Verdict: The newcomers dominate the big screen in Malaal.

When newcomers enter Bollywood, especially from families that are well known in the industry, all eyes are on them. This time the spotlight is on Meezaan and Sharmin Segal as they make their big Bollywood debut with Malaal. This Sanjay Leela Bhansali production is a remake of the 2004 Tamil film 7G Rainbow Colony directed by Selvaraghavan.

What’s Malaal About:

The film is set in the late 90s in a chawl in Mumbai and features Shiva (Meezaan), a brash, Marathi-speaking rowdy whose life revolves around drinking, gambling, threatening people and, of course, street fights. This good-for-nothing boy with no hope of a decent future meets Astha Tripathi (Sharmin Segal) who moves into the chawl Shiva lives in, when her family encounters a financial crisis. Even though they come from contrasting backgrounds, Shiva begins to fall hopelessly in love with Astha. He proves to her that he may not come from money but his love will move mountains for her. Astha’s parents, on the other hand, have fixed Astha’s marriage to Aditya, a man more suited to their tastes. While Astha’s family means the world to her, will she be able to sacrifice her life with Shiva in order to please her parents?

What Works:

Director Mangesh Hadawale has managed to helm together a cute romantic drama that makes you go “awww” in a few places…like when you see the couple writing love notes to each other, it’s very adorable. Talking about the stars, Meezaan makes a strong debut with this film as he portrays that typical tapori bad-boy character to perfection. He even manages to grab your attention with his witty delivery of dialogues. The on-screen chemistry between Meezaan and Sharmin is what makes the film very likable.

What could have been better:

This movie would have had a much better impact if it was shorter and crisper. Sharmin Segal shows a lot of potential as a debutante and we’d like to see her transform into a more nuanced actress with more finesse. Segal delivery of hard-hitting emotions leaves us wanting more.

Why you should watch it:

Don’t miss this romantic drama which makes for a cute watch on a rainy day with some delicious popcorn and garam coffee.

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