Malang is a Mohit Suri joint through and through. It has a young and cute couple who are in love with the idea of being in love, the escape from social strictures and reality in the form of travel (Goa is the destination this time), trouble in paradise caused by malevolent elements, a bunch of great tunes, and the deep shallowness that is a hallmark of Suri’s star-crossed romances.

In the present, Advait (Aditya Roy Kapur) is on a killing spree, and his targets are members of the Goa police. As this mass of abs and determination kills his victims with ease, renegade police officer Agashe (Anil Kapoor) and his more upright colleague Michael (Kunal Kemmu) struggle to decipher Advait’s motives.

Flashbacks reveal the source of Advait’s righteous rage. Sara (Disha Patani) meets Advait, a dopehead from a dysfunctional family, at a rave in Goa. These free-floating lovelies, who are unencumbered by family attachments and blessed with unlimited tranches of pocket money, deepen their bond in between sharing spliffs and skydiving. The winsome montages and increasingly plaintive song lyrics suggest that it won’t last, and it doesn’t.

Malang (2020).

In this movie’s scheme of things, revenge is both cool and cold. Despite a scanty plot that flirts with logic before jettisoning it altogether, Malang is an altogether cleaner and smoother affair than anything Suri has made so far.

The 134-minute movie benefits vastly from clever casting, Vikas Sivaraman’s slick and attractive cinematography, and a distanced approach to wrenching matters of the heart. It’s hard to feel anything at all for the travails of Advait and Sara, but it’s equally challenging to ignore their individual and collective beauty. We are invited to gaze upon their gorgeous bodies ever so often, and both Roy Kapur, who has acquired a newly ripped chest, and Patani, who shows off her perfect form ever so often, are up for the challenge.

Their chemistry, both chemically-induced and otherwise, is evident, and Suri wisely doesn’t call on either of them to do anything weightier than lolling on the beach or riding through the Goan countryside.

The heavy lifting is undertaken by Anil Kapoor, as a drug-snorting police officer whose personal anthem is the club number Aaj Ki Raat Koi Aane Ko Hai, and Kunal Kemmu as a stuffed shirt with a few secrets up his starched sleeve. Kapoor has done this kind of thing many times before, but even in repeat mode, he has great fun. Kemmu, who is most relaxed when he isn’t asked to headline a production, is equally deft at providing a clinical foil to the flamboyant Agashe.

The plotting is airtight, even though there’s little at the core. A lot and not much happens over 134 minutes, and the songs, which are skillfully woven into the narrative, articulate the madness that is often missing from the Advait-Sara romance.

Phir Na Milen Kabhi, Malang (2020).