Malang: All hype does not a thriller make

There are very few genres that command boundless interest like crime thrillers do. Especially if it is a well-crafted whodunit. Mohit Suri’s Malang falls in this category, plus it’s touted as high on style quotient and wackiness. While the posters looked like a formulaic Bollywood film, it’s fair to say that the official trailer managed to raise curiosity. Of course, a Mohit Suri film is the biggest hype, given the director’s penchant to give us solid thrillers.

Set in Goa, Malang is set around the romance between Advait (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Sara (Disha Patani). While the former is an introvert, his partner is the exact opposite. Their romance develops at a steady pace but just when their world is at an all-time high, tragedy strikes. The film then takes the investigative route with two cops of contrasting characters are involved in the case—the cynical Inspector Agashe (Anil Kapoor) and the honest Michael (Kunal Khemu). There is also a dose of old-school revenge in the mix.

Potentially, Malang had everything in it to be a vintage edge-of-the-seat thriller. It’s got reasonably well-written dialogues, and also a brisk screenplay which ensures that there isn’t a lag in the narration. But there are quite a few flaws too, and those behave as speed-breakers in the film. For starters, character establishment isn’t convincing and there are plenty of sequences that seem contrived or rushed into the storyline. The twist also ends up as a convenient idea than anything else.

Aditya Roy Kapoor and Anil Kapoor shoulder the film to a great extent with their performances. It’s to the duo’s credit that the film is lifted to the shores of respectability. Disha Patani looks stunning but when it comes to emoting, she struggles and her limited abilities are quite evident. Nevertheless, her chemistry with Aditya Roy Kapoor is intense and the two make an explosive couple. Their romance isn’t written that convincingly but the pair manage to lend conviction to it.

One of the major plus points of the film is its cinematography. The film is visually stylish and soothing to the eyes. Goa has been captured in a unique manner by Vikas Sivaraman. It’s clear the Malang has been mounted on a grand scale, unfortunately, Aseem Arora doesn’t rise to the occasion in the writing department. While he ensures that the screenplay is fluid and doesn’t tire the audience, he isn’t able to produce a convincing plot or logical situations. There is a superficial feeling throughout the film. However, there is enough entertainment on view if you aren’t going by the rules of a crime thriller. Things may look out-of-sync for a regular crime thriller but if you add the commercial angle to it and swallow the cinematic liberties taken, it might be passable.

Considering the hype created by the Malang team, the film ends up as a very middling product. It could been a blockbuster material, if care had been given to the detailing of the script. A few good performances, hit music and splendid visuals aren’t the only thing a film needs. Especially when it is doesn’t feature a superstar in the mix. That said, Malang has a runtime of approximately 130-odd minutes, and this works in its favour as the audience’s patience is unlikely to be tested but what about rationality?

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