Mauli strictly adheres to the spicy offering evident from the trailer, and it raises a step above taking up a conventional plot. Let’s call it a miracle, where fusion of mythology and action sets entertaining value on divine adventure. Director Aditya Sarpotdar and Writer Kshitij Patwardhan vehemently define masala genre in Marathi Cinema, one of the finest collaborations (including last year’s Faster Fene). Kshitij Patwardhan’s adept writing which never underestimates the audience nor the mass elements is uplifted by Aditya Sarpotdar’s generic yet notched presentation. Personally, Lai Bhaari (2014) was a generic disappointment but, the latest quintessential masala worked surprisingly.
Police Inspector Mauli Sarjerao Deshmukh (Ritiesh Deshmukh) is posted in Kapurgaon where illegal activities by Nana Londhe (Jitendra Joshi) are surfacing, Mauli’s timid attitude leads to a twist after being beaten-up. To level up the genre, Saiyami Kher’s character even sells masala which is enough to spice up an integrated narrative. Mauli has staple ingredients from Telugu and Tamil Cinema, Mauli Deshmukh is almost equivalent to Bajirao Singham – there’s a Singham (2011) feel written all over, the vibe is dusty and sparkling. Writer Kshitij Patwardhan finds logical integrity to establish Mauli’s strength and weakness through Lord Vitthal, while seamlessly mixing social, humour and revenge plots.Majhi Pandharichi Maay by Ajay-Atul is the highest peak of Mauli, on the devotional note the quintessential masala evoking faith. Visually rich and textured on the lines of numerous Telugu pot-boilers, Cinematographer Amalendu Choudhary captures the dustiness aptly. Running at 136 minutes, Mauli gets repetitive and the slow-motion action sequences keep pouring – the surprise element is revealed quite early due to which the second half feels lags a kick. An important drawback, it glorifies rather succumbs to the idea of machoism; where a female protagonist falls for the macho-man and not when timid – it’s problematic but the thematic offering on the lines of Lai Bhaari is a potboiler.Riteish Deshmukh affably carries Mauli on his shoulders, with solid one-liners and punches – he strikes charmingly. Saiyami Kher has a major supportive chunk and isn’t merely a stand-in like such kind of commercials feature; sincere in performance but poor dialogue delivery doesn’t elevate the ’emotional move’. Jitendra Joshi (now fondly known as Katekar, Sacred Games) delivers a terrorising performance, his dead eyes loom in greed. And Siddharth Jadhav, in his comfort zone lends a comic relief.
Mauli is blessed by Lord Vitthal, the omnipresence of a conventional masala doesn’t mar the valuable entertainment.
Release: 14 December, 2018
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