Maharshi - Movie Review

Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 14:15
Maharshi (2019)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Maharshi
Mahesh Babu, Pooja Hegde, Allari Naresh, Jagapathi Babu, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, Jhansi, Jaya Sudha and others
Written by: Hari, Vamshi Paidipally, Solomon
Additional dialogue: Bheem Srinivas
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Lyrics: Shreemani
Director of Photography: K.U. Mohanan
Production Designer: Sunil Babu
Editor: K. L. Praveen
Action: Ram - Lakshman
Banner: Vyjayanthi Movies, Sri Venkateswara Creations, PVP Cinema
Produced by: Dil Raju, Ashwini Dutt, Pearl Potluri
Directed by: Vamshi Paidipally
CBFC Rating: UA
Runtime: 178 mins

What’s it about!
Rishi (Mahesh Babu), a techie who sees quick success and eventually becomes CEO of a large company in USA recollects his humble roots in India and what brought him to this place. He studied in a college in Vishakapatnam where he forms friendship with Pooja (Pooja Hegde), who eventually becomes his lover and Ravi (Allari Naresh). Ravi comes from a poor farmer’s family and they are going through major problems. A misunderstanding leads three friends’ to part ways and Rishi leaves for USA to earn money and settle in life. In all these years, he never tries to contact his friends. When his friends throw party celebrating his CEO position, Rishi comes to know what Ravi had done for him in his college days. Rishi now heads to India.
‘Maharshi’ marks the 25th film for Mahesh Babu who began his career as lead star in K Raghavendra Rao directed ‘Rajakumarudu’ in 1999. As is the case with his recent films like ‘Srimanthudu’ and ‘Bharat Ane Nenu’, this latest one too has touched upon a socially relevant subject. ‘Maharshi’ deals about the topic of farmers losing lands for the sake of a big corporate project and this is narrated in commercial format.
The film proclaims its theme as this: “Gelupu Tanikkoadide Aanukunte Manishi, Aa Gelupunu Padimandiki Panchite Maharshi” (One who shares fruits of his success to all is Maharshi). But this movie is more about a person undoing the mistake that he did in his past and starting new journey. How Rishi (a person who looked for material success), a character played by Mahesh Babu, became Maharshi (a great person) is narrated by Vamshi Paidipally in typical commercial movie format that has resemblance to many successful movies.
Director Vamshi Paidipally, who wrote the script along with Hari and Solomon, has begun the story in similar fashion of Raj Kumar Hirani’s ‘3 Idiots’ - establishing the college days of three friends, their bonding and problems. The first half of the movie is narrated in an interesting way. After the interval point, it is revealed that the film’s main theme is something else.
Vamshi Paidipally and his writers have picked up a relevant point but what they missed here is the beauty of brevity. The plot is slender, the narration is stout. If this film was narrated in quicker pace and finished under 2.30 hours, the case would have been different. Even after picking up right plot point for a big star, the movie gives dragged on feel as the scenes are quite predictable. The emotions don't stir require feelings.
178 minutes of runtime is totally unjustified for this simple plot.
In his 25-films career, Mahesh Babu has delivered some great performances, he does not need to prove his acting skills further. Interestingly, this landmark movie in his career has provided him a platform to showcase three shades, of a young student, a business tycoon and an activist.
Allari Naresh’s character is soul to this story and the comedy star brings emotional aspect with his stirring performance. Naresh’s presence in the film is well justified. Pooja Hegde as hero’s girlfriend does justice. Rao Ramesh and Prakash Raj (as Mahesh Babu’s father) have nothing new to add. Jagapathi Babu as main villain is weak. Barring wearing suits and giving frown looks, he doesn’t do anything. The film has many actors but none of them have impressive characters.
Devi Sri Prasad’s songs are not that appealing on audio tape but are effective on screen. “Choti Choti Baatien” and “Ide Kada Ide Katha” stand out in the film. Bollywood cinematographer K U Mohanan (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Don and Talaash) has lent richness to the screen with his fantastic camera work. Production design is neat. The film is seething with rich look.
Vamshi Paidipally, who wowed us all by delivering a heart-warming film with Nagarjuna starrer ‘Oopiri’ has come up with predictable writing, lacks any shred of originality. Some dialogues are superb, and he has handled the village sequences and some scenes in second half well but his narration is totally uneven.
Bottom-line: ‘Maharshi’ is all about a techie realizing his roots and taking up plough and telling us the importance of saving farmers and caring for their problems. The slender plot is stretched into 3-hours runtime with many predictable moments. The second half leaves us totally unsatisfied. Emotional core is not convincing.

Reviewed by: 
J Gudelli