MAHARATHI is an out and out Paresh Rawal fare. And no one is complaining. This here is an actor par excellence and he once again proves his mettle. A conman who gets a lucky break, he goes on to become a crorepati. Of course, there is lots of quick wit, and this is exactly what makes the movie tick.
Subhash (Paresh Rawal) is a conman who had dreams of making it as a movie star. One night, he happens to be at the right place at the right time. He saves the life of a very drunk Mr Adenwala (Naseeruddin Shah) and takes him home. Flabbergasted at the place he lives in, he moves around with an open mouth until Mr Adenwala's wife Mallika (Neha Dhupia) walks in with their lawyer friend Merchant (Boman Irani). They both want Subhash out of the house but Adenwala insists he stay in the outhouse and by next morning he has already landed a job of a driver.
Mallika is uncomfortable with Subhash's presence and even tries to frame him with charges of robbery. Meanwhile, all's not well between Mr and Mrs Adenwala. It appears that he had met many women but Mallika was the one he loved, but she turned out to be a gold digger. Once a very successful film producer, Adenwala is now in debts. But he has an insurance policy worth Rs 24 crore. Obviously then, when he cuts off her spending habits, Mallika wants to see her husband dead. She does attempt to get rid of him once in a fit of rage by throwing out his inhaler when he is having an asthma attack.
This pushes Adenwala to the brink and he commits suicide in front of his wife and Subhash. But before pulling the trigger on himself, he gives Subhash a letter asking him to hand it to his lawyer and also tells his wife that he has changed a clause in his policy wherein if he commits suicide, no one will get anything, unless the suicide is proved a murder. The letter meant for his lawyer is a tricky one. It explains that he is committing suicide and if she tries to prove it as murder, he should show this letter to the cops. Mallika is in a catch 22 situation. But a brain that he is, Subhash sees an opportunity of a lifetime in this situation and convinces Neha that the two can prove it as murder and share the insurance money.
But, it's not as easy as Subhash suggests. There's lots of twists and turns before the final shot.
Boman Irani, towards the end, is the surprise. He moves into top gear to a rather polished performance. Neha Dhupia is picking up the right films and she is apt for the role as the wife who wants to live a life of luxury. Om Puri is there for a brief moment and Tara Sharma as the caretaker makes her presence felt with her spontaneous performance. Naseeruddin Shah as the man who once had the world at his feet is marvelous. Director Shivam Nair has assembled a great cast for this 'you-know-it' 'whodunit'!