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Malaal trailer: This Bhansali film is a love story set against the Marathi-UP divide

Malaal is the launch pad for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s niece Sharmin Segal and Jaaved Jaaferi’s son Meezaan.

Keyur Seta

Love stories about people from different backgrounds have been explored a lot in Hindi cinema over the decades. The primary difference between the lovers, whether religion, region, language, caste or class, plays the main villain in such stories.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s production Malaal is probably the first love story in mainstream Hindi cinema that looks at the divide between Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, two of India's largest states, that has emerged over the past decade or so because of politics in the former.

Devashish Makhija's yet-to-be-released Bhonsle, starring Manoj Bajpayee and Santosh Juvekar, also looks at this issue, but that film isn’t a love story.

Malaal is the launch pad for Bhansali’s niece Sharmin Segal and Jaaved Jaaferi’s son Meezaan.

Going by the film's trailer, which has just been released, the film is about Shiva More (Meezaan) and Aastha Tripathi (Segal) who stay in the same chawl in Mumbai. No prizes for guessing that Shiva More is a local Marathi-speaking guy while Aastha Tripathi hails from Uttar Pradesh.

Shiva bears a grudge against migrants and this becomes a reason for his tussle with Aastha. But slowly they start liking each other and eventually fall in love. However, the regional difference refuses to fade away, straining their relationship.

The trailer gives the hint of a political angle through the character of Sameer Dharmadhikari who plays a politician adept at playing the Marathi card.

Though the Marathi versus UP backdrop of the film is novel, Malaal still feels repetitive because, at the end of the day, it is just another love story involving two people from different backgrounds. And even the colourful Bhansali frames cannot mask this.

Meezaan and Segal make for a good pair, but we will know for sure about their acting chops only when the film comes out.

Malaal is directed by Mangesh Hadawale, best known for the Marathi film Tingya (2008). Last year, Hadawale had made a short film on the life of prime minister Narendra Modi titled Chalo Jeete Hain (2018).

Malaal will be released on 28 June. Watch the trailer below and let us know if you are keen to watch this film.

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