Malaal Cast: Meezaan Jaffrey, Sharmin Segal Director: Mangesh Hadawale Rating: *** (3/5)
Malaal, the remake of a Tamil film 7G Rainbow Colony, which incidentally means ‘regret’, is a slow-burn love story. Malaal begins with the meet-cute in a narrow chawl passage. A beautiful love story between Shiva More (Meezaan Jaaferi) and Astha Tripathi (Sharmin Segal).
Set in late ’90s Mumbai with its seedy dance bars, crashing stock market and bonhomie in chawls, Malaal comes with innocence we rarely see today. As fate wills it, the two despite their contrasting temperament, fall in love. Shiva a hot-headed, scowling youngster is something of a parochial chauvinist, who, when not drinking and smoking, plays cards and cricket. His shenanigans fetch him the trophy, but before he knows it, Shiva is a political recruit assigned to save Mumbai from North Indian outsiders who come thronging to the city of dreams.
Astha, on the other hand, is a North Indian, with the confidence and primness of those that have the privilege of an English education, quite a misfit to the chawl life. While Shiva falls for her hook, line, and sinker counting every step she takes, Astha takes her time before professing her love, but not before sorting him out much to her family’s concern. Given the glaring differences between them, one can foretell that theirs will be an uphill battle.
Though the film has been produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who has given us some larger-than-life films, one can see a minuscule glimpse of his expertise in Malaal in a Ganpati dance sequence, where the chawl’s women are seen shaking their leg in a folk dance. When it comes to the acting part Jaaferi seems to be the complete package– AS he dances like a dream, can be intense and also has a bit of goofy in him. Sharmin Segal, the other half of this debut duo is charming in parts, but still a little rough around the edges.
Overall the film will take you in the era of 90’s with the essence of love. Both the new comers have done the fantastic job from their end.