Friday, November 15, 2019
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Movie Review - Marjaavaan: Not worth dying for, this oneA still from Marjaavaan

Movie Review - Marjaavaan: Not worth dying for, this one

15 Nov 2019 | 5:26 PM

Film: Marjaavaan

Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Tara Sutaria, Riteish Deshmukh, Rakul Preet Singh

Director: Milap Zaveri

[ + read story ]

Nonika Singh

Yeh isharon isharon mein bahut pakaati hai...ah, ouch! It’s not just Tara Sutaria’s dumb (pun intended but no offence meant to speech impaired) act that gets on your nerves. Marjaavaan, an expression used to indicate awe of an extreme degree, which means worth dying for, actually forces you to wince, yes both in pain and boredom. Almost, pushing you to the brink of exhaustion you want to make a vow no less urgent than a death wish; never to be misled by a film that promises to be a commercial entertainer.

Opening rushes, despite the suspense-laden climactic moment, clearly establish which way the wind will blow. Raghu (Sidharth Malhotra) is the hurricane, who, a la Big B of yesteryear, holds a match stick between his lips. Like Big B, he can bash up dozens of hooligans at one go. And aka many of the iconic characters that Amitabh Bachchan essayed to perfection in his heydays, he too is lawaaris. Brought up by a slumlord, who has tremendous faith in this killing machine, Raghu is meant to be feared, not loved. In walks Zoya (Tara Sutaria). And the man, who kills on order and without compunction, as also believes, begum is of no use either to badshah or gulam, despite his unromantic beliefs, is suitably smitten.

Their love story, despite a couple of hummable songs, fails to ignite the screen or tickle our imagination. But for the unpredictable twist at midpoint, the film feels like a dead weight. The religious card, reference to the Ramayana and secular bits, are overplayed and strike a discordant rather than harmonious tone. One scene has the hero reducing men to pulp as the Hanuman Chalisa plays in the background. Right from the emotive graph of one and sundry (there are a host of loyal friends) to the loud background music to the cheesy dialogues, much here is mundane. So been there and seen before! 

Yes indeed, Riteish Deshmukh as a dwarf or vertically challenged, if you want to be socially correct, is supposedly the much-hyped point of interest. But, if most of his jokes involving the word height leave you cold so does his sneer, reserved especially for our hero Raghu. To be fair, Deshmukh does what he possibly can in a role that is rather limiting; and we are certainly not referring to his height in the film. Dwarfs, by now we, the GOT aficionados, know too well, can be the most endearing characters, provided they are etched with intelligence and given some witty dialogues too. Here, all of Vishnu’s wit is circumscribed around the word height. As he keeps rubbing his physical limitation as do those who want to get even with him, we are neither amused nor impressed.

Honestly, talking of his negative turn, he was far more impressive in, Ek Villain, also starring Sidharth Malhotra. 

Talking of handsome Sidharth, who has given some winning performances in the past, well, sorry to say it is one thing to be inspired by legends and quite another to walk in their footsteps. As for Rakul Preet, trying to do a Rekha, sure she looks lovely in first few scenes. If you think her dance girl part of Aarzoo has more heft, she is soon reduced to putty, supporting the hero with meaningless dialogues like—Sher jaag gaya hai.

But the film, a potpourri of strange potions, has nothing that will awaken your senses. Rather, it makes you wonder what possibly can be the height of unimaginativeness? You want the answer for yourself; don’t say we didn’t warn you.

nonikasingh@tribunemail.com

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