Marjaavaan movie cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Tara Sutaria
Marjaavaan movie director: Milap Zaveri
Marjaavaan movie rating: One star
If only Marjaavaan was the name of a time capsule whose main aim was to fill you in on everything that was tried, tested and failed from the Eighties. But no such luck, this is a film set in present-day Mumbai, and we had the misfortune to watch it first-day first show. Just three minutes into the film and you realise this is not a tongue-in-cheek parody of the problematic film decade, but rather a loud, half-hearted attempt to recreate and celebrate it with dialogues like ‘main marunga toh mar jayega’, ‘doosra janam lene se dar jayega’ uttered by local goon Raghu (Malhotra), as he beats up a whole army of bad guys. Sporting a bandana and a jacket, Raghu is the right-hand man of local water mafia Narayan Anna (Nasser) — we are reminded of Anna (Nana Patekar) from Parinda, minus the gravitas and nuanced layers of the character. Now Narayan has groomed Raghu, an orphan as his right-hand man, and showers him with affection and love deserving of a son he never had. But wait, Narayan does have a son, a three-foot-tall-one, at that. Enter Riteish Deshmukh as Vishnu, humming Teri Galiyan from Ek Villain, the last outing of Deshmukh and Malhotra, where they were pitted against each other. So it turns out, Vishnu has always sought daddy dear’s approval to no avail. The rivalry between Vishnu and Raghu is the core of the cringe-worthy two-hour-plus saga. While Ek Villain worked to some end, this one has a paper-thin plot and well, nothing else.
Every trope from the Eighties is in play, the poor orphan who owes everything to his mafia boss, a prostitute with a heart of gold, and a doe-eyed, smiling heroine Zoya (Sutaria) who will change the way the wayward hero looks at this crime-infested world. Because yes, it’s 2019 and the only job that women have is to reform men. There is a twerking heavy gyrating remix number by Nora Fatehi as well, which starts with the lines ‘kal meri shaadi hai, par aaj raat azaadi hai’. The entire cast talks in one-liners, with the idea of eliciting whistles and claps, but none of the lines land.
The gravity defying stunts and dialogues like ‘tashan se jashan manayenge’, ‘teen foot ke jism se do takke ki zindagi’ do nothing but make you cringe. You again check your phone, if perchance you have entered a different time and space quantum. No luck. Again.
The director tries to weave in current issues like communalism and the Kashmir problem, but nothing sticks.
Sidharth Malhotra tries to play the angry lover who can take on an army alone, but sadly this trope has been perfected by so many actors that Malhotra’s performance seems like a sad parody. Tara Sutaria, as Malhotra’s lady love and as someone who has suffered from the situation in Kashmir, is too perfect with her flawless nude makeup and blow-dried hair to be believable. Also, what is the super-talented Suhasini Mule doing in the film?
Marjaavaan could perhaps be used as a new drinking game, where you raise your glass whenever a melodramatic or a rhyming one-liner is delivered. You will get drunk in the first half-hour itself. Guaranteed.