Marjaavaan movie reviews: Sidharth Malhotra, Tara Sutaria’s film is unbearable, say critics
Sidharth Malhotra, Tara Sutaria and Riteish Deshmukh fail to impress critics in their new film, Marjaavaan. Here's why you should say yes to Marjaavaan at your own peril.
Marjaavaan – which was released on Friday, along with Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Motichoor Chaknachoor – is flawed in many ways, according to the film's critic reviews. The Milap Zaveri-directed action-drama sees Sidharth Malhotra as Raghu – a hero who can fend off a dozen men on his own and leap off multi-storied buildings with ease. He is a loyal hitman of Narayan Anna, played by Nasser, who runs a water mafia and a prostitution ring in Mumbai. His father's dependence on Raghu doesn't sit well with the dreaded gangster's son, Vishnu – a three-foot villain with 'daddy issues' – played by Riteish Deshmukh. So when Raghu falls for Zoya (Tara Sutaria) – a heroine with little to do but smile and cry, when the occasion calls for it – Vishnu jumps at the opportunity to use it to discredit his father's favourite goon.
Supposedly trying to woo single-screen Ajay Devgn/Akshay Kumar/Salman Khan audiences from back in the day with an 80s-inspired revenge drama – where an angry young hero fights a bully – Marjaavaan is pointless, inane and unbearable and therefore eminently avoidable, according to critics. Adding insult to injury are the dramatic dialogues, like, "Main maroonga marr jaayega, dobara janam lene se darr jaayega” (I will beat you up so hard that you will flinch, while thinking of being reborn). There is even a mention of dhai kilo ka dimaag as the most potent weapon anyone can possess: At some point in the film, Sidharth Malhotra’s Raghu, a bandana-sporting ruffian with fists powerful enough to crack open everything from a helmet to a head, thunders, "Pata hai dhai kilo ke haath se zyada taaqatwar kya hai? Dedh kilo ka dimaag" (Do you know what is more strong than heavy muscles? A heavy brain).
Here's what the Marjaavaan critic reviews have said about the film:
Priyanka Roy in The Telegraph: "Marjaavaan is a couple of unintelligible scenes stitched together into a film. The hero’s blazing entry quickly gives way to the heroine, smiling beatifically, walking into the frame. The next shot has someone breaking into an item number, which quickly cuts to an overdramatic mother carting the body of her young son to the grave. The villain comes in snarling, yet another song plays out, a cop is introduced, a fight takes place, someone delivers an illegible dialogue to an over-heightened background score. And then the same things play out over and over on a loop. Every fight scene is guaranteed to make your eyes bleed, and not just with the amount of blood spilled. Raghu, eyes blazing and biceps bulging, cracks windshields with his palm, and when he lands a punch on someone, the man’s body first shivers, then contorts and finally flies off, never to land back on earth. This is the kind of film that has goons sporting flowerpot hairdos and thick gold chains resembling dog collars, brandishing swords in the middle of bustling Mumbai. Some of them have only been given screen time to land belly first on strategically placed tomato and egg carts."
Jyoti Sharma Bawa in Hindustan Times: "Director Milan Milap Zaveri (Mastizaade, Satyameva Jayate) takes the template and manages to make it worse with Marjaavaan. Maybe, just maybe, the older films were a product of their times, when we ostensibly didn’t know any better; back when a post-MeToo world was not even a dream and creativity was dying a slow death on the front benches of paan-stained theatres. Why, oh why, bring it back for an airing in 2019? There is a scene in Marjaavaan in which bids are called for a teenage girl’s virginity. The last time I saw a scene so cringe-inducing, video cassettes were still in vogue... The dialogues are perhaps the only ‘original’ aspect of the film; while everything else -- from the screenplay to the songs, are a retread. Riteish as the dwarf don seems to be in on the joke. While Sidharth is earnest even with ketchup-y blood covering most of his face, and Tara refusing to ham it up, Riteish is the only one who seems to know the sort of schlock he is a part of. And after the over 2-hour long viewing, so do we."
Namrata Joshi in The Hindu: "Marjaavaan is an oddly structured film. From the beginning till the interval there is a 'movement' which makes the first half a complete film in itself. In fact, that’s where director Milap Zaveri should have shouted 'cut' and wrapped it up. The second half is utterly pointless, inane and unbearable and therefore eminently avoidable. Not that it makes the first half seem like Citizen Kane in comparison. Far from it. A deliberate throwback to the 80s masala genre, the film is eventually nothing more than a random stringing together of scattered scenes. Verbal confrontations alternate with elaborately staged fight sequences. Every conversation is bombastic, the wordplay irritating with characters throwing dialogues at each other. Sample: "Todunga bhi aur tod phod ke jodunga bhi", "Maarunga kanpati pe, dard hoga Ganpati pe". Rain and slow-motion shots are used to give the impression of slickness to the action scenes, where actually there is none."
Saibal Chatterjee in NDTV: "In Marjaavaan, which is anything but a film to die for, writer-director Milap Milan Zaveri whips up a stale masala concoction that transports the audience right back to a Bollywood era gone by. The turgid thriller is set in the Mumbai underworld, a fact that is grandly announced via a voiceover at the very outset, but neither the situations nor the locales in which the predictable action unfolds look remotely real. While the film seeks to draw sustenance from its high body count amid unbridled bravado and bloodshed, none of the key characters in the distended plot is in danger of being caught dead doing or saying anything that could be deemed to be believable. The film is so overblown that even when the men engaged in fierce battle let off steam through the means of putrid punchlines, they only sound like pipsqueaks trying to pump up the volume amid all the rain and thunder that accompanies the big action set pieces."