Cast: Mahesh Babu, Pooja Hegde, Allari Naresh, Jagapathi Babu and Prakash Raj
Director: Vamshi Paidipally
After a long time, big film Maharshi starring Mahesh Babu and Pooja Hegde is hitting the screens. Given that this is Mahesh’s 25th film and produced by three of Tollywood’s biggest producers — Dil Raju, Ashwini Dutt and PVP, expectations are naturally high.
Story: Rishi Kumar (Mahesh Babu) is the CEO of an international company whose origins are in New York. Coming from a middle class family, Rishi’s dream is to become one of the most successful people in the world, a goal he never stops chasing. On one occasion, all his old friends gather in New York to surprise him and he goes down memory lane.
We learn that Rishi is good friends with Ravi (Allari Naresh) and Pooja (Pooja Hegde), and see Rishi helping Ravi in his education and inspiring him to do better in life. After their education is completed, Rishi becomes a CEO, Pooja settles in Hyderabad as a video game developer but Ravi’s whereabouts are unknown. Rishi forces his professor (Rao Ramesh) to tell him about Ravi, but is shocked to know the truth. What Ravi does to Rishi, why Rishi travels to India to meet his close friend and what happens next is the crux of the story.
Direction: Director Vamshi Paidipally is known to blend emotions into commercial films. Just like Brundavanam and Oopiri which have powerful emotional scenes, Maharshi too doesn’t disappoint. He chooses a powerful story that includes a social issue like farmers’ suicide and agriculture. At the same time, Vamshi cleverly adds commercial touches to the film, especially since the lead role is being played by a big superstar like Mahesh Babu.
He starts the film with Mahesh taking over as the CEO of a company and then goes back to his college days. Although it seems like the film is similar to Bollywood hit 3 Idiots, Maharshi is completely different. After seeing his father’s struggles, a middle class boy decides to earn a lot of money and the top position too. But he later realises that having money or being a topper of the college is not the real victory, rather it lies in doing something for your people and country.
Director Vamshi sticks to his point and narrates the story without any deviations. The first half is very entertaining with most of the story playing out in college, but the second half showcases social causes. Vamshi’s strength lies in emotions and some scenes give goose bumps to the viewer. The pre-climax press meet on farmers and the climax deserve special mention. Kudos to the director for making Maharshi, and seamlessly merging a social cause into a commercial entertainer.
Performances: The film belongs to Mahesh Babu, who appears in three avatars, all the way. As a college student, CEO as well as a man fighting for the farmers. He plays all the roles with equal ease in what will definitely go down as one of his best performances. While he fits the bill as a college student, he also carries a different look as CEO. His good looks are well captured and he carries all the roles on his able shoulders. No doubt he has chosen the right film for his 25th outing, which is sure to be a landmark one.
Pooja Hegde appears mostly in the first half, but she has done a commendable job. Allari Naresh plays a major and memorable role in the film. Jagapathi Babu once again plays a classic villain while Rao Ramesh in a cameo makes his presence felt.
Music and Cinematography: While the songs of Devi Sri Prasad are not up to the mark, the background score is superb, and elevates the mood of the film, especially in the emotional scenes. The lyrics by young writer Srimani are meaningful. The dialogues are very good, especially in the second half where Mahesh talks about farmers. The cinematography too is excellent, showing all the visuals in a realistic way, particularly in the second half where the beautiful greenery and farmers issues are captured through the camera’s lens. The one big drawback is the length of the film, which plays out for nearly three hours.
Undoubtedly, Maharshi is a good film to watch where the director has taken a social cause and narrated it in his own style. Mahesh’s performance and the emotional scenes with Allari Naresh’s surprise role makes it a treat to watch. The credit goes to director Vamshi Paidipally and Hari-Solomon for the story. Definitely worth at least a one-time watch, especially this summer season. Mahesh and the producers of the film certainly have a winner on their hands!...