Kushi: A Relationship Bubble
Star Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Murali Sharma, Sachin Khedekar, Vennela Kishore, Lakshmi, Rohini, and Jayaram
Music Composed by Hesham Abdul Wahab Kushi Review
Cinematography by Murali G
Edited by Prawin Pudi
Directed by Shiva Nirvana
Packed to the Rafters – Australian Show has an episode titled “Perfect Bubble”. The episode equates the lives of the main characters being a perfect bubble that bursts out eventually, for us to understand the greatest illusion of time. Yes, every day as we wake up and plan things, we always believe that our life will be perfect and it will move forward as we wish, it would. What if it doesn’t? Rather than living in today, we are accustomed to worrying or planning heavily about an uncertain future. A future that never exists in reality until that future turns into the Present. Well, we want forces beyond our control to help us move it in the direction that we want it to move. We hope those forces can act as gear, clutch, and break for our machine to ride smoothly. We want those forces to Change our gear and zoom us into eternal happiness. We want them to Hit the Break on our sorrows and act as a clutch whenever we need to vroom or need a break.
Here, this fear of unknown and need for control, give few superstitions and many opportunists, a chance to exterminate common sense from our senses. We just run behind any force that we feel can work or help us. While we cannot always be at the right time at the right place and find the right opportunity, a force beyond our control is a force beyond our control because it decides its actions and that force has given us the choice to decide upon our actions as well. Predetermined and predestined things can also change at times due to our persistence and efforts. So, then these forces get angry because we went against the predetermined? No. Do these forces wish negative upon us? No. It is the opportunists who want to gain from your fear who are at work here. So, should we only believe in Science? Let’s be careful in what, whom, and how we believe. But don’t end up like Shiva Nirvana washed up on a soulless beach in the tide of unrelenting mockery.
Shiva Nirvana has never impressed us with a completely original film. In all his 4 films, there are traces and stamps of old classics. While the idea of a Purist’s daughter marrying a Liberal’s son is not so new, a Purist marrying a liberal would’ve been more interesting. A storyteller of good quality would’ve insisted on keeping the story about two involved in the relationship for good or bad. Viplav could’ve been a purist from a liberal family and Aradhya could’ve been a liberal from a purist family. Or the vice-versa, which the director touched upon and then left out. In any case, Kamal Haasan did try to bring this aspect into his ambitious Dasavatharam . Atheist or Scientist Kamal travels with an idol carrying the vile with a purist. That thread might have had issues in presenting the female character but writing doesn’t instantly change them into lovers. The kind of proximity they share and things that happen during the chase, make them both arrive upon a decision. But here in Kashmir where both have a chance to be themselves, get attracted because of a lie. Vijay Devarakonda had a similar problem in Dear Comrade , where he was presented as a do-gooder to the level that heroine falls for him because of that do-gooder self rather than the moments they share that attracts them like a magnetic to become a couple.
Why can’t Aradhya (Samantha) meet him as a BSNL employee, who understands Telugu, to help her complete the trek to the Temple? Why can’t she just seek his help and be the strict purist that she loves to be? Why can’t her attributes coupled with her beauty lead to them into falling in love? Well, attraction is the first step but that can’t be the final one. Why did Viplav, fall for Aara Begum? What made him still love her and even marry her when she was revealed to be Aradhya? What led him to grow depth in the connection he felt at first sight? How could he forgive a liar, so easily? What led her to think this guy will always love her? What made her feel a connection in those two to three days? A montage and a bike chase and a search operation cannot lead to a strong connection that a girl who loves and believes in being a purist to leave all of those beliefs aside. She needs to always go through a question if it is worth it, before taking the leap. Ok, she took a decision in haste or in attraction or love, at least that should be clear.
Mani Ratnam in Roja  showcased a girl who has always been told that her beauty would be a problem for her and her sister. Her worst fears come true, when a person who came to marry her sister, chooses her instead. Hence, they needed to go to a place where they could shed off all that old skin and make new memories as they returned back to their “realities” from a “dream destination”. In Cheliya/Kaatru Veliyidai , an Air Force Pilot falls in love with a stunningly beautiful doctor. Kashmir’s set-up in both films gives great picturesque visuals while those characters have a purpose to be in that place. What purpose does Kashmir serve in a plot where a BSNL employee falls in love with a Brahmin girl? It just seems to be an excuse for the budget to be shot up and for Vijay Deverakonda to be able to push his Pan-India agenda. Dear Comrade also suffered with this unnecessary “expansion”.
In Bombay, Mani Ratnam tried to ask a question to the two different religions that have been at war, What is wrong in believing in both? Hence, the message, love story, and humane expansion of that story worked. But what purpose did difference in castes serve here? A Purist can hail from any caste and a liberal that too with communist ideology never does have a caste. Why can’t this Purist and Liberal be the crux of the story? Why can’t their difference in beliefs cause problems? Is marriage all about kids? Why couldn’t that be an added issue rather than being the main one? Shiva Nirvana seems to have had mixed thoughts in his head and no clarity regarding the story. Or he might have not found the DVDs of Balipeetam , Kalyani , and several other Dasari Narayana Rao films to take “inspiration” from while he found Sakhi  and other Mani Ratnam films.
Vijay Deverakonda needs a solid script and director who can deliver on that. He did put a good effort into playing the character of Viplav but he did not have much to really deliver. Samantha just did not look to be in the best shape. Writing has undermined every other actor and their characters to such an extent that they remained puppets. Hesham Abdul Wahab gave couple of good songs but his score could’ve been a lot better. On the whole, Kushi tried to be that “myth breaker” that talks about humans being humans and not believers and ante. But it ended up being a relationship bubble that always promises to break at one simple touch. As the foundation of this “relationship” is brittle in our hearts we just don’t care if it exists or not. A love story needs to leave us with a lasting impression and not promote short-term memory loss.
Theatrical Trailer: Kushi Review