Mumbai, 12 May 2018 10:00 IST
Though the focus is supposed to be the problems that arise when Hindu boy falls in love with Muslim girl, the conflict itself gets little attention.
Hindi cinema has produced many films that have spoken on communal harmony through lovers from different religions. Like Mani Ratnam’s Bombay (1995), for instance. A similar idea was explored in Sanjay Jadhav’s Marathi drama Pyar Wali Love Story (2014), but the film did not fare well at the box office.
Now, director duo Chetan Chavada and Sagar Pathak’s Marathi film Lagna Mubarak treads the same path and makes no impact whatsoever. It is not only an immature attempt at proving that love conquers all, including religious divides, but also a poor mishmash of popular Hindi films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) with some touches of the recent Mukkabaaz (2018). By the way, a large portion of the film is in Hindi.
The story revolves around Shiv (Sidhhant Mule), a college student and die-hard admirer of the mediæval Maratha king Shivaji. He loves his friends, especially best buddy Irrfan (Sanjay Jadhav). Sara (Prarthana Behere), a Muslim who has recently moved from another city, joins the college. Shiv instantly falls for her and, later, she reciprocates. But will their faiths become thorns in their path of love?
Although the focus is supposed to be the problems that arise when Hindu boy falls in love with Muslim girl, the conflict itself gets little attention in the film. Also, the way the two lead characters fall in love undermines the audience's sensibility, for it is to assume that the two have fallen in love just because they are there in the film.
Lagna Mubarak also uses silly humour to try and make the audience laugh. For example, in a scene, a group of college students are shown searching for a girl on the street by showing a chit, that has 'a girl with long hair’ written on it, to random people. Now, how rare is it for girls to sport long hair?
There is also the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai-ish love triangle, which serves no purpose in the main plot. Shiv has a female best friend Isha (Sanskruti Balgude) who is a tomboy. As soon as Sara enters the class, Shiv falls for her, which breaks Isha’s heart. Heard of it before?
Much of the film's runtime is spent proving Shiv’s adulation of Shivaji. He lives in a house furnished like a fort. And he utters juvenile lines like, “Aamhala fakta donach goshti kaltaat. Mobile madhye 4G aani hrudaya madhye Shivaji [I understand only two things: 4G in my mobile and Shivaji in my heart].” He also has a dream in which he carries an idol of Shivaji on his shoulder while emerging from a river. Remember Prabhas’s iconic scene in Baahubali: The Beginning (2015)?
The story picks up when it nears the climax, but all you get are an unconvincing conflict and a bookish sermon on communal harmony.
Having a love story at its centre, Lagna Mubarak could have done better with at least one good romantic song. ‘Once More Laav’ is the only interesting song in the film's album.
The performance of the cast is average at best. Newcomer Siddhant Mule has good screen presence and shines in the scenes where he needs to perform gymnastics. He isn’t bad at acting either. Prarthana Behere fits the character of a young woman from a conservative Muslim family. But she does not have much scope later on in the film.
Barring in a few sequences, Sanjay Jadhav's act looks forced. Moreover, he looks too old to play a college student. The excuse that he is a repeater does not really cut it.
Astad Kale, as Sara’s evil older brother, is one-dimensional. Sanskruti Balgude is decent but, really, the film could have done without her character.
Overall, while Lagna Mubarak may have had good intentions, it fails in the execution.
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