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MALAAL - Once again brings forward the debate on poor remakes and nepotism. (Review By Bobby Sing)
05 Jul, 2019 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / Just In / M

When neither the debutants nor the execution sets the screen ablaze and when nothing engaging happens even post 20 minutes into the second half, then one gets forced to think that why this film was made, why such clichés were repeated and what was there in its original that it was chosen to be remade in Hindi after a long gap of 15 years?

The question must have been there in your mind while watching many other weak remakes too adapted from their Indian regional language originals, strangely backed by some big names. The contradiction occurs as often while making the remake, a film is almost rewritten with huge changes suiting the Hindi audience, seriously affecting the impressive regional feel of the original, resulting in an entirely different film and a comparatively poor one. 

As yet another example of the same, MALAAL honestly turns out to be an unexpressive and highly clichéd love story set in the late 90s. And that's because it completely changes the narration and story progression of its original Tamil film 7G RAINBOW COLONY released way back in 2004. Converting the setting to a Mumbai chawl, adding entirely different sequences into the script, the film largely falls flat and the avoidable Marathi hangover (in both its dialogues and songs) remains a big drawback probably suggested by the director Mangesh Hadawale (of Marathi award winning TINGYA (2008) fame). So MALAAL can easily be called a loose adaptation but not exactly a remake that actually happens to be the key reason why it doesn’t work.
 
Interestingly, the film’s basic characters are quite close to the recent blockbuster KABIR SINGH which was a frame to frame adaptation by the same director remaking his original Telugu hit ARJUN REDDY in Hindi. Perhaps the idea might have worked, had the makers of MALAAL also followed the same path, but since they decided to make it differently inserting their own sequences - the end product fails to make any kind of decent or even average impact.
 
To give you an idea, (not following the original) MALAAL begins exactly like the Marathi mega hit SAIRAAT with a cricket match and the end of the contest reminds you of the football scene of ARJUN REDDY/KABIR SINGH showcasing the hero having severe anger issues. May be they took the idea from here as the Tamil original got released in 2004.
 
Post the introductions, the narrative quickly gets into the romance but neither the boy nor the girl is able to make any kind of instant emotional or loving connect with the viewers that happens to be the main requisite of a love story (especially depending upon the girl). The lack of novelty in the script and no magnetic pull in the performers later also hampers the impact of a tragic twist coming in the final 15 minutes of the film, unable to become any kind of savior for the project and the newcomers.
 
In short, MALAAL is a project backed by the renowned Sanjay Leela Bhansali, featuring his niece Sharmin Segal and Javed Jaffery’s son Meezaan in the lead. As an official remake, it had a mature love saga to follow but the makers edit out a lot from the original 3 hour film inserting their uninspiring, repetitive bits ruining its basic detailed and much convincing story structure. Can’t say why they did it, but it seems they shied away of adapting it as it is and intentionally made a severely toned down and amateurish love story for their own reasons. This also remains the cause, why the climax appears to be abrupt without creating any kind of desired impact. 
 
At times the film’s music does become noticeable composed by Bhansali but the songs are unable to lift up the proceedings with many forcibly inserted ones too like the festivals song including Marathi lyrics. The art department comes up with a decent representation of the 90s with BEST bus-stands having posters of TITANIC and HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM, but they also overdo it (as always in a Bhansali film) while designing the interiors of the girl’s house in the chawl and the balconies. Besides a politician added in the beginning vanishes from the script just like that and the dialogues keep surprising you till the end with many cheeky lines. Plus the supporting cast adds nothing significant to the film as its another important shortcoming.
 
Coming to the debut performers, they got their first chance for the obvious reasons, but couldn’t make the best of it due to an all familiar (read repetitive) and weak characterization. Sharing an honest opinion, their first film gives me nothing to comment upon apart from the girl who shows some sparks in her emotional scenes but still falls way short of a leading heroine of a Bollywood mainstream film.
 
Sharing my views on Nepotism, no doubt it happens in every stream, every walk of life as the young ones are expected to join their parents’ business or profession as their first easy choice without much struggle of their own. It works fine when we talk about shops, factories and various businesses, but does become tricky when we consider streams involving art and creativity that might not get inherited from the talented parents in any similar or higher measure.
 
So when we all know that it is bound to happen, will always be there and preference will be given to the family kids in every stream including cinema too, then why we feel offended and hurt at times calling it Nepotism?
 
It actually doesn’t happen, whenever a successor proves to be a worthy one, showcasing his individual talent and capabilities even in an early age. However it does hurt when we get to see chances (and repeated chances) given to the ones who literally have nothing to showcase, nothing to add of their own and no screen presence of any kind, just being their because of their blood and family relations. 
 
In other words, Nepotism doesn’t hurt or comes into discussion when the debutant proves him/herself as someone worth giving a chance, as the most deserving one in his or her first project itself. But it certainly hurts when that first chance is snatched away from a much deserving candidate and given to someone having a backing in the field playing it safe due to the obvious reasons. 
 
Unfortunately MALAAL falls in the same category and that’s why deserves a strong mention of Nepotism. Having said that, it will still be too early to victimize the key performers for this very reason alone. So would like to wait till they get to prove their talent in their next blessed chances.
 
But then again, such second, third and fourth chances are unarguably only the privilege of ‘the well-connected’ and not anyone else.
 
Rating : 1.5 / 5

(Note : For friends interested in knowing what all has been deleted and changed, the original film 7G Rainbow Colony can be seen at Amazon Prime with English Subtitles.)

Tags : MALAAL Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Official Hindi remakes, Hindi films adapted from tamil original, the official remake of 7G Rainbow Colony (Tamil)
05 Jul 2019 / Comment ( 0 )
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