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Malang review: An entertaining revenge drama

Anil Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur shine in this revenge drama supported by Disha Patani and Kunal Kemmu, directed by Mohit Suri and produced by Luv Ranjan.

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When the trailer of Malang dropped in, it gave too much but too little to guess anything about this film except that – as the film’s tagline goes – the characters will be unleashing their madness. This is one of those rare films which turns out to be better than its trailer. Malang starts of really well with its protagonist Advait Thakur played by Aditya Roy Kapur (convincing after a long time) fighting the inmates at the jail. It’s a well-choreographed and thankfully not much of a physics-defying action sequence.

In the second sequence we see Anil Kapoor as the Goa cop Anjaney Agashe with theatre veteran Makrand Deshpande in a crisp conversation. Here, Kapoor is not merely being his usual over enthusiastic self. He is in the elements of the character. Director Mohit Suri and writers Aseem Arrora and Aniruddha Guha try to avoid the clichés of a thriller and keep you guessing. Suri previously made a somewhat loose in parts but an engaging thriller Ek Villain. This time he seems more in control of his material and the actor’s performances.

The narrative doesn’t become preachy with moral-immoral debate. And neither do actors’ performances become loud as we are used to see in such movies from mainstream Bollywood. Much credit of this should go to Mukesh Chhabra who is credited in the titles for Acting Workshop. It’s a good process to have in place when you have so much money riding on a film. Full marks to whoever thought of putting the A-list stars through workshops.

It’s a battle between Kapoor and Roy Kapur that starts with a phone call from the latter to the former. Supporting this engaging thriller that eventually turns into a revenge drama are Kunal Kemmu (always reliable), Disha Patani, Amruta Khanvilkar, and Elli Avrram. All these characters have a back story, reason and layers enough to avoid them from becoming caricatures.

The writing is clever and gets to the point without becoming too explanatory. When the screenplay is defying the usual turns of events you start to guess what could be the alternate way the narrative might unfold. And during some portions of the second half when Malang does tend to take a little more time you might guess what would happen next (that is only if you’re alert enough).

The film has been shot brilliantly (cinematographer Vikas Sivaraman) and even though you might have been to Goa where the film’s story takes place, it’s not the usual Goa that you see. Music of the film doesn’t have much of an impact or groove but the background score does just fine to serve the narrative’s pace and thrill. To sum it up, Malang had the potential to become an edge-of-the-seat thriller but it took the route of a revenge drama. Which is fine as it is engaging enough and worth checking out in the theatres. As for the gripping thriller, a sequel could well do the needful in these times of movie franchises.

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