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Marjaavaan Movie Review

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In the recent times, very few filmmakers from Bollywood have ventured into the ‘masala’ cinema space. Even a lot of actors prefer staying away from this indigenous genre of cinema even though it continues to be popular among the mass audience and the biggest hit films fall into this category of cinema. After two flops (‘Jaane Kahaan Se Aayi Hai’ (2010) and ‘Mastizaade’ (2016)) as a director, Milap Milan Zaveri bounced back as a director in a big way with ‘Satyameva Jayate’ which released last year. The promos of his new film ‘Marjaavaan’ had indicated towards it being in a similar space as his last film – a hard-core commercial potboiler. The film stars Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Tara Sutaria and Rakul Preet in principal roles.

In an under-developed, poverty-ridden area in Mumbai, lives Raghu (Sidharth Malhotra). Raghu was an orphan who was picked up by Narayan (Nassar), a mafia don who exercises a lot of control and authority over the people living in that area. Raghu has been very faithful to Narayan and is grateful to him for raising him like a son. Raghu is the most important member in Narayan’s gang. The clout that Raghu has and the importance he enjoys deeply bothers Narayan’s son Vishnu (Riteish Deshmukh). Things take a turn when Raghu meets Zoya (Tara Sutaria) a verbally-challenged woman who loves music and wishes to impart the knowledge of music in the children living in that area by getting them to participate in musical programmes and festivals. Raghu and Zoya fall in love with each other and that, in turn, sets in motion a series of events which changes their lives forever.

There was never a doubt about ‘Marjaavaan’ being an out-and-out commercial ‘masala’ film. What one was looking forward to find out is whether the film had an engaging story in place along with all the elements one expects to find in a ‘masala’ film. Apart from directing the film, Milap Milan Zaveri has also written the story, screenplay and dialogues for the film. While watching the trailer of the film, the first question which came to one’s mind was why does Raghu fires a bullet through Zoya’s heart, a woman he is deeply in love with. You get the answer for that in the film and the reason for that comes across pretty well in the film. Milap sets the tone for the story and the world the film is set in pretty quickly and in the first half, we see one major event happening after another. While keeping the narrative crisp is a good idea, there are times when things happen at a lightning speed, without proper build-up and that bothers you as a viewer. The scene featuring Suhasini Mulay comes out of nowhere. We never get to know about Zoya’s background – where has she come from, her family is not mentioned once. Raghu and her romance also needed a bit of built-up. The interval point is terrific and you look forward to see how the story unfolds from this point onwards. The second half starts off well, there are a few bumps in between but the climax culminates on a satisfactory note. Vishnu’s fear of Raghu coming after him is not justified very well and the reason behind which he gets him out of the jail is also not very convincing.

Milap has done a very good job at handling the emotional scenes in the film. Be it the scene in which Raghu kills Zoya or the final moments of the climactic sequence, the emotions come across on the scene very well. The screenplay consists of several plot points which one has seen in films earlier but Milap has tried to present them in a different way. There are a few twists and turns which keep you engaged. The sequence which arrives right before the intermission point leaves a solid impact. The big twist in the second half might lack novelty value but the way it has been executed is good. Most of the lines/dialogues he has written deliver the requisite punch.

Sidharth Malhotra delivers the best performance of his career. He is less stiff than he was in his earlier films and shows the kind of earnestness one had not seen him performing his scenes with before. Riteish Deshmukh is terrific as the menacing villain in the film. He is brilliant in comic roles but equally good in roles like these. He is terrific as the menacing villain in the film. Tara Sutaria, who was saddled with an under-written part in her debut film ‘Student Of The Year 2’ (2019), gets good scope to perform here and she makes the best use of the opportunity. She brings the vulnerability and innocence of Zoya to the fore effortlessly. Rakul Preet is credited with having a ‘Special Appearance’ in the film but as far as screen-time is concerned, her role is equal to that of Tara. She does well but needs to work on her diction and dialogue delivery. Shaad Randhawa leaves an impact as Mazhar. Veterans Ravi Kishan and Nassar excel in their respective roles. Nora Fatehi dances like a dream in “Ek Toh Kam Zindagani” but this song was absolutely unnecessary in the film and has been placed very badly.

‘Marjaavaan’ has enough ‘masala’ to satiate the appetite of the audience which loves watching films made in this genre.

Rating: 3/5

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