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Mardini movie review: Whodunit fails to hit the mark

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Mardini is director Kiran Kumar’s second film after Devarantha Manushya that released in 2018. Kiran Kumar has tried his best to handle this murder mystery with newcomers playing most of the roles.

The movie begins with Jahnavi (Inchara Joshi) leaving a house, where a birthday party is on, in a hurry. Her friends try to stop her but she leaves anyway. Meanwhile, Mardini Varma (Ritanya Huvanna), a circle police inspector, is transferred to Chikkamagaluru from Bengaluru. As soon as Mardini arrives there, Jahnavi is found murdered. Mardini, along with Police Inspector Suraj (Manohar N), takes up investigation of the murder. But, Superintendent of Police (SP) A Rahul (Manmohan Rai) asks her to close the case as early as possible. What happens to Mardini and who has murdered Jahnavi is what will keep you at the edge of your seat.

The story begins in earnest only after the pre-intermission session. The first half of the movie is incongruous. With witnesses to the murder case being eliminated one by one, the narration gains momentum from the beginning of the post-intermission session. The actors assigned to provide comedy have failed miserably. The ending is also not up to the mark.

The drawback of the ending is that there are too many dialogues without the required action. And whatever action is there is also not convincing. For example, one of the police inspectors threatens to kill the other with a pistol but anyway the two indulge in fisticuffs instead of using the arms in their possession. Another scene is where the pet dog of a woman police inspector just keeps mum without barking or attacking the person who is beating its owner.

As far as performance of the actors is concerned, Ritanya has done a good job. Her physique and body language as a police officer are convincing. However, she has to hone her acting skills if she wants to establish herself as an actress in the industry. Manohar, who plays a police inspector, has acted well. Cinematographer Arun Suresh has done an excellent job in showcasing the greenery of Chikkamagaluru.

This movie is worth a watch, if you have no other way to spend your spare time.

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