1. Movie Distributors VS Multiplex Owners = No new movies
2. 51 degrees centigrade = I am condemned indoors
3. 1 + 2 = I am suicidally bored
These three things explain why I picked up the DVD of “Maharathi,” a movie that I had never heard of, and one anyone I asked about hadn’t heard of either, from the movie rental store. I had reached a state of consciousness where, hell, I was ready to watch “Jaani Dushman” even…all over again.
So I gave the rack of the DVD player a slight push and settled down into bed to watch “Maharathi,” pulled the covers around me, all ready to get bored into sleep. The movie starts at night. I don’t like movies that start in the dark because firstly, I can’t see what’s going on, and while watching a movie I like to know what’s going on, and secondly because movies that start in the dark tend to be about robbery and intrigue and the secret services, and at the moment I just didn’t feel like taxing my mind to understand a complicated plot. But anyway, I was too lazy to get up and switch it off, so I continued watching.
It’s Paresh Rawal robbing an ATM at night, when he spots Nassiruddin Shah’s car run into an accident, and ends up saving Shah’s life. That was hopeful! I mean two of the best actors this country has ever seen wouldn’t have agreed to do a bad movie. Then along comes Neha Dhupia, as Shah’s wife, and all hope was crushed. And she wasn’t even skimpily dressed in the movie!
So Nassiruddin Shah ends up employing his savior, Rawal, as his driver, much to his wife’s distaste, and starts getting friendly with him, leading to bitter fights with Dhupia, which turn out to be quite a treat to a cusser’s ears. (Ever wondered why the censor board considers it ok to say “bitch” in a Hindi movie, but not “chutia”, although “bitch” is more insulting. I mean, she’s his wife, so obviously they’ve had sex, so obviously she’s a “fucker” and therefore “chutia” is a description of her rather than a gali…but still, they censor that word and put in “bitch” instead. Ah well… the more ridiculous the better. I have always believed that a really bad movie is just as good as a really good movie. I mean if you can manage to make a really bad movie, it’s usually so ridiculous that it’s funny and entertaining and you can have a field day bitching about it. Whereas a moderately bad movie just bores you. Which is why “Jaani Dushman” is my favourite bad movie!)
So my thoughts were rambling on, when BANG! Nasiruddin Shah had just shot himself dead right in front of Neha Dhupia and Paresh Rawal. His living room Turkish carpet lay splattered in his brain and blood. What the…???
So I rewinded back from where I had drifted. Shah has a 24 crore life insurance and suspects that his wife wants to murder him to get that money. So, he changes the terms of the insurance so that she will not get any money if he commits suicide, and right before shooting himself, challenges her to prove to the court of law that he was murdered, so she could get the life insurance money. How ingeneous! If she manages to prove it’s a murder then she will get the 24 crores, but she will also be the primary suspect for the murderer and will most probably be sentenced to death in the court of law. That would make one rich dead woman! And if, to save her ass, she says it’s a suicide, then she gets none of the insurance money.
I threw back the covers, and sat up in bed. And as the movie progressed, with Rawal and Dhupia, working in liason to prove that Shah was actually kidnapped and murdered by some petty thieves, so that they can share the 24 crores between them, I edged closer and closer to the television, until by the nail-biting climax I was actually standing a feet away from the screen, hardly being able to resist the urge to fast forward to the end and kill the suspense. But the best still was the brilliant twist at the absolute last scene which leaves you hungering for a sequel.
Why? Why was this movie never publicized? Why haven’t more people watched it? Why hasn’t it gotten rave reviews and awards? I me, movies like “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna” and “Om Shanti Om” make money and no one even gets to know about “Maharathi”?
“Maharathi”- just another movie sentenced to the same fate of oblivion that other, absolutely brilliant, but lesser known stories like “Lal Pahari”, “Yugpurush” and “The Blue Umbrella” have been to in this country.