Khushi: Love, God And Marriage

The film takes some time to get going but director Shiva Nirvana eventually finds his footing particularly in the second half

Khushi (Telugu)           

Starcast: Vijay Devarakonda, Samantha, Murali Sharma, Sachin Khedekar, Saranya, Vennela Kishore and others

Director and writer: Shiva Nirvana

Producers: Naveen Yemeni and Yalamanchili Ravi Shankar

Production Company: Mythri Movie Makers

Music: Hesham Abdul Wahab

Production Company: Mythri Movie makers

Running time: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Genre: Romantic comedy/drama

Shiva Nirvana’s Khushi doesn’t particularly boast of a novel plot. There are certain similarities that the viewers will find with Mani Ratnam’s Sakhi. However,  there are some interesting things also that the director does. Chief among them is the background of his two protagonists. The hero’s father is a renowned atheist with an absolute distaste for god and astrology. On the other hand the heroine’s father is a staunch believer in god who is also known for his religious lectures. This adds a lot to the story, more so when the drama part kicks in. These two characters are played by Sachin Khedekar and Murali Sharma respectively. 

Samantha and Vijay Devarakonda

In brief it is a usual love story with a happy ending via many twists and turns. The conflict point in this movie is faith versus non faith. Viplav Devarakonda’s (Vijay Devarakonda) family represents non faith while Samantha’s family represents faith. Vijay’s father is Lenin Sathyam (Sachin Khedekar) and Samantha’s father is Chadarangam Srinivasa Rao (Murali Sharma). Previously a huge debate on TV had happened between them. Understandably both Chadarangam and Lenin aren’t too happy with their children’s choices. Yet they agree to meet to discuss their marriage. But Chadarangam declares that Viplav will have to do a homam along with his father before marriage; otherwise Aradhya cannot become a mother. Lenin Sathyam is enraged and tells his son to forget about Aradhya. But the two rebellious lovers decide to follow their hearts. In Sakhi style they make their own home. The rest of the story is about the issues that crop up given the two vastly different family backgrounds and how they resolve them.  

For any romantic film to work two aspects are of prime importance. One is having a likeable lead pair and the other is having hit music. Khushi scores in both these departments. Vijay Devarakonda and Samantha are in fine form both individually and together. They share a good chemistry.

Vijay devarakonda, Sumantha and Shiv Nirvana

It is refreshing to see Vijay Devarakonda shed his mass avatar and do an urban character. Vijay does a terrific job in portraying the various shades of Viplav; whether it is his lover boy act in Kashmir or the dramatic portions of the second half. Vijay’s comic timing also leaves viewers in splits. In the Kashmir portions Viplav speaks in broken Hindi and this leads to many amusing moments. Maybe a revenge on SRK’s broken Tamil in Chennai Express.

Vijay also takes a jibe at his own hugely successful yet hugely controversial Arjun Reddy in an interesting scene. There is a bit where a lady maid gets scared on seeing Viplav. He assures her that people have unnecessarily created a bad image of him in the market but he is actually a feminist. This leads to many laughs in the theatre.

Samantha is also in fine form complementing Vijay well. She is particularly effective in the more intense scenes.

Sachin Khadekar

The music of Hesham Abdul Wahab is another major winner. My favorite songs in the album are Na Roja Nuvve and Aradhya. Except for one number the rest of them are rich in melody.

The second half of Khushi is more engaging as it deals with the marital problems that the couple faces. For example there is an episode of Aradhya’s miscarriage. Aradhya believes that the miscarriage happened because of Viplav not doing the homam leading to some arguments. There is certain realisticness to the way Shiva Nirvana has staged these scenes.

 Murali Sharma and Sachin Khedekar shine the brightest among the supporting cast as two men who firmly believe in their respective ideologies. There is a touching scene in the pre- climax where both the fathers have an emotional moment.

Murali Sharma

What doesn’t work for Khushi is the stretched first half. The Kashmir portions needed to be trimmed down. Aradhya’s façade of being a Pakistani Muslim comes across as stretching things too far just to prove viplav’s broadmindedness.

Also there are some characters which could have been better developed like the ones of Rohini and Jayaram. Rahul Ramakrishna as Vijay’s buddy is underutilized as always but Vennela Kishore does raise some laughs in the first half.

Overall Khushi is an enjoyable romantic drama as the title suggests. The message of love triumphing over everything is something that all of us could imbibe given the politically troubled times we are living in.

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