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Times of India
The film unfolds over a bus journey and highlights the disorder, commotion and typical behaviour of the public.
The number of people unaware of Pu La's Mhais (in fact any of his stories) would be very few. After all this was a writer whose satirical stories about different types of people and experiences struck the right chords with a generation of Marathi readers. So it hardly comes as a surprise that one of those stories found its way into a film.
For those who aren't familiar with the story (written by Pu La in 1957), it starts on a Ratnagiri-Mumbai bus that is scheduled to leave at 5 am. Obviously, those boarding the bus have woken up at dusk, finished their morning chores and reported at the boarding point before 5. But we are talking about the State Transport bus whose engine starts rumbling on time but by the time the bus leaves Ratnagiri, it 7 am already. Then there are the typical passengers- a sleepy old man, a cranky middle-aged person, the over-smart youngster and others- whose idiosyncratic behaviours pop up throughout the journey. As luck would have it, the already delayed bus bangs into a buffalo on the way and this adds to the commotion as the villagers and later the police turn up to investigate.
Director Shekhar Nayeek picks up each and every situation from the original story for the screen adaptation and the audience gets a first hand look at these, as the film unfolds. The late Anand Modak's background score helps bring out the essence of these situations and happenings over the period of the journey. Interestingly, all the characters, including the established names, get equal exposure.
Mhais doesn't score big in the technical department but its strength lies in the simple presentation and execution. The film makes for an interesting watch and is sure to interest those who love P L Deshpande's stories.
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