‘Malhar’ : An Enriching Story that Will Warm Your Heart

By Dhaval Roy

Review: Director Vishal Kumbhar skilfully blends three stories—heartwarming tales of friendship, poignant struggles, and even touches of tragedy, ensuring each emotion resonates in perfect harmony, withoutone overpowering the other.

The film starts strong, venturing into a scene at a burial ground before effortlessly shifting to a delightful adventure of two young boys, Javed (Vinayak Potdar) and Bhairav (Shrinivas Pokale). Their quest to fix Bhairav’s damaged hearing aid becomes the heart of the narrative, organically weaving in tales of forbidden love and societal pressures faced by a young woman. The young boys delightfully mistake a Bluetooth device to be the machine they need) and save Rs 1,500 for the new piece without letting the elders know.


Their story is connected with two others. Javed’s sister, Jasmine (Akshata Acharya), navigates a blossoming romance with Jatin (Mohammad Samad), while Kesar (Anjali Patil) grapples with the weight of societal expectations as the infertile daughter-in-law of the village sarpanch. Writer-director Kumbhar and co-writer Apurva Patil explore themes of selfless friendship, love, marriage, and the struggles of a minority community, all with a subtle touch that avoids melodrama

Cinematographer Ganesh Kamble captures the essence of Kutch – its majestic yet humble beauty, bursting with color. The melodious music by T Satish and Sarang Kulkarni further elevates the experience, while heartrending dialogues penned by Siddharth Salvi and Swapnil Sitaram, particularly a letter written by Jasmine for Jatin, leave a lasting impression.

The cast delivers exceptional performances. Child actors Shrinivas Pokale and Vinayak Potdar possess an undeniable real-life best friend chemistry. Their portrayal of childish innocence, mischief, and unwavering loyalty is heartwarming. Shaarib Haashmi shines as the boisterous vendor and self-proclaimed tour guide Mohan, with his broken English providing comic relief. Anjali Patil and Akshata Acharya are captivating, while Rishi Saxena delivers a powerful performance as Kesar’s husband Laxman, despite limited screen time. Each actor breathes life into their characters,making the film a compelling watch.

While the film excels at balancing heartwarming moments with poignant realities, the pacing falters slightly in the second half. However, this is a minor blip in an otherwise enriching journey that deserves to be experienced on the big screen. — ToI