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Certificate: U/A

Director: Mangesh Hadawale

Starring: Meezaan Jaffrey, Sharmin Segal

Written by: Mangesh Hadawale

Story: K. Selvarghavan

MALAAL is the remake of hit Tamil film 7G RAINBOW COLONY. The film is based in the late 90’s, a fact which is established by bus stop posters announcing the release of TITANIC and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. The film opens with the last over of a gully cricket match, which ends in violence with our protagonist Shiva More (Meezaan Jaffrey) assaulting the match umpire. We then find out that the reason why he is the way he is, aggressive, on the face and all, is because of his abusive father. The family of Aastha Tripathi (Sharmin Segal), who used to be rich and now have fallen on hard days also move to this same Ambewadi Chawl. Shiva is under the arms of a political leader, who has his heart set on removing the North Indian intruders from the Maharashtrian Society. Shiva, influenced by his leader, also joins this cause. But then he slowly starts falling for Aastha who is aspiring to become a CA. Slowly the film also reveals that Shiva has an exceptional head for numbers. He is also taken aback, in a good way when he finds out Aastha can speak fluent Marathi. Then his stance changes from kicking out the “outsiders” to we are all Indians. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

The film whilst having a decent story, this film and how it unfolds, feels like ‘been there, done that.’ How the film ends, becomes predictable. The original Tamil film was made in 2004, 15 years ago and hence it is a story that may have seemed new in those times, but now it just feels like just another romantic film. This film does manage to take you back to the 90s and might hit a few people with nostalgia and others with Déjà Vu. The makers could have explored a few things which could have added much more excitement and made it interesting for the audience.

Technically, the film is great. Cinematography by Ragul Dharuman is great and each and every visual is striking and all the details are captured nicely. The festivals being celebrated are colourful, well shot and come alive on the screen. The editing by Rajesh Pandey is decent but he could have done a lot more and tried to reduce the length of the film. The production design and the costume design is great and on point. The music is decent and the title track Ek Malaal is pick of the lot. The plot is decent but they could have done a lot with the sub-plots.

The performances from the debutants make this film a good watch. Meezaan Jaffrey is brilliant and impresses with his debut. Sharmin Segal fits in to the role of Aastha with ease and made it seem like the role was tailor-made for her. Their chemistry on screen looked great as well. The rest of the cast offered abled support.

Director manages to tell a simple story but the problem being that the story and the setting of the film feels too dated now.

2.5

At the box-office

The film has taken a bad start and will find going tough.

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