A tiresome, tragic love story: Malaal Movie Review

Cast: Meezaan Jaffrey, Sharmin Sehgal, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Badri Chavan, Ankush Bisht

Director: Mangesh Hadawale

Rating: * *

Malaal is far more filmi than real. It’s the early ’90s and a downtown Mumbai chawl is the setting for this blossoming romance between a hard-studying upper middle class girl Aastha (Sharmin), soon to appear for her CA finals and a lower middle class wastrel, a temperamental tapori, Shiva (Meezaan) who is more likely to use his fists than brain. What are the chances of their love transcending barriers of class, culture, origin and economics? The narrative doesn’t hold out much hope for this love going the distance.

Instead, we get to see the two youngsters sparring to begin with and then inexplicably, dancing to the tune of love. I agree that the impossible can be possible too but when one partner believes that her fate lies with being someone else’s partner for life then there’s obviously no scope for a future. So this film is not exactly about ‘ever after’ but about the transformative power of love. Aastha, employs her good offices to get Shiva out of the hell-hole he has resigned himself to.

And Shiva is willing to take the step forward in order to assure himself of a romantic future with his loved one. But Aastha’s parents want their daughter to marry Aditya, a family friend’s son who is both well-educated and has amazing future prospects. And Aastha is pretty much resigned to the arrangement. That’s when the romance comes unstuck. The music, though energetic, isn’t memorable enough. The direction/treatment feels outdated even though it is pretty much in keeping with that of the original Tamil film 7G Rainbow Colony written and directed by Selvaraghavan which released way back in 2004.

Both Sharmin and Meezaan, seem a little awkward in their representation of Aastha and Shiva. Meezaan has a smouldering screen presence that might go a long way in assuring him of a future in Bollywood. Sharmin, though different from the traditional Bollywood heroines, comes across as an oddity and she doesn’t appear to have the kind of luminous talent or looks that could ensure a leg-up in Bollywood. With its outdated tropes, old-fashioned reasoning and lop-sided development, the narrative fails to enthuse. There’s nothing entreating about this romance! Johnsont307@gmail.com

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