Cast:Naseeruddin Shah, Paresh Rawal, Deepest Freezer
You absolutely adore Naseeruddin Shah. You madly admire Paresh Rawal. At times, you’re amazed by Boman Irani. You don’t know what to make of Om Puri nowadays. You can (mostly) depend on Neha Dhupia to do the steamy femme fatale act. And you don’t have any reservoir of feelings – pro or anti – for Tara Sharma. See
Having confessed that, you don’t know what to make of any one of them in the Shivam Nair-directed Maharathi, adapted from a Gujarati play that was a hit. Yahoo? Frankly, the theatrical film set in a drab studio bungalow, lullabies you into deep sleep. For some reason, everyone runs around a deep freezer while you wish you could run for a hot, wake-up shower to the nearest geyser.
Obviously adapted from Peter Shaffer’s play Sleuth (filmed with Laurence Olivier-Michael Caine),Nair’s version shows Mr Shah as a producer of Sanam Bewafa type of movies, now fallen on lean days (drinking Scotch, driving fancy cars, wearing tuxedoes…and LEAN?). He’s saved by a struggler (ATM chor actually) and hired as a chauffeur. And then Tuxedo Producer shoots himself in the head so that you can see him from a top shot, lying in ketchup on a rather expensive carpet. It was on hire you hope. Nope?
Ensues a scam about grabbing an insurance claim of Rs 24 crores (not 25, please note). Trouble: practically everyone is frozen, asphyxiated or shot between the eyes. Dear Miss Sharma even sleepwalks (in an imitation of the audience). What this adaptation is striving to state or how it’s entertaining you remains an Agatha Christie-like mystery.
So you do adore and admire Naseeruddin Shah and Paresh Rawal but not in this sleepy, tear-inducing Maha roti . This one you wouldn’t wish on your friend, enemy or insurance agent.