Kushi movie leaves you with moments of happiness only till snow-clad peaks, valleys and streams of Kashmir form the postcard backdrop of the actors, Vijay Deverakonda and Samantha. Once the movie’s locales are shifted down south, the level of interest of the audience also goes downhill.
The movie garnered interest as Samantha broke away from the cycle of acting in heroine-oriented roles to play a lead in a romantic commercial flick. Vijay, who also enjoys a huge fanbase is desperate for a hit after his pan-Indian action movie, Liger, died out with a whimper.
Coming to the story, Viplav (Vijay) is a central government employee who opts to work in an exotic location, away from the monotonous life in Hyderabad. He is posted to Kashmir peaking his excitement until he encounters—on the border area, poor facilities and hardships of curfews. On the brighter side, he spots Aradhya (Samantha) on a houseboat and falls for her, mistaking her to be a Kashmiri Muslim due to her Burkha attire. To get him off his back, Samantha’s friend lie about their identity of being Pakistanis searching for a lost family member.
Viplav is shown as a liberal character subtly through his choice of being fine with marrying a Pakistani or offering her beef biryani. Only later is the truth revealed to him that she is an orthodox Brahmin from Kakinada who is on an office vacation in the hill station.
Both express love for each other and decide to take their relationship forward. The only hitch? Viplav’s father is a well-known atheist and Samantha’s father is a popular Hindu scholar. Poles apart in ideologies, both even get into fights on TV news debates. With the characters now moving back to Hyderabad and Kakinada, how the lovers handle their belief systems and their respective fathers stubbornness forms the second half.
Except for the song ‘Na Roja Nuvve’, others look misplaced and sometimes, unnecessary, just like the action sequences which are cliché. Even some characters like Zoya and Thomas, a Malayali inter-faith couple don’t have much significance except to try and add novelty which falls flat. The first half is at least fresh and teases the audience with something unique but the second half is nagging, dragging and unnecessarily gloomy.
The director, Shiva Nirvana’s attempt to highlight post-marriage issues that crop up between couples leaves Samantha with very less scope for acting as she is reduced to weeping scenes. Vijay and Samantha look good on screen and being seasoned actors, have put up a good show but clearly remind the audience of uncanny resemblance to their past roles. The dialogues are average and on expected lines. The movie has some funny scenes which is the saving grace of this product that doesn’t exactly give any ‘Kushi’ to the audience.
Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Samantha, Murali Sharma, Sachin Khedekar, Vennela Kishore, Rahul Ramakrishna
Director: Shiva Nirvana