'Malang' movie review: A hackneyed revenge drama with fab music

'Malang' is a one-time affair. Watch it for taking a mini-vacay to Goa (without taking the pain to travel), Kunal Khemu's stellar act, Aditya Roy Kapoor's brilliance, and for its potion-to-the-ears music. Skip it if you are an Anil Kapoor fan.

Sonal Gera Sonal Gera
Updated on: February 07, 2020 11:01 IST
Advait, the confused by-product of a dysfunctional family,

Advait, the confused by-product of a dysfunctional family, also has a back story. He lost the love of his life, Disha's Sara, to a few unjust policemen's power trip.

  • Movie Name:Malang
  • Critics Rating: 3 / 5
  • Release Date: Feb 7, 2020
  • Director: Mohit Suri
  • Genre: Romance-Drama

Hey scriptwriters! What's up? Where have you been? Can we get some novelty in storylines? And pretty please? And especially Mohit Suri's team! Because, though old is gold, creativity and a fresher concept can be a potion for cinegoers. I don't say it; 'Malang's hackeyed and deep-shallow approach towards the travails of two young, hot lovers does.

'Malang' is a concoction of everything one can see in movies helmed by Mohit Suri and his team -- fabulous music, gorgeous yet inexpressive leads, beautiful locales, impressive fight sequences, and a wafer-thin plot.

Mohit Suri, by that measure, should get the credit for reintroducing his cinema in a different package every time. In 'Malang', we are invited to gaze upon the most chiselled body -- Aditya Roy Kapoor as Advait, who removes his t-shirt quite often to give a glimpse of his histrionics at the gym.

And we have Disha Patani who is equally adept at showing off his enviable figure.

Kunal Khemu also shows off -- his acting skills, and what he can do with a role that has several layers and grey shades to its credit.

What Mohit Suri fails at -- primarily -- is presenting the fireball that Anil Kapoor is. The superstar, who is most certainly aging in reverse, plays a drug-snorting police officer. He does not have any ethic and believes in encounters rather than investing in a criminal to extract a confession. He has a past -- introduced quite late into the story. It does everything but adding to the narrative.

Anil Kapoor, thereby in his role, does all the heavy lifting but is misused to the extent of being hammy. And Mohit Suri should be credited for extracting one of the worst performances from an otherwise brilliant actor.

The second lacuna is the premise -- that includes four back stories. Aditya's introduction sequence in the movie is shot like a typical Korean-style brawl. His fists and blows at his prison inmates are fiercer than those of ten prisoners combined. He is the hero, and the law says he will overpower everyone. And he does.

Aditya's Advait then goes on a killing spree. Because, revenge.

Revenge in 'Malang' is both -- cool and cold. So Advait does not hold back and calls Agashey to inform him about his next target, and outwits the police every time. Because, Bollywood.

Advait, the confused by-product of a dysfunctional family, also has a back story. He lost the love of his life, Disha's free-floating Sara, to a few unjust policemen's power trip.

Sara's premise is the flimsiest. It does not lend the gravity it should have to substantiate her development from a girl wanting to jump off a cliff for fun to wanting to keep a baby born out of only a few days of association. As the movie unfolds, it becomes harder to feel for the pain of the leads. One, for a change, feels more for Kunal Khemu's antagonist in parts.

Watching Kunal in an author-backed role is a rarity these days. 'Malang' takes further what 'Kalank' did for him. He is a revelation. His back story too. His Michael is the most layered character in the movie, making for the lack of depth in other central characters.

Kunal is both -- raw and real -- in his portrayal of a police officer who looks upright at the surface but has deep dark secrets. His character graph goes through a transitional shift in the second half of the film, and that is where the entire drama comes to focus. Kunal should do more movies, and choose his scripts wisely. This man can act.

I was overwhelmed with the English they used. A flashback sequence said, "Five years earlier". And I choked on my coffee. Not cool, Mohit.

Also, PSAs were punched in with scenes, citing the big problem narcotic consumption is. 'Drugs kill pain finally the brain' was my favourite of the lot.

All is not bad with 'Malang' though. The music and the background score lift the narrative -- so much so that, in the climactic sequence, it's the background score that adds gravitas rather than the unfolding of the truth.

'Main Malang' and 'Ghar Chalein' are songs one would listen to even years later. 

The film is beautifully shot. Vikas Sivaraman's cinematography deserves a mention. The Christmas celebration, the parties, and the scenic beauty of Goa are wonderfully captured. One would want to go tripping to Goa after watching the movie.

Aditya and Disha's chemistry is spot on and almost palpable. Watching two of the most good looking actors in the country is an absolute delight, and Mohit Suri makes the most of it.

Aditya Roy Kapoor deserves a special mention for the shades he has shown in 'Malang'. In his flashback scenes, he's an awkward 20-something guy looking for a refuge from his life. And he's a vicious killer in the present revengeful saga. 'Malang' takes the streak of his understated genius, seen in 'Kalank', notches higher.

Mohit Suri maintains a grip on the narrative, enabling it to not lose charm despite a wafer-thin premise. His characters are layered, adding to the thrill quotient. There are two interesting plot twists and Suri handles them well. In terms of Mohit's storytelling, 'Malang' is second to 'Aashiqui 2'.

'Malang' is a one-time affair. Watch it for taking a mini-vacay to Goa (without taking the pain to travel), Kunal Khemu's stellar act, Aditya Roy Kapoor's brilliance, and for its potion-to-the-ears music. Skip it if you are an Anil Kapoor fan.

IndiaTVNews.com verdict: 3 stars