Malang unleashes the madness of love-struck festival-chasers
Malang, which translates to vagrant, follows the story of two emotionally wounded people who find love, friendship and a kind of healing in Goa’s festival scene. Then everything goes horribly wrong.
Synopsis: Advait visits Goa where he meets Sara, a free-spirited girl who lives life unshackled. Opposites attract and all goes well until life turns upside down. Years later, Advait is on a killing spree with cops Aghase and Michael in his way.
Malang begins like an action thriller – you’ve got the bad boy inmate engaging in a series of 1v1 fights, dispatching his opponents left, right and centre like ragdolls until he reaches and defeats the final boss. You’ve got a drugged up cop juxtaposed against a well-to-do cop who’s home life seems to be falling apart… then you skip directly to 20-something existential angst like your younger sister switched the channel to her favourite CW show right before your action movie finale.
Watch the Malang trailer
If you’ve got a bit of whiplash from the trailer, don’t worry – so did I. Going into this movie, I expected a melodramatic story about love and revenge, which is what Netflix had promised. I did not expect my emotions to be toyed with like a yo-yo in the hands of an easily distracted toddler, but that’s what I got.
Malang is, in a word: wild.
Malang makes you miss dancing
Before watching this movie I had a vague interest in going to Goa at some point, in much the same vein that I have a vague hope of ever seeing the outside world again. Friends, that has changed. Malang makes Goa look and sound lit AF. With a colour palette that reminds me of my own greatest festival hits, and soundtrack that alternates between foot-pounding pulses of bass and romantic vocals over smooth synth, this movie brings the party into your living room.
You’d think that, this being Bollywood, there’s an organised dance sequence – there isn’t. It’s just a lot of people having a lot of fun. Plus the drugs, of course, and that’s a major plot point.
When the main characters are up, you’re up. When they’re down, you’re right there with them. There’s trigger warnings for substance abuse and depiction of overdose.
While I’ve got to say that the plot was on the tamer side for a Bollywood production, this movie delivers an engaging tale of love, vengeance and death with the charisma, twists and beautiful cinematography that only Bollywood can provide. Highly entertaining and only slightly unbelievable, this is a strangely feel-good movie that’s perfect for a lockdown watch party with your favourite festival buddies (if you talk to them outside of festival-hopping, that is).
Mood Rating: There’s so much beauty, hair, and great music in this movie that it’ll make you start planning a post-lockdown trip to Goa. I support you fully and may even see you there!