Malaal (transl. Regret) is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language romantic drama film written and directed by Mangesh Hadawale in his Hindi directorial debut and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhushan Kumar, Mahaveer Jain and Krishan Kumar. A remake of the 2004 Tamil film 7G Rainbow Colony by writer-director Selvaraghavan, it follows a contemporary love story between Astha Tripathi and Shiva More, played by debutants Sharmin Segal and Meezaan Jaffrey, who are from contrasting backgrounds and live in a Mumbai chawl.
The background music of Malaal was influenced by local Marathi music. It was theatrically released in India on 5 July 2019.
Shiva More is an unemployed Marathi youth who is unable to get a job and is a final year B.A. student living in a chawl in Mumbai. During a local cricket match, Sawant, the Marathi fanatic politician in town, notices Shiva and recruits him into his party, so he and his friends are given the task of prohibiting migration from North India in order to protect Maharashtrian interests. Some days later, Astha Tripathi, a young woman who has relocated from her palatial bungalow to the chawl with her family, comprising her mother Rajni, father Umashankar and brother Deepu. Umashankar lost a lot of money in faulty investments and hence the families fortunes fell. Shiva and his friends have constant altercations with Astha and her family in the initial days, but one night when Astha confronts him alone and advises him to prove his worth, Shiva responds with a subtle agreement to her words, and they start talking to each other. Even as she is set to marry her childhood friend Aditya, who hates him, Astha is drawn to Shiva and befriends him after Shiva fights off some goons in Aditya’s employ. All this while, Shiva has constantly been earning the ire of his parents, who want him to do something. Astha begins tutoring Shiva’s sister, and the radically opposite duo get attracted to each other, more so during the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.
Shiva falls head over heels in love with Astha and tries confessing his feelings to her quite a few times. He gets roughed up by the public when he is mistakenly accused of trying to molest her, when the bus they were traveling on suddenly brakes and he is hurled towards her. Astha’s stance towards Shiva softens when she observes his restraint and realizes his intentions were honest. Later on, Shiva leaves Sawant’s side and Astha relents and spends an entire day with him. He takes her to the Siddhivinayak Temple when Rajni and Umashankar are out of town, but the two return earlier, only to find Astha with Shiva. Angered, they try to separate Shiva from Astha, but he remains firm in his decision to wait for Astha, who promises to him that she will try talking to her parents if he tops his exams. However, on the day of the exam, he is framed for cheating, and ends up unwittingly slapping the invigilator trying to prove his innocence. The action gets him arrested and his father and Astha bail him out. As Astha’s parents force Astha to go out on a dinner date with Aditya on the same night this happens, Shiva feels disheartened seeing them together. However, Astha confesses to her diary that she loves Shiva the way he is and has a lot of expectations from him. She confronts Shiva, the next evening as he is drinking with his buddy and advises him to move on from the unfortunate episode in the exam hall. She then introduces him to a successful stock broker who agrees to employ Shiva in his firm. Initially Shiva is reluctant because he has to work his way up from the bottom but Astha persuades him and when the stock broker informs him of Astha’s concern for him, he accepts. He quickly gets his way through, and settles well in his job, reconciling with his parents after giving them his first pay cheque.
Astha expects Shiva to open his bank account, but when he finds out that she is now engaged to Aditya, Shiva storms out in anger, while Astha moves out of the chawl. Several days later, he is able to track down Astha to her house, and convinces her. When they next meet, Astha takes Shiva to her friend’s house, where they end up making love, and Astha tells him about her impending marriage, to which Shiva reacts by breaking down and promising to her that he will always be there for her, and she could have prevented all this fiasco in the first place.
While they are walking away, Astha realizes she forgot the keys to her friend’s house, and starts walking back as she tells Shiva to wait, when she is suddenly hit by a truck. He tries to save her, but is hit by a car. News reaches both families, and Shiva survives, but upon recovery, he is shocked beyond words to find Astha dead, and his guilt of not having to spend the last moments peacefully with her gets the better of him and makes him mentally unstable. Meanwhile, Rajni visits Shiva’s house and leaves him Astha’s diary, in which she wrote about the love she had for him. Emotionally shattered, Shiva closes the diary, and the scene shifts to present day, where he has just finished reading the diary again, having become a successful trader, and imagines Astha standing by his side, even as he imagines talking to her, being mentally unstable till date.
Meezaan Jaffery as Shiva More
Sharmin Segal as Astha Tripathi
Sameer Dharmadhikari as Sawant
Sonal Jha as Rajni Tripathi, Astha’s mother
Ishwak Singh as Aditya, Astha’s childhood friend
Sanjay Gurbaxani as Umashankar Tripathi, Astha’s father
Anil Gawas as Prabhakar More, Shiva’s father
Chinmayee Surve as Vijaya More, Shiva’s mother
Badri Chavan as Nandu, Shiva’s best friend
Chetan Chitnis as Babban, Shiva’s crony
Sunil Tawde as Mr. Bhonsle, Astha’s landlord