Is 'Malamaal Weekly' Bollywood's lottery ticket?

Mar 12, 2006 Priyanka Khanna

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Will a laugh riot set in a remote rural Indian village - "Malamaal Weekly" - salvage the Hindi film industry's first quarter business report?

As the third month of 2006 draws to a close, the film industry has only one runaway success -"Rang De Basanti"- and a moderately successful "Taxi No. 9211" to boast of.

Though the predicament is better than the period same time last year, the number of flops piling up makes it a low strike rate. All hopes are, therefore, pinned on Priyadarshan's just-released "Malamaal Weekly".

The Sahara One Motion Pictures production features critically acclaimed actors Om Puri and Paresh Rawal in the main roles. The film also stars the talented Rajpal Yadav and upcoming actors Riteish Deshmukh and Reema Sen.

The comic caper has garnered rave reviews from film critics. It is believed to appeal to both the multiplex cine-goers as well as the small-town audiences.

The film is also being viewed as a mass entertainer despite the absence of any stars. Its success would signal the arrival of unconventional-looking, talented actors who usually languish entire lifetimes as "character actors".

But actors like Paresh and Rajpal have emerged as crowd-pullers, inducing filmmakers to think of films built around them.

Of course, talented actors have always held their own on celluloid - Motilal, Balraj Sahni, Sanjeev Kumar, Naseeruddin Shah, Amrish Puri, Nana Patekar and Anupam Kher. Few, however, held complete sway.

The recent crowd-pulling ability of some actors has changed the scenario for the better. It has brought a new kind of respectability, stardom even, to the character actor.

Thus we have Nana occupying as much screen space as hot-and-happening star John Abraham in "Taxi No. 9211". Though initially slotted in insipid roles, Paresh's performance alone got him noticed.

Even as the fate of "Malamaal Weekly" hangs in the balance, Paresh, Om and Rajpal enjoy top billing in the movie's credits.

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Malamaal Weekly


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