The Cast and Crew
Paresh Rawal, Naseeruddin Shah, Neha Dhupia, Boman Irani, Om Puri, Tara Sharma , Vivek Shauq
Dialogue & Screenplay : Uttam Gada
Direction: Shivam Nair
Producer : Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd
Maharathi is the cinematic adaptation of Uttam Gada’s Gujarati play, which had over 700 successful stage performances in the last twenty years.
It is thriller which brings out into the open the unholy alliances people enter into to lay their hands on a lump of money.
Adenwalla (Naseeruddin Shah), a film director, has fallen on bad times and takes to drinking. His young starlet wife Mallika (Neha Dhupia) nags him no end and ill treats him at every opportunity. One night Adenwalla gets into a dangerous situation and saved by Subhash (Paresh Rawal) an aspiring actor and petty thief.
A grateful Adenwalla appoints Subhash as his chauffeur. Mallika hates her husband more for keeping Subhash with him. She has been planning for the early death of her husband to grab Rs 24 crore as insurance money.
A dejected Adenwalla commits suicide. Mallika and Subhash collaborate with family lawyer Merchant (Boman Irani) and caretaker (Tara Sharma) to put up a charade that Adenwalla is terminally ill and bed-ridden. The idea is to prove that Adenwalla died a natural death. Only then the insurance money can be gotten.
They get shocked when ACP Gokhale (Om Puri) and Inspector Borkar (Vivek Shauq) enter the scene. From then on, with many twists and turns, the narration reaches an unexpected climax.
Paresh Rawal and Naseeruddin Shah have given sterling performances as expected of them. Boman Irani and Om Puri essay their roles with diligence and dignity. Surprisingly, Neha Dhupia gives a memorable performance. Tara Sharma and Vivek Shauq are quite adequate in their roles.
Shivam Nair’s heming of the film is very good, but then he has been handicapped by a theatric stage play instead of an effective screenplay.
The screenplay of the film should have been written by any of the present professionals instead of Uttam Gada, who wrote the original stage play. Screen adaptation of a stage play takes some cinematic liberties to make the narration more gripping and viewing more interesting.
The cinematography and audiography are very good.
Maharathi is eminently watchable just for the brilliant performances and excellent presentation in spite of the avoidable lapses in the screenplay.
2.75 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar