‘MALHAR’ REVIEW | 7 June, 2024

V Motion Pictures’ Malhar (UA) is a mix of three stories in the same village.

Bhairav (Shrinivas Pokale) and Javed (Vinayak Potdar) are good friends aged 12-13. Bhairav is hard of hearing and, therefore, uses a hearing aid. Javed’s elder sister, Jasmine (Akshata Acharya), is in love with Jatin (Mohammad Samad) but she is too scared to reveal this to her family members because he is a Hindu boy while she is a Muslim girl. In the same village lives Laxman (Rishi Saxena) who is impotent and, therefore, cannot impregnate his wife, Kesar (Anjali Patil). Tired of taunts by Laxman’s family, Kesar gets pregnant by sleeping with Mohan (Shaarib Hashmi). However, she pretends to have been impregnated by her own husband to save his honour.

Jasmine’s love story does not reach its logical end as she ends her life when it is clear that she can’t marry Jatin. Bhairav, whose hearing aid had gotten spoilt, struggles to buy a new one and in this, he is assisted by friend Javed. Ultimately, his dad buys a new hearing aid for him.

Vishal Kumbhar has written three different stories and woven them into one drama. None of the stories is interesting. Why Bhairav doesn’t inform his father about his spoilt hearing aid is not clear. Even the stories of Laxman-Kesar and Jasmine-Jatin leave the audience unaffected. In other words, the emotions simply do not come through. Vishal Kumbhar and Apurva Patil’s screenplay is terribly weak. The viewers wonder why the story writer stopped at three stories because he could’ve as well added a couple of more stories as there was nothing to lose — or gain! Dialogues (by Siddharth Salvi and Swapnil Sitaram) are good but at places only.

Shrinivas Pokale is okay as Bhairav. Vinay Potdar does a fair job as Javed. Mohammad Samad acts ably as Jatin. Akshata Acharya is good in the role of Jasmine. Anjali Patil makes her mark as Kesar. Rishi Saxena is average in a brief role as Laxman. Shaarib Hashmi makes his presence felt in a tiny role as Mohan. Bhupesh Singh lends ordinary support as Javed’s father, Parvez. Ravi Jhankal is adequate as Laxman’s father who is the village sarpanch. Anjam Gulati is alright as Jatin’s father, Shamsher Singh. Shruti Gholap (as Javed’s mother), Imran Rashid (as Bhairav’s father), Shubhangi Bhujbal (as Bhairav’s mother), Binda Rawal (as Laxman’s mother) and Maheshwari Chaitanya (as Laxman’s grandmother) provide routine support. Others pass muster.

Vishal Kumbhar’s direction is dull. T. Satish and Sarang Kulkarni’s music is so-so. Lyrics (Pradeep Dhalaat, Vanita Gupta, Sarang Sarod and Trupti Bhoir) are okay. Sarang Kulkarni’s background music leaves something to be desired. Camerawork (by Ganesh Kamble) is nothing to shout about. Trupti Chavan’s production designing, and Deven Bane’s art direction are ordinary. Akshay Kumar’s editing should’ve been sharper.

On the whole, Malhar is a dull fare.

Released on 7-6-’24 at Metro Inox (daily 1 show) and other cinemas of Bombay thru VRG Media. Publicity & opening: dull. …….Also released all over. Opening was poor everywhere. The film has also been dubbed in Marathi. The dubbed Marathi version opened simultaneously, to dull houses in Maharashtra.