As the reels of “MALAMAAL WEEKLY” start turning, anticipation builds for an uproarious journey filled with comedic situations and amusing sequences that will put a smile on your face. Capturing laughter on screen can be challenging – making it even harder is gathering an ensemble cast with stellar comedic timing, which is sure to tickle your funny bone and leave you smiling from laughter-inducing comedy scenes.
While “MALAMAAL WEEKLY” features excellent casting, Priyadarshan’s screenplay sadly disappoints this time around. While his previous films defied logic while providing endless entertainment, “MALAMAAL WEEKLY” suffers from too many subplots running alongside the main story that doesn’t live up to his previous efforts as an accomplished director.
Overall, “MALAMAAL WEEKLY” doesn’t reach the heights of great cinema or fall far short; rather, it serves up a strictly average experience, with glimpses of Priyadarshan’s signature flair appearing occasionally and intermittently.
“MALAMAAL WEEKLY” is genereally about a chance of having the winning lottery ticket, nut there is more to it than that. The movie explores the difficulties experienced by resilient villagers living in a small village, particularly those dealing with poverty, disappointing crop yields, and an aggressive moneylender named Karamkali [portrayed by Sudha Chandran]. As these hardworking individuals struggle against hardship to make ends meet.
Lilaram [Paresh Rawal], a resident of this town, makes a modest living selling lottery tickets for the Malamaal Weekly draw. One fateful day while watching television at a local tea stall, he hears astonishing news: one of his tickets had won an extraordinary Rs 1 crore bumper prize!
Lilaram discovers in his village of limited television access and widespread illiteracy that he holds an invaluable secret: among the 105 lottery tickets sold by him lies one that may contain the coveted winner ticket for which he sold them all; Lilaram knows there must be at least one winner, so devises an innovative plan to locate this prized asset.
Lilaram decides to organize a grand celebration for his struggling townsfolk. Though saddled with debts, he organizes this extravaganza by offering up his most prized possession–his family goat, treated like family by Lilaram’s wife.
Lilaram’s party is exclusive to its 105 valued customers, and an invitation requires them to bring lottery tickets as invites to attend. Unfortunately, all but one — Anthony (enacted by Malayalam actor Innocent), known for his fondness of alcohol — attend graciously; Lilaram decides that in order to include all members equally, they embark on an ambitious plan to visit Anthony personally and bring him along as well.
Lilaram arrives at Anthony’s residence to find him unceremoniously lying lifeless before the television screen, his lottery ticket clutched tightly in his hand and seemingly dead. Lilaram becomes distraught at this harrowing sight which becomes clear upon further examination: Anthony had tragically passed away while learning of his incredible win after hearing about it on television.
What follows next is an extraordinary series of events, full of unexpected turns and twists that take everyone on an exhilarating roller coaster ride.
Priyadarshan takes inspiration from R.K. Laxman’s classic, “MALGUDI DAYS,” to craft “MALAMAAL WEEKLY.” While its foundation captivates and its narrative unfurls quickly, an issue arises due to Priyadarshan interweaving multiple storylines with his central narrative; as a result, “MALAMAAL WEEKLY” becomes overlong compared with what would have occurred had he focused solely on one. Had Priyadarshan focused his efforts, this film would have turned out very differently!
Priyadarshan, known for his story and screenplay contributions, treads familiar territory once more by abandoning logic, encouraging viewers to put aside their intellect while watching his film and simply enjoy. While several scenes carry Priyadarshan’s signature style, excitement quickly wears off due to unnecessary storylines causing disruptions and the film’s lengthy running time.
As director of MALAMAAL WEEKLY, Priyadarshan falls short of realizing his full potential. Erratic writing takes its toll, creating the impression that MALAMAAL WEEKLY bears striking similarities to HERA PHERI and other classic films from Priyadarshan’s portfolio – suggesting an overall decrease in quality over time.
Music remains limited in this film, featuring only one song featuring Raakhi Sawant that could best be described as passable. Cinematography by Sameer Arya adheres to standard conventions; however, dialogues shine as the focal point; certain one-liners possess enough impactful lines that could leave an everlasting impression. On the downside, editing could use some tightening up; approximately 15-20 minutes could have been cut from its run time.
Like Priyadarshan before him, Paresh Rawal gains an important and impactful role in MALAMAAL WEEKLY. His performance will certainly spark conversations for days to come and show off his incredible talent. Om Puri effortlessly charms audiences while Ritesh stands out despite limited chances in engaging sequences; unfortunately, Reema Sen receives only limited room to demonstrate her abilities.
Asrani excels with an extraordinary performance following Paresh and Om, and it’s truly delightful to witness him at his finest. Rajpal Yadav displays his efficiency, while Sudha Chandran brings her role to life with conviction. Unfortunately, Shakti Kapoor only gets limited opportunities to shine; Rasika Joshi gives an outstanding portrayal, while Malayalam actor Innocent portrays her role aptly, while Arbaaz Khan leaves an unforgettable mark through his presence.
Overall, MALAMAAL WEEKLY falls into the realm of ordinary fare. While its moments do leave an impactful impression, they don’t suffice to warrant multiple viewings or repeat viewings. Box office results should range from decent Mumbai performance and certain multiplexes across metros to subpar numbers in other regions.