, and added that working with Pradeep was a good thing for her. Asked how they would avoid the film going the same way as Laga Chunari Mein Daag, Rani said, “We are not astrologers to predict what will do well or not. Else none of our films would do badly. I don’t think this one can be compared to that. I am very happy to work again with Pradeep dada.”
The film releases on August 22.