A Box Office Lottery-Inspired Hit!
When it comes to overall box office successes in India, there’s no doubt that the Malaamal Weekly film performed exceptionally well, generating an income of over ₹42.7 crores worldwide, despite having a budget of just ₹7 crores. That’s nearly a seven-time markup and undeniably makes the film an excellent success!
And, while the film was met with criticism on an international scale, there’s no doubt that the acting talents of the main cast, including Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, and Rajpal Yadav, brought the film to life for audiences around the world. Indeed, while the film was intended to be a remake of the film Waking Ned from 1998, it’s clearly a unique tale with engaging characters and a storyline that we all dream of finding ourselves living from time to time.
The plot of the Malamaal Weekly film was based on a remake of the Irish Waking Ned film from 1998, but with an Indian plot and cast of characters, expertly played by individuals such as Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, and Rajpal Yadav. And, while the Malamaal Weekly film wasn’t able to gross quite the same success as the English film it was based on originally, there’s no doubt that the film was incredibly popular with the Indian audiences it was marketed to originally.
The plot of the story follows the antics of Lilaram, played by Paresh Rawal, who was the only educated individual in the village of Laholi. He served as an intermediary between the organizers of the Malaamal Weekly lottery (undeniably based on the real-life Malamaal Daily Lottery, although this is run daily rather than weekly basis).
At the start of the film, Lilarim discovers that one of the village residents had won the entire value of the lottery. However, his scheme to obtain the winning ticket commenced, with his antics resulting in him mortgaging his wife’s beloved pet goat Gattu and inviting all of the villagers to a meal – only to discover that he’s still missing the person he was looking for!
And so, upon determining who the real winner had been, so begins his quest to claim the lottery winnings for himself – a goal which ends up being a lot more complicated when the lottery inspector arrives at the village and once the village residents themselves discover the truth of the winning lottery ticket.
Waking Ned vs. Malaamal Weekly
In the original Waking Ned film, we saw the main characters scheming to uncover who from their village had won the Irish National Lottery (and, in a twist, the winner had died from shock in his chair, leading to a scrabble to arrange who among the village residents would take on his winnings).
Though not a direct remake, the Malamaal Weekly film follows a very similar plot. However, the film is instead based in Laholi village, where the impoverished residents have been forced to sell their lifelong belongings to the local Thakurani Karamkali, who the ever-talented Sudha Chandran plays.
The story follows a similar plotline to the original but takes a few unique twists and turns throughout to make it more relatable to an Indian audience. Altogether, it’s clear to see why the film achieved such excellent reception from viewers, even if the critics for the film were generally less praising the similar plotline and at times poor writing choices.
The film featured numerous big names, who undeniably gave the film its charm. With common criticisms of the film revolving around its long run-time and drawn-out sentences, the actors’ talents undeniably contributed to ensuring that the film was still successful with its audience.
Some of the biggest names in the film include Paresh Rawal, Riteish, Reema Sen, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, and Asrani, all of whom contributed their own unique energy and flair to the film – something the script itself definitely needed to be successful. Meanwhile, the film also featured its own soundtrack, with songs including Hansani O Meri Hansani (and its remix), as well as Kismat Se Chalti Hai, Sar Sar Sar Sarti Hava, and Sun Mere Mitwa.
Responses to the film were very mixed, with many reviewers taking an incredibly negative stance for the film’s slow pacing and writing choices. Perhaps the most optimistic and praising review came from reviewers at the Hindustan Times, who only gave the film two and three stars but who pointed out that it was “funny but not too stylish.” Overall, this seems a pretty fair critique of the film.
Nevertheless, while the film isn’t necessarily a masterpiece, the excellent acting, fun storyline, and engaging Bollywood music make it an easy-to-watch (if somewhat slow) piece overall. Plus, in retrospect, IMDb gave the film a solid 7.0/10 stars – not a bad response overall.
Although met with critique from critics at the time of its release, there is no doubt that the Malamaal Weekly film struck a chord with viewers and was met with great success at the Indian box office, making it one of the most profitable films of the year. Meanwhile, actors such as Paresh Rawal have gone on to