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Times of India
The movie takes a look at the practice of triple talaq and Halala through the story of Halim.
Of the seven Marathi films that released this week, three stand out. The National Award winning Kaasav, Gajendra Ahire's The Silence and Shivaji Lotan Patil's Halal.
For starters, halala is a practice that allows a divorced woman to remarry her husband only after she has married someone else, consummated the marriage and been divorced by the second husband.
National Award winning director Patil's film unfolds through the lives of Halim (Kagne) and Kuddus (Jadhav). Fed up with his mother's ill-treatment of Halim, Kuddus invokes triple talaq in order to save Halim from the torture. After his mother's demise, he approaches Halim's family asking their permission to take her back home. However, Halim's father Balumiya (Kadam) doesn't wish to go against the religious customs and asks for Maulana's (Mandlekar) help in the matter. Maulana saab tells him about the halala custom and a search for a new groom begins after Kuddus' approval. With no one willing to be the groom, the village elders request Maulana to marry Halim.
A good story needs good performers to hold the viewers' attention and Halal's actors do just that. Kagne, who makes a fine debut with this film, portrays the vulnerable Halim efficiently. Kuddus, who is stuck between his duty towards his mother and love for his wife, needs certain level of underplaying and Jadhav aces it. Mandlekar as the Maulana is an apt casting choice. Right from getting the diction right to conveying his emotions, Mandlekar gets the job at hand done brilliantly. It is a welcome change to see Vijay Kadam, a veteran actor, back on screen and that too in a role different from his comic ones.
Through the lead actors' story, the film calls out the patriarchal mind-set and hypocrisy of the society. Halal is a mirror to the society, irrespective of religion. You feel the angst of the characters and in that sense, the makers have scored the winning goal.