We have to agree that superstar Mahesh’s silver jubilee film Maharshi is a special film. A well constructed film about the ideology and attitude of current generation high-performing youth, sustainable development and how driven youth can change the world for the better. And it’s also about our roots. After all, India is still a country which is dependent on agriculture. But the farmers are grossly ignored. The film touched these points effectively.
On one hand this makes this film one of its kind commercial potboiler. On the other hand, the same strengths turned weakness of the film. If it’s not for a sustained long run at box office without competition, Maharshi would have found it tough to breakeven. The film was trolled by a section of the audience. It also underperformed in what is traditionally strong area - Overseas - for superstar Mahesh. Everyone thought the back to back similar kind of subjects and message oriented films from Mahesh proved to be too much for the audience.
And that reflected in its initial television premiere. The TRP was surprisingly low for a star hero let alone for a superstar like Mahesh who usually rule the roost on television. But over time, the audience started to treat the film kindly. Slowly but steadily the actual subject of the film started to resonate with people. The oil fields and farming lands plot of the second half of the movie connected directly with the audience emphatically. The youth too, who initially gave a mixed response for the film started to embrace the lead protagonist of the film.
That reflected very well on the film and the subsequent TRP ratings proved that Maharshi is indeed a blockbuster with the audience.
Check the TRP ratings for the first 7 airings on the TV.
Just that the original release timing might have been wrong. Though nobody can replace Mahesh, the Vamshi Paidipally directorial could have done even better with a different star hero. Such was the potential of the subject. That’s the reason why Mahesh uncharacteristically declared Maharshi is his favourite film multiple times.
If you want to say it’s due to pandemic, think again. Audience flatly rejected a few films that are not good after the first few viewings.
Maharshi is a misunderstood classic. As our review re-evaluation proves.