Malaal Movie Review Rating: 1.5/5 Stars (One and a half stars)
Star Cast: Meezaan Jaafri, Sharmin Segal and a whole lot of drama which makes no sense!
Director: Mangesh Hadawale
What’s Good: This was the first film I watched when I had the choice to watch it back-to-back with One Day being the other film, because back then I was ready for the worst!
What’s Bad: After watching both the movies, I realised nothing can prepare you for such conditions
Loo Break: Is the film on? Go for it, don’t wait for the Interval or the movie to finish
Watch or Not?: Even if you’ve nowhere to go in the world, go nowhere!
Set in 1998, it takes a Sairat inspired to start with the lead Shiva (Meezaan) is seen playing street cricket. On getting cheated, he beats up the empire very bad and gets spotted by a local politician Sawant. Aastha (Sharmin Segal) has migrated to Mumbai recently and is adapting the ‘chawl’ culture. Shiva is hired by Sawant to look out for the immigrants coming from North India in the area. He falls in love with Aastha who’s already with someone.
Shiva has a troubled relationship with his dad which affects his personal as well as academic life. Aastha, too, starts falling for the guy and tries to bring him back on the track. She helps to find him a job and then gets engaged to the guy her parents choose for her (don’t try to find logic please!). She knows how many shirts Shiva has, how many holes there are in his ‘ganjee’ (not even kidding!) and still goes ahead to marry someone else. It ends exactly as you want it right now to end.
Malaal Movie Review: Script Analysis
Makers have shown a chawl in which the hero’s house looks like a shanty, but the leading lady’s look like a proper flat with a huge balcony. That’s just nitpicking, right? What would you say to a scene in which we can clearly see there’s a poster of Titanic with a release date (the story is set in 1998), but the actors are already talking about the climax of the film. Now, what would you call this?
Also, this movie has some very uncanny similarities to a comparatively classic Shahid Kapoor’s Kabir Singh. It fails since building up the love story between the leads, and hence not a single thing makes any mark after that. The lady doesn’t like the guy, he showcases some random Math skills (adds, multiplies some unimaginable number) and in the next scene, we see they’re in love. A lot to pick out, very less energy to type so much. Just note this – it’s a bad film!
Malaal Movie Review: Star Performance
Meezaan acts like he has Arjun Kapoor’s soul trapped in a shrunk Sanjay Dutt’s body. He dances with his body, but face retains the same expressions. He wasn’t ready for a debut and that’s clearly visible with his act.
Sharmin Segal is, also, uni-dimensional with her expressions. She’s the same when there’s good news, same when there’s bad. Remember Holt from Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Both the leads had the platform to act despite a weak storyline, but it’s an opportunity lost for them.
None of the actors stands out from the supporting cast.
Malaal Movie Review: Direction, Music
Mangesh Hadawale technically made his debut in Bollywood with Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Dekh Indian Circus which didn’t see the light of the day. Malaal, with decent production values, lacks good direction. Uneven transitions, shaky camera-work make it for an unsettling experience overall. He tries to replicate Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s work through songs but fails miserably.
Songs, again, give you the Bhansali nostalgia because most of them are composed by the man himself. But, none of them works because of the shoddy treatment given to the story. I tried to like Ek Malaal but by then the film was already in a whole lot of mess. Credit where it’s due – Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara’s background score is good.
Malaal Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Malaal promises to be a story-heavy film with its premise but it’s completely shallow. Poor performances, gimmicky narrative and poor screenplay pull it down from what it could’ve achieved.
One and a half stars!
Malaal releases on 05th July, 2019.
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