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Mahaan (2022) – English Review

That damn alcohol!

A man who is supposed to follow in the footsteps of his father makes a grave mistake when he drinks alcohol and he loses his family. So everything he was taught is thrown out the window. He then starts to sell liquor, and he becomes king of liquors. But someone from his past is out to destroy his empire and kill his closest friends.

Mahaan is an entertaining movie that has a father and son in the leading roles. I’m not familiar with these actors, but Vikram reminded me so much of Ron Silver. I was like, hey, it’s the Indian Ron Silver. Cool! He’s the big highlight of the movie, and the two actors who play his friends are also superb. But I wasn’t that fond of his son. I’ll come back to that later.

So in this movie, we follow the protagonist from a young age when his father tries to close all shops that sell liquor. He’s a strict man, and the son is supposed to follow in his footsteps. But then he becomes a sinner when he drinks alcohol. His world is turned upside down when his family leaves him, and he becomes friends with people that love liquor. So he and his friends build up a liquor empire. But several decades later, a person from the past is out to destroy them.

So again, I must complain about the same thing when I watch an Indian movie. The runtime is still too long. This is a movie that could have been 30 minutes shorter, and I would have liked it better. I need a tight script and not a script that just drag out the runtime. This movie could have used the runtime much better than it did with fleshing out the characters more.

The story takes place over several decades. The protagonist gets a sort of stepson, and he lives like a king. But then something happens, and people close to him get killed one after the other.

The problem is that these scenes try to be emotional, especially one scene tries so hard. But in my eyes, some of these scenes fail when I never felt I got close enough to some of the characters and what they meant to each other. I felt the dramaturgy was a little weak, and it lacked some character depth. I didn’t buy the relationship between the protagonist and his stepson, Rocky. I didn’t buy that they meant so much to each other as the movie tells us. There are not many scenes they have to convince us of that. So that’s a fail. And Rocky is an important character, so the movie misses the target when something emotionally happens. That scene is one of the most important scenes in the whole movie. And it just succeeds 50% with what it’s trying to do since the movie never built up the relationship between the protagonist and Rocky the way it should have.

And then we have the big problem, and that’s Dhruv Vikram. I guess it was a big deal in India that Vikram and his son acted in the same movie. I don’t know if they have acted together in some other movies before this one.

But Vikram is so much better than his son, and I felt a little embarrassed on Vikram’s behalf when his son overreacts too much in most of the scenes he’s in. He’s pretty bad in this movie with his overacting and forced energy, and I hated him as an actor and his character.

I wish that someone else could have played this character. The conflict between father and son is interesting and pretty clever if they had used another actor and rewritten the script for this character. I didn’t feel the character belonged here. He belongs in another movie. It was like watching Jim Carrey as the maniac in The Cable Guy, and sometimes it felt like he was trying to copy Denzel Washington in his role in Training Day. Well son, you are no Denzel Washington!

Mahaan is, for the most part, a well-acted movie with an interesting story. But it’s not a perfect crime movie. It’s a long movie, but I felt it missed with some of the dramaturgy and the most emotional scenes since I didn’t feel we experienced enough with the characters that meant so much to each other. I wasn’t completely sold on that part.

Rating: 7/10

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