Bhai: Vyakti Ki Valli- A Humorist. The “Great” Hero
Release Date: Friday January 4, 2019
Language: Marathi (The show I watched was with English Subtitles)
Cast: Sagar Deshmukh, Mrinmayee Deshpande, Irawati Harshe, Hrishikesh Joshi, Sachin Khedekar, Saksham Kulkarni & others
Nikhil’s Rating: 3.5/5
Bhai: Vyakti Ki Valliis a biopic on the most beloved humorist in Maharashtra: PuLa Deshpande. The literal translation of Vyakti- A Personality or a Valli- A Character, is an apt title to describe the legendary personality of Purshottam Laxman Deshpande, as Sagar Deshmukh puts it in the promo.
To be very honest, I being born as the “Next-Gen” kid as our parents put it did not have much knowledge about PL Deshpande’s humor but had heard about him: I know the audience in Maharashtra is not going to be happy when they read this, but it is still a fact. I had to hence do a little background reading before getting into my seat. Thankfully, the telling of the story to Mahesh Vaman Manjrekar’s credit is easy to comprehend for even a person who might not be aware of the “great” PL Deshpande- I mean that in a literal and figurative sense.
The movie is a 120 minute ride into the life of the great multifaceted personality – Actor, Writer, Musician – an Artiste unlike any other. I wonder if there was anyone else in his generation who made Maharashtrians laugh so much and be happy in life as he did. He saw humor in almost every single element of his life. In a recent talk-show, Mr. Manjrekar said, “Nobody refused the film or objected to any aspect throughout the entire making of the film. Some actors had work that was to be finished in a single day or in a few hours, The energies of all the cast members was very positive and they submitted to the vision I had entirely”. This is a very rare occurrence.As a cine-goer I now understand why the director made this statement publicly. All filmmakers do that to “sell” their film to the audience. But this made sense after I heard that PuLa was loved by all the Maharashtrians without exception. His humor was not of the offending variety!In one of the promos there is a dialogue, I would like to quote: “If my (Deshpande’s) statue was ever made, I would like to be known as: A man who spread joy by making people laugh!
Mahesh Manjrekar has yet again handled the subject with great honesty and dignity that the material demanded after the highly praiseworthy- Natasamrat;based on a play of the same name. Avid followers of PuLa’s repertoire will have a good time watching the movie. All the actors have performed their parts sincerely. A line from the movie comes to mind to demonstrate PuLa’s humor and great presence of mind: A professor asks PuLa: What does Shakespeare mean when he says: “Love is my Sin.” PuLa responds with a straight face: He is extremely “Sin”cere!
Bhai: Vyakti Ki Valli is a film that ends abruptly. The second part of the film releases on February 8, 2019 approximately in a month from now. Some members of the audience may find Bhaiproblematic due to its episodic treatment. But some, might just flow with the movie till the very end. It will definitely leave a smile on your face & intrigued for what’s more to come- as it left me. The song at the end is a treat. Do watch it most certainly, on the big screen.
Bhai: Vyakti Ki Valli: Movie Poster
Sagar Deshmukh as PL. Deshpande in Bhai: Vyakti Ki Valli