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Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu review: Bigg Boss Kannada fame Anupama’s film is so melodramatic it’s painful to watch

The film feels like a rejected script of a daily soap that should have been made several decades ago. 

Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu review: Bigg Boss Kannada fame Anupama’s film is so melodramatic it’s painful to watch
Anupama Gowda in a still from the film

Last Updated: 05.31 PM, Apr 29, 2023


Story: Sukanya (Anupama Gowda) is a lower-middle class garment factory worker, who lives with her good-for-nothing husband Shankara (Vishu E Achar), an autorikshaw driver, and daughter. As the primary breadwinner, Sukanya’s life is one of constant struggle. If the issues with her husband were not bad enough, she also has to deal with the lecherous manager at the factory. Is there hope for a better and brighter future for her?

Review: When the new Kannada OTT platform Cinebazzar picked up a film that was not going to theatres and had Bigg Boss Kannada fame Anupama Gowda on the cast, the first thought that struck was to try out the experience of the streamer. Registration was fairly simple and once the payment for the film is done, it is available to stream for 24 hours. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong film for this whole experience.


Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu, a title that will remind most of the 1983 film of the same name featuring Suhasini Maniratnam and Jai Jagdish. The problem with the new film that comes 50 years later, is that it is stuck in the original’s era or even earlier, for that matter. The film by Devi Sri Prasad attempts to be a tear-jerker about a woman’s struggle, but the story and the treatment is so jaded and caricaturish that it feels like the rejected script of a Kannada daily soap that was then pieced together into a film. The drunken, abusive husband, the lecherous manager at the factory, the struggle to put a square meal on the table, the inability to pay the child’s tuition fee at the private school and the unexpected quarters from where help eventually comes (in this case, the neighbourhood sex worker), these are all meant to tug at your heart strings, but the trouble is that we’ve seen it all a gazillion times and, for that matter, presented much better than it is here. This one’s just sheer torture to sit through.

I was tempted to stop watching the film at the interval point, but was determined to soldier on to see how much worse it could get. And it did, when the melodrama was then liberally peppered with social messages about treating women with respect. But that wasn’t even the worst bit. If the performances of most of the cast was painfully exaggerated, Anupama’s brief, it seemed was to look sad, dull and shed the occasional tear on repeat mode. It makes one wonder not only what she saw in the script to be a part of it, but how and why she finished it up. Talking of ending, well, let’s not even get to the climax of the film. Sigh!

Verdict: Avoid!

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