U/A: Crime, Thriller
Director: Mohit Suri
Cast: Disha Patani, Aditya Roy Kapur, Anil Kapoor, Kunal Kemmu
When the trailer of Mohit Suri’s Malang came out, it gave an indication that this could be a twisted thriller where every character has his own demonic intentions and idiosyncrasy. The part that also attracted a lot of memes was the one where every single actor reveals why he kills people. Malang was Ek Villain meets Murder 2, with a tinge of Aashiqui 2. This could have been a cracking thriller, alas, it isn’t.
The film begins with an intense battle between the leading man, Aditya Roy Kapur, battling an army of inmates in prison. We don’t get to see his face until he has overpowered the last and the most powerful of them. Right from the moment we first meet him, we know this man has a plagued past and a precarious future. His flashback portions with Sara (Disha Patani) are filled with gorgeousness, both of the leads and the lusciousness of Goa, fantastically captured by the lenses of Vikas Sivaraman.
Ever since Suri has become a filmmaker, he has always derived pleasure in blending the romance in his narratives with shocks, suspense, and surprises. He attempts to do that again here, this cannot be just a love story, it has to be a thriller with twists and turns, and twisted people with bizarre motives. Anil Kapoor is clearly having fun in the role of a cop, channeling the evilness and creepy laughter of Manoj Bajpayee from Aks and Nawazuddin Siddiqui from Kick, but I wish there was more of it.
Watch the trailer of Malang here:
Kunal Kemmu once again displays the knack of showing what really happens when you give a good actor the right part. The camera loves Kapur and Patani, and there are plenty of shots capturing their collective beauty. At least here, Malang justifies its title. But again, the actors are reduced to being merely hapless lovers who have some hidden secrets. A scene featuring Suri’s favourite Shaad Randhawa must be the 786th time a character has been introduced only so that the hero can have a change of heart.
Patani isn’t just there yet and fumbles and falters in the dramatic potions. Malang suffers from the same problem that made Ek Villain an underwhelming thriller, it wants to be more than just a thriller, it wants to be a film about revenge and redemption, a film where the hero is on a beast mode but he’s doing everything for love. It would be great to see a film in Bollywood where there are no such histrionics, no emotional flashbacks, and back-stories, just a bunch of actors reveling in their own eccentricities.
Ram Gopal Varma, on a good day, can easily make a meal out of such a plot, the way he did with his fantastic thriller, Kaun?! Here, what could have been a delicious thriller turns out to be merely a watchable and forgettable revenge-drama, which never goes as Malang as I thought it would be. Sorry Suri!
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