Verdict: Bhai – Vyakti Ki Valli has been made straight from the heart.

P. L. Deshpande, or fondly known as PuLa, is easily one of the most loved Marathi writers and artists of our times. His pieces like Vyakti Ani Valli, Apoorwai, Asa Mi Asami, and Batatyachi Chaal, among others, have been deemed as classics. You’d think a phenomenon like that would be a complicated man but Bhai – Vyakti Ki Valli celebrates PuLa’s simplicity and his genius in the most endearing biopic. Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, this biopic is sincere. This film has been made with a lot of love and respect and it shows.

What’s Bhai – Vyakti Ki Valli About:

Bhai – Vyakti Ki Valli covers Purushottam Laxman Deshpande’s life from his teenage years, his initial years in theatre and films, and his personal life. Bhai introduces us to the person behind the PuLa we know. He is childlike and pure with a pleasant outlook towards life and a mischievous glint in his eyes, which we remember only so well. After his first wife passes away within the first week of their marriage due to a serious illness, PuLa meets Sunita, his wife for the rest of his life, in Orient High School where they both worked as teachers. The film shows his journey from being a struggling actor to his glorious career as an author, a playwright, an actor, and a musician. A lot of famous artists and dignitaries make appearances in this film as they all were a part of the same clique. The film is true to its grain and doesn’t whitewash the man we love; for example, PuLa is so dedicated to and in love with his craft that he forgets about his wife’s appointment with a doctor. The lead characters go through some trying personal times but don’t lose their spirit or their fondness for each other.

What Works:

It is difficult to find anyone who doesn’t like PuLa. It is because of this love for him, any biopic that doesn’t do justice can instantly put one off. Bhai – Vyakti Ki Valli not only does justice but is also a fantastic film on its own. We get a glimpse at the lives of the diggaj of Marathi musical and stage landscape – GD Madgulkar, Vasantrao Deshpande, Kumar Gandharva, Bhimsen Joshi, and many more. Apart from this, the film seamlessly and beautifully weaves in characters from one of PuLa’s famous literary works Vyakti Ani Valli. The dialogues are typical PL style and the music is gorgeous! Wait for a mehfil towards the end of the film, where we see  young stalwarts Kumar Gandharva, Vasantrao Deshpande, and Bhimsen Joshi do a jugalbandi of Kaanada Raja Pandharicha. It will make the hair on your neck stand…oof! Mahesh Manjrekar has made this film with his heart and has paid respect to PuLa and it shows. Ajit Parab’s music complements the tone of the film. The casting is bang on! Sagar Deshmukh and Irawati Harshe are effortless. Check out the bewitching jugalbandi here:

What Could’ve Been Better:

The film announces that Bhaai – Vyakti Kee Valli Part 2 will release on February 8. Our contention is that February is simply too far away.

Why You Should Watch:

Bhai – Vyakti Ki Valli is a delightful film that will make everything outside the theatre hall look dreary and gray once the film is over. If you have even the slightest inkling of who PuLa was, you don’t have an option of missing this film. Even if you haven’t heard of him, Bhai will introduce you to a human being with a unique take on life, an inclusive sense of humor, and someone who has envious passion towards his craft. Don’t miss this masterpiece one way or the other.