Kousalya Krishnamurthy is the official remake of Tamil critically acclaimed and commercially successful film Kanaa. Star cast of Aishwarya Rajesh and Siva Karthikeyan stepped into the same roles for Telugu version as that of Tamil wherein Rajendra Prasad replaced Satyaraj. Popular production house Creative Commercials bankrolled the film with original composer Dhibu Ninan Thomas scoring music. Will this film impress Telugu audience?
A simple living farmer Krishnamurthy (Rajendra Prasad) is a diehard cricket Fan. He inspires his daughter Kousalya (Aishwarya Rakesh) to take up Cricket as a profession. Initially, Kousalya faces disapproval and resistance from villagers for playing cricket with men, wearing pants and tees. However, with father’s encouragement Kousalya goes all the way to find place in Team India. Rest of the story is how she achieves the dream by playing for India in World Cup and lifts the trophy with help of new coach Nelson (Siva Karthikeyan).
The film is not just another sports drama about an underdog winning against all the odds. It gives us a straight message that speaks about the importance of farming. Right from opening scene, both these conflicting points are given equal importance. Cross cutting between these parallel plots is neatly blended to bring out an effective knock. First half of the film is packed with scenes highlighting these two issues along with sports clichés, including the North-South divide, caste politics and so on dealt thereon.
Experienced director Bheemaneni Srinivasa Rao adopted the story and screenplay from original, presented the same soul honestly, though screenplay runs on familiar lines. Dialogues at places, especially in climax where Kousalya requests banks to treat farmers with dignity are thought-provoking. Frames by B Andrews look good. Dhibu Ninan Thomas’s music is one of the biggest assets. BGMs with different variants upped the ante and made proceedings interesting. Editor Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao should have chopped sluggish sequences in second half. Production values of Creative Commercials are good.
Onto performances, Aishwarya Rajesh who appeared without makeup in most of the scenes breathed life into the role of a wannabe cricketer Kousalya. Then Rajendra Prasad captures the integrity of an emotional farmer and Jhansi reflected the mind-set of a middleclass woman. In an extended cameo, Siva Karthikeyan as a serious coach and matured man looked convincing. Vennela Kishore is humorous in a brief role.
To begin with, sports dramas have become minimum guarantee films in Indian cinema. Though a bit late for South to follow the trend, we have seen numerous hit films made of similar concept weaved around sports and National integrity. Kousalya Krishnamurthy also falls into the same category but what makes it bit different are the performances of Rajendra Prasad, Aishwarya Rajesh and Siva Karthikeyan, the three key pillars.
Kousalya Krishnamurthy begins with a local cricket match interrupted when two teams get into a brawl. We are then narrates with the story of Kousalya, an aspiring cricketer player on a journey to make her cricket Fan father happy. Her path to success is subjected to lot of hurdles including that of an insecure mom with family’s pride at risk. Original writer Arunraja Kamaraj must be appreciated for these well known hurdles in a convincingly lighter vein. When lives of Kousalya and Krishnamurthy are at inevitable crossroads, it is an intermission.
Second half starts on sluggish as going gets tough for Kousalya and her farming father Krishnamurthy. Right scene at right place, Jhansi motivating her daughter to achieve her dream is one of the best in film. Siva Karthikeyan’s entry as coach provides much needed push and the film sailed on smoothly. Intensity goes up and finishes on a high note with brilliantly written meaningful speech of Kousalya.
All in all, Kousalya Krishnamurthy impresses cricket lovers and those who have great respect for farmers. Clichéd screenplay and slow paced narrative played the spoil sport though movie has few inspiring portions mixed with so many dull moments. CJ goes with 2.5 stars and the film has some chances to do well in lower order centers before the arrival of Saaho next week.