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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Malang review: A tepid thriller

Mohit Suri’s cinematic universe is routinely dark and twisted, and in his best work, his characters have been edgy and interesting. But Malang’s twists don’t really take you aback, and the identity of one of the perpetrators is more of an eye-roll than anything else.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi |
Updated: May 15, 2020 7:16:34 pm
Malang review Malang movie review: Things pick up in the second half.

Malang movie cast: Aditya Roy Kapur, Anil Kapoor, Disha Patani, Kunal Kemmu, Amruta Khanvilkar, Elli AvRam
Malang movie director: Mohit Suri
Malang movie rating: 1.5 stars

Here’s a film which is a perfect example of how Bollywood struggles with creating a plot in which every single thread counts. Malang kicks in only after the interval, and then it becomes the film it should have been from the get-go, rapidly deploying damaged cops, emasculated men with curdled sexuality, and bad women on the prowl.

The first half is a waste, even if it gives us several opportunities to ogle at a leading lady with a jaw-dropping waist-hip ratio. Apart from being eye-candy, Sara (Patani) is a flower-child, wanting to tick items off a bucket-list which seems to consist mainly of experimenting with plentiful drugs and free sex. Floating around Goan rave parties and scenic beaches is what she does, when she is not having it off with men with hot bods. Advait’s (Roy Kapoor) buff, bare chest is also drool-worthy. In between long passages of these two cosying up to each other, there are a series of murders, which leave a powder-sniffing cop (Kapoor) and an apparently straight-laced colleague (Khemu) searching for the killer.

Mohit Suri’s cinematic universe is routinely dark and twisted, and in his best work, his characters have been edgy and interesting. But Malang’s twists don’t really take you aback, and the identity of one of the perpetrators are more of an eye-roll than anything else.

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Things pick up in the second half. Khemu, always watchable, comes into his own, especially in his scenes with his troubled wife, played by Khanvilkar, who leaves an impression. And Kapoor, who adds a layer of weary pain to his out-of-control character, makes you watch, even if his brandishing a gun in a spotted bathroom mirror in a you-talking-to-me variant, doesn’t really stick.

This part of Malang is slick and fast and silly, a throwback to the slushy actioners that used to be a Bollywood staple at one time, and you wish it was the entire film.

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