Malaal: Coming of Age Romantic Love Story
‘Malaal’ is a romantic drama starring new comers Sharmin Segal as Astha Tripathi and veteran actor Javed Jaffrey‘s son Meezaan Jaffrey as Shiva Morey.
Directed by- Mangesh Hadawale
Produced by- Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhusan Kumar, Krishan Kumar
Story by- Selvaraghavan
Music by- Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Shreyas Puranik, Shail Hada
An educated, upper class girl Astha shifts to a chawl in Mumbai due to sudden financial crisis in the family. There she meets lower-middle-class Shiva who has nothing better to do in life except brawling around. Shiva doesn’t like ‘outsiders’ coming into their state and seizing jobs, housing and educational opportunities. However, Astha has a different mindset altogether. Starting on a rough note, they eventually fall in love but there are some hindrances into their romance. Obviously! Otherwise, how do you make a film out of it?
This film was a complete deja vu for me as I’ve seen ‘Prem Amar’ which itself is a Bengali remake of the Tamil film ‘7G Rainbow Colony’ in 2009. How this film is different is the setting of a Marathi narrative which is the only thing that is new. Maybe, this could be the only “new” in every language that has adapted its Tamil original.
The film tried incorporating various themes such as a political boss of Shiva who offers him patronage, hero’s nativist temperament and also coldness towards North Indians. However, everything will slowly and steadily fade away before you even realise it. What remains is the stale ‘coming of age’ love story with obvious plot twists. This film has tried multiple sub-plots and all of them are left hanging at will.
However, you will see fresh faces like Sharmin Segal who’s the niece of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Meezan Jaffrey, son of Javed Jaffrey who is also a protege of Bhansali. Both the newcomers have failed to create magic on the big screen. Sharmin had a constant smirk on her face which is quite confusing throughout the film. However, decoding her expressions is what kept me engaged. Honestly, Meezan Jaffrey tried, but the Mumbaikar ‘tapori’ dialogues do not seem too convincing. Nevertheless, he will occasionally remind you of Ranveer Singh, especially in the opening song ‘Aila re’ which seems to be inspired from “Tattad Tattad” from ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela, Ram Leela’.
All, in all, ‘Malaal’ didn’t work for me since the performance of Sohom Chakraborty and Payal Sarkar is still fresh in my mind. And this might also not work for the audience in Bengal. However, for those who have not seen either ‘7G’ or ‘Prem Amar’, it might offer the thrill of a romantic love story loosely woven around class and ethic conflict, though not as strongly as ‘Dhadak’. So if you’ve nothing better to do this weekend, you can give it a shot if you want!