Kushi Movie Review 2023: Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Vijay Deverakonda’s Love Story with a Surprise
“Kushi” brings together talented actors Vijay Deverakonda, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, and director Shiva Nirvana after their recent setbacks in the film industry. The stakes are high for all three, with Vijay aiming to maintain his pan-India star status after the underwhelming “Liger,” Samantha eyeing a bigger presence in Bollywood and possibly Hollywood after “Shaakuntalam,” and director Shiva hoping to rebound from the lukewarm reception of “Tuck Jagadish.” The success of “Kushi” is pivotal for their careers, but does it live up to the hype generated by its promotions?
Produced by Mythri Movie Makers, “Kushi” has been promoted on a grand scale, generating significant interest with its music and trailer. Positioned as a family-oriented drama with striking visuals, the film appears to have the right ingredients for box office success. However, let’s delve into how it actually fares.
The story revolves around Viplav (Vijay Deverakonda), the son of the renowned atheist Lenin Sathyam (Sachin Khedekar). Viplav, an engineer, willingly accepts a posting in Kashmir to experience life and travel. It’s in Kashmir that he meets Aara (Samantha), who initially claims to be a Muslim from Pakistan searching for her missing brother. However, Aara is concealing her true identity along with her friend to avoid a certain situation. Viplav falls head over heels in love with her, believing her to be a Muslim, while she maintains the façade. When Aara eventually reveals her actual identity as Aaradhya, a Brahmin from Kakinada and the daughter of the famous spiritual preacher Chadarangam Shrinivas (Murali Sharma), Viplav is taken aback but delighted to learn that she loves him too. The couple decides to convince their families to accept their love and bless their marriage.
Initially, the film captivates the audience with Viplav’s decision to work in Kashmir, offering a fresh and engaging start. Vennela Kishore’s character adds humor to the narrative, and the first two songs are beautifully picturized, enhancing the romantic atmosphere. The story takes an intriguing turn with Samantha’s true identity reveal, setting up a potential clash between tradition and modernity, faith and reason.
However, the film loses its focus as it transitions into the world of the newlyweds. While Vijay Deverakonda and Samantha Ruth Prabhu’s on-screen chemistry is delightful, the narrative succumbs to conventional tropes as societal expectations, particularly regarding motherhood, disrupt their paradise. The conflicts between the couple feel staged and lack depth, and the subplot involving Rohini and Jayaram fails to contribute significantly to the theme. After the separation of the couple, the narrative becomes predominantly centered on Vijay’s perspective, leaving Samantha’s character sidelined and underdeveloped. This shift causes the film to lose its initial charm and the central question emerges: “Where is Kushi?”
While Murali’s cinematography is commendable, Hesham Abdul Wahab’s music and background score shine throughout the film. Regrettably, the subplot involving Rohini and Jayaram is underutilized, and a forced scene in a fertility clinic adds little value to the plot. Additionally, a scene featuring Rahul Ramakrishna and his maid comes across as absurd and unnecessary.
In terms of performances, all the actors, including Vijay Deverakonda and Samantha Ruth Prabhu, deliver commendable performances. However, the film’s writing falls short of exploring the depth and potential of its premise. Samantha’s character deserved more significant development and screen time.
In conclusion, “Kushi” may appeal to family audiences seeking an enjoyable evening with their favorite stars. While it starts promisingly and showcases the potential for an engaging narrative, it ultimately fails to maintain its momentum and leaves viewers yearning for a more fulfilling and balanced storytelling experience.