Film review: “Marjaavaan” will crush your will to live

Marjaavaan, Milaap Zaveri’s latest directorial venture, has finally hit the big screens. Starring Siddharth Malhotra, Tara Sutaria and Riteish Deshmukh, the film tells the story of Raghu, who works as a thug under Narayan Anna (Nassar), a water mafia don.

Well, could Siddharth and Riteish recreate the magic of Ek Villain? Well, not quite.

Spoiler Alert: It’s no prequel to Ek Villain. (Sigh)

Overview

As stated earlier, the film follows Raghu, the ace hitman of a local Don named Narayan Anna. Narayan loves Raghu more than his son. 

Consequently, Vishnu, Anna’s biological son, falls short of his father’s love. Not to forget, he’s a dwarf and keeps shooting metaphors around height. The story is simple: Raghu is Anna’s most trusted right-hand man and was taken in by Anna after he was abandoned as a child. Vishnu is jealous of Raghu and wants an opportunity to destroy him.

Storyline

Quite frankly, the story has nothing new to offer. Marjaavaan is a standard revenge drama film with half-baked dialogues and mindless action sequences. Five minutes into the film, Siddharth Malhotra can be seen smashing the bad guys. Also, a few plain and tasteless dialogues have been used to ‘ornament’ a largely mediocre film.

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Tara Sutaria, who plays a mute Kashmiri girl named Zoya, wants to transform the lives of slum children. She believes music can change lives. So, our hero converts a Mumbai slum into Indian Idol. Zoya happens to be assembling a troupe for a music festival in Kashmir.

Halfway through the film, the leading lady dies, and our protagonist can be seen crying his eyes out over her lifeless body. The second half is no less painful. Just when you think you have had enough, goons jump into the frame, and you will get to see some substandard ‘dishoom-dishoom’ sequences. Simply put, Marjaavaan’s story will remind you of those over-the-top revenge dramas from the 80s.

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Dialogues

Okay, here’s the interesting part. The dialogues don’t leave much of an impact but do end up providing some unintentional comic respite. Five minutes into the film, Siddharth Malhotra says: “Main Ek maarunga, Marr jaayega. Doosra Janam lene se darr jaayega.” Post interval, we can see Raghu staring at Zoya’s (Tara Sutaria) grave. At this moment, yet another flavourless dialogue can be heard escaping Raghu’s lips: “Zoya, main badla Nahin, Inteqaam loonga” ( Badle ko Urdu mein inteqaam kehte hain. XD). There’s love, there’s melodrama (a lot of it). Not that melodrama hasn’t worked for Bollywood films in the past, but some uninspired dialogue delivery tires you out eventually.  

The film’s writers are to blame. Not much thought has been put into the writing bit.

Performances

Siddharth Malhotra looks disinterested in the film. His dialogue delivery doesn’t end up creating much of an impact. Also, why is he wearing a leather jacket? Does it get cold in Mumbai? Well, god knows. Rakul Preet Singh plays Aarzoo, a dancer. She looks bubbly and charming but was not given much to work with. Also, her dress sense reminds us of the cabaret dancers from the good old 1980s.

Tara Sutaria looks charming. Her expressions are quite believable. Also, her on-screen presence is bound to instil a sense of optimism. Unfortunately, she has been shown as a helpless young woman. A gush of blood pours out of her mouth after she is shot. Optimism and charm die a slow and painful death, alas!

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Ravi Kishan, who plays a cop, looks quite convincing. Unfortunately, he wasn’t given a meaty role. Also, South Indian actor Nassar looks impressive as an underworld don.

Riteish Deshmukh, the film’s antagonist, tries hard to look ruthless, but nobody fears a three-feet tall ball of hair. Also, a villain doesn’t talk in verse, does he? Our villain seems to be obsessed with metaphors around height. All in all, the acting part is weak. The film needed some well-defined characters.

Music

The film’s background music makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s too loud. As far as the soundtrack is concerned, “Tum Hi Aana” sung by Jubin Nautiyal will remain in your playlist for a long time. “Thodi Jagah” by Arijit Singh is easy on the ears. The rest of the songs have just been copy-pasted. Boy, music directors and lyricists need to unleash their creativity.

The verdict

Simply put, Marjaavaan is a hotchpotch of epic proportions. It is not something you’d want to watch. Well, if you wish to kill time, then give it a try. Marjaavaan is a film that could have been a full masala entertainer, but a largely predictable plot doesn’t let it rise above its limitations. 

Rating: 1.5/5

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Our Adversities Only Make Us Stronger…

“If you’re mentally unhealthy in the first place, it’ll affect your body. The first thing you need to do is to accept it, and go through the difficult part thinking it’s a part of a much bigger scheme of things.”- Gulraj Bedi

Confidence is often considered a precious commodity. It is something only a few people are born with, while the rest of us are left wishing to get a taste of it.

Confidence, in all fairness, is not a fixed attribute. It is a fickle companion. It depends significantly on the thoughts that fly through our mind and the decisions that are taken by us. It is an age-old fact that the beliefs we hold and nurture, help us in directing our actions and shaping our mindset.

I still remember the day an interviewer asked a question that caught me off-guard. Well, he asked me when do I feel the most confident.

Now, this question might appear quite straightforward, but the answer is quite tricky. Confidence is viewed differently by different people. A lot of people believe confidence is an external characteristic. They believe confidence is synonymous with appearance. However, if the entire concept of confidence is deconstructed, we’d realize that confidence can be summed up in three words, these are self-belief, security, and trust.

I must also discuss insecurities because a lot of us are surrounded by them all the time. Be it relationship or work; insecurities are bound to keep in out of nowhere. 

Then, there are social interactions. Well, social interactions aren’t my cup of tea, I must confess. I feel like no one cares to be my friend and that not even my family knows me because nobody is bothered to know me enough. But despite insecurities, I feel confident enough. And sometimes, it’s good to have insecurities about something as important as work, because those insecurities make us work harder.

I believe all of us have a unique story to tell. The degree of hardship varies. There are struggles and challenges. I’m sure there are ups and downs as well. There are things we would have liked to have done differently, things we’re proud of. All of that is a vital part of our story. Instead of getting bogged down by the struggles and hardships we are subjected to, we must learn to embrace them.

The game of cricket has taught me quite a bit about adaption. I’ve learned a lot of lessons through cricket. One such lesson I’d like to share is a lesson on adversity. In life, we aren’t given a lot of liberties or guarantees. Our stories may be different, our hardships may also be different, but there’s one common link in all those stories. All of us, at some point and in some way, are bound to face some kind of adversity. All of us have gone through adversities, and the thing that inspires us to keep on moving is the belief that we will succeed.

To keep on moving is as inspiring as it can get. That is a huge accomplishment. Because of all the adversities we face in our lives, we’re left with countless decisions to make. Should I continue? Would I lose belief in myself if I continue?

The biggest problem we face today is: we get things underway, but we find it hard to complete them. That holds true for almost all of us. Whatever we come across in life ends up shaping our mindset. Sometimes, situations and circumstances don’t really go the way we want them to go, but that is exactly where we end up learning our lessons. We just need to make sure that we end up accomplishing the tasks that have already been started. Once we have finished something (despite limitations), we will be really proud of it when we look back at it.