The film depicts the real life story of Laxmi Agarwal, who was brutally attacked by a man while in her teens who threw acid on her when she refused to marry him. From being a helpless victim, she turned into a gritty survivor over the years and later became a crusader for the upliftment of acid attack victims. In this film, it is Deeika Padukone who plays Malti which is reportedly based on Laxmi's life. The film ends on a positive note where Malti finds true love in Vikrant Massey (he runs an NGO for acid victims) who accepts her in spite of her misery.
The entire credit for the making of this film should go to Deepika Padukone. The actress hasn't just essayed the lead role, she is one of the producers of the film as well. Deepika Padukone's beauty is legendary and it's a bold move indeed for her to begin her innings as a producer with a film where her face is disfigured almost throughout the film and it may come as a pleasant surprise to all her fans. The film also shows that regeneration surgery is both time and money consuming. Malti thankfully gets a wealthy benefactor but not everyone is so lucky. The film bats for stricter punishment for the culprits. It also points out that it's dead easy to buy acid in our country and steps should be undertaken to ensure acid isn't readily available over the counter. Also, the judiciary takes its own time reaching a conclusion. It's a long, hard fight in most cases and not only the girls get demotivated by this lethargic pace, but they also lack the financial wherewithal to keep fighting the case over huge periods of time. The film urges that such cases should be fast-tracked, with minimum harassment meted to the aggrieved party by the judiciary and the police.
Director Meghna Gulzar has sensitively handled the film which is slow at places and also depressing at times. But it is narrated in the festival style and the film will surely go the festivals. Although the screenplay is weak, dull, feeble and incoherent, the presence of Deepika Padukone in almost all the scenes makes it an interesting watch. Such bold films can make the audience uncomfortable and this is where the film faces the biggest challenge of impressing the viewers. Credit must be given to Clover Woton who has handled the makeup and prosthetics of Deepika Padukone to look like a real acid victim. Performancewise, Deepika Padukone has risked by playing a deglamorous role which she has done brilliantly. Vikrant Massey does a restrained job as Malti's lover boy. As the lawyer, Madhurjeet Sarghi who fights Malti's case makes her presence felt. The rest are okay. Musically, the songs are very meaningful as the lyrics are written by Gulzar. Camerawork (Malay Prakash) is good. Editing (Nitin B.) is proper but could have been better. Production values are very low but technically perfect. The publicity was excellent.
The film deserves to be tax-exempted ( already Tax free in Madhya Pradesh) and it is pitted directly opposite two star-studded films and hence the theatrical business may be on the lower side. The sales from the satellite, TV and digital will be a whopping amount and this will cover the cost of the film.
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Music: Shankar Ehsan Loy
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