Mumbai, 14 Dec 2018 2:38 IST
The mystery element in the Riteish Deshmukh starrer keeps your interest alive for a while.
The year 2014 was when films with sensible content dominated Marathi cinema. Amid this, director Nishikant Kamat came up with the masala entertainer Lai Bhaari (2014). The film, which starred Riteish Deshmukh in a double role, was lapped up by the masses and became a superhit.
One of the two characters played by Deshmukh in the film was Mauli. Now he returns as the title character in Mauli, but this time Aditya Sarpotdar is at the helm.
Lai Bhaari’s plot had some similarity with Hrithik Roshan's debut film Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (2000). Mauli, however, borrows from more than one film of the past.
The story takes place in the village Kaapurgav in Maharashtra. Inspector Mauli Sarjerao Deshmukh (Riteish Deshmukh) gets transferred to the village. He is a mild-mannered and peaceful character who believes in solving cases amicably. But Kaapurgaav is infested with criminals who operate for the short-tempered and powerful businessman-cum-don Dharmraj aka Nana (Jitendra Joshi).
Mauli comes in contact with the owner of a spice shop Renuka (Saiyami Kher) and they both feel for each other. When he tries solving the problems created by Nana’s men in a peaceful manner, he gets defeated.
Simultaneously the villagers get to see an opposite version of Mauli who mercilessly beats up Nana’s men and makes life hell for them. But in the next moment, he becomes timid again. Why is Mauli behaving like two different characters?
Mauli makes its intentions clear from the very first scene that it’s just like one of those dubbed South Indian films that are played 24x7 on various Hindi television channels. But somewhere it keeps you guessing about the mystery of Mauli’s dual behaviour. And just when you feel you know where the plot is leading, it throws in a surprise in terms of the plot followed by a twist at the interval.
This gives the film more than a fair chance of being a crowd pleaser in the second half. Unfortunately, the narrative doesn’t capitalize on this and we are presented with situations that don’t excite us. The climax deserves a special mention for being underwhelming.
As mentioned before, Mauli borrows from more than one film as far as the basic plot is concerned. Over here, it’s a mishmash of a successful Aamir Khan starrer (can’t reveal the name to avoid spoilers) and the Marathi dud Deool Band (2015). Elements taken from both films are silly and they remain so when they are merged in Mauli.
Fight scenes and stunts play an important role in such films. This area is adequate but doesn’t reach high standards. Sarpotdar’s creativity while filming some action sequences is visible though.
Famous composer duo Ajay-Atul is in decent form here. ‘Maajhi Pandharichi Maay’ and ‘Dhuvun Taak’ are impressive numbers. The rest of the songs aren’t bad either.
The performances are just adequate. Riteish Deshmukh had to portray two starkly opposite characters. He gets into the image of both. Saiyami Kher has acting talent. But the two of them don’t appear completely natural while mouthing difficult Marathi dialogues.
Jitendra Joshi’s look is believable as the evil guy. But the character is more like a caricature as there is no depth to it. He is just a one-dimensional bad guy. Siddharth Jadhav is entertaining but he tries too hard.
Overall, Mauli is just an average masala entertainer that is devoid of originality.
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