Valvi will likely become a cult film appreciated by those with a twisted sense of humor, predicts Mayur Sanap.
Going into a Paresh Mokashi movie and expecting some routine is ridiculous by all accounts.
If you know the filmmaker well enough, you know that he is one of the few original voices in the Marathi film industry.
Each film he directs has a strong emotional core wrapped in a refreshingly light-hearted humor, either through approach (Harishchandrachi Factory, Elizabeth Ekadashi) or by style (Chi Va Chi Sau Ka).
In his latest work Valvi (meaning termite), the writer-director makes every effort to paint a black comedy, a genre rarely attempted in Marathi. Mixing comical and dark elements can be a tricky trick, but Mokashi manages to balance its different tones to great effect.
The film is about an average Joe Aniket (Swwapnil Joshi) who has an extramarital affair with Devika (Shivani Surve).
Hoping to live together, they hatch a devious plan to get rid of his nagging wife, Avani (Anita Date-Kelkar).
As it turns out, things go wrong and a series of unexpected events form the plot of Valvi.
Crazy and quirky are the most appropriate words to describe the ride you are about to embark on!
Mokashi as director has a knack for twisting the story just enough to make it funny without overshadowing the genre.
Valvi benefits a lot from it. He takes his whimsical vision and goes full throttle to create a wacky comedy that’s simultaneously hilarious and dark.
It has an original setting with a very interesting storyline and its suspenseful pace will keep you hooked from the start.
The plot revolves around a simple plan that spiraled out of control, but the plan itself doesn’t matter here.
Mokashi and co-author Madhugandha Kulkarni are more interested in showing what can happen to a bunch of ordinary people in the face of despair.
In a way it reminds you of Sriram Raghavans Andhadun (2018) and the Coen Bros. Fargo (1996).
The authors take this story in some bold directions, revealing acute insights into human behavior.
Sometimes it asks for disbelief to be lifted, but it only adds amusement rather than acting as a hindrance.
The theme presented is dark and has its share of violence, but under Mokashi’s skillful direction it is shocking and absurd as well as laughable.
It consistently entertains and intrigues with its premise.
There aren’t any super-intelligent characters found in many other crime dramas. And because the main characters are either so hopelessly inept or so hopelessly stupid, it leads to bizarrely comical situations.
The talented cast embodies the cast of despicable characters you have no sympathy for, and the solid performances all around elevate the zany comedy that unfolds on screen.
Swwapnil Joshi plays the role of a gullible and almost naive guy with a lot of sympathy. Give him a good story and he will do wonders.
After a string of stunning performances lately, Joshi got his mojo back with this one.
Subodh Bhave doesn’t appear until halfway through the film, but makes enough of an impression in an eccentric role.
A no-nonsense, volatile lady, Shivani proves to Surve that she needs to be looked after.
Anita Date-Kelkar is always a feast for the eyes, and in a brief appearance here, she eats up every scene she enters.
It’s really the hilarious banter of this skilled cast of actors that does Valvi just as much fun.
With all the sad movies in Marathi these days, it’s good to see a movie coming our way that is as original, wicked and downright funny as Valvi. It’s likely to become a cult film, appreciated by those with a warped sense of humor.
Valvi Review Rediff Rating: