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Kousalya Supraja Rama review: Shashank’s film has its heart in the right place

After a decent first half, the second act gets a tad melodramatic, but the performances by the lead cast see the film through

Kousalya Supraja Rama review: Shashank’s film has its heart in the right place
Brinda Acharya and Darling Krishna in a still from the film

Last Updated: 01.00 PM, Jul 28, 2023


Story: From a very young age, Rama (played by Darling Krishna in the adult version) is made to understand that the true mark of a man is to show women their place as inferior beings. His mother is the all-suffering gentle soul Kousalya (Sudha Belawadi), who not only puts up with her husband’s physical, verbal and emotional abuse, but also the general disregard that Rama has about her as a human being.

Rama’s bad boy streak gets him a lot of female admirers that he remains aloof to, until engineering college fresher Shivani (Brinda Acharya) steals his heart. Can Rama overcome his inherent chauvinistic self and be a better man after all?


Review: When a filmmaker with a mixed box of hits and misses goes to great lengths to proclaim that a film he’s written and directed is his best to date, a sentiment echoed by his lead actor, who has also had a string of unsuccessful movies to his credit, one would be inclined to take it with a pinch of salt. Kousalya Supraja Rama, the film in question, is quite good, but it is not as extraordinary as it is being made out to be, and that is primarily down to the narrative in the second half that leans too much on melodrama. It is salvaged a great deal by the measured performances by the lead cast.

Director Shashank’s choice of subject this time around is male chauvinism, a trait that he admits he too wielded with abandon many years ago. The realization of the harm his behaviour, and that of the men in his close circles, was unleashing on the women in their lives and how that ought to be remedied forms the backbone of his film, Kousalya Supraja Rama.

Chauvinism in any form is not desirable, and in that respect, it is commendable that Shashank has chosen to highlight this issue, which tends to be overlooked and even considered normal, when society puts the onus of ‘adjusting’ for the sake of the greater good of the family on a woman. In the first half of the film, Shashank is spot on in his depiction of the misogynistic traits of Siddegowda (Rangayana Raghu) and his son Rama (Darling Krishna) and the silently-suffering and forgiving mother Kousalya (Sudha Belawadi). All is well until the interval, when Rama finds his match in Muttu Lakshmi (Milana Nagaraj), through whom he gets his karma cards dealt.

Post-interval, the film’s tone changes, and not really for the better. What helps is that the cast, mainly Milana, with just the right amount of histrionics. The film benefits a great deal from the casting choices. Krishna gets his act together quite well (but for the drunk scenes), while Brinda Acharya not only looks good paired with him, but also holds her own. Sudha Belawadi is, undoubtedly, one of the better screen mothers, embodying Kousalya not only in her body language, but also in the way she speaks. Nagabhushan gets most of the better lines in the film, rising to being more than just the comic relief.

Kousalya Supraja Rama has its heart in the right place. Its problem lies in Milana’s characterisation, with the reasons behind some of her behaviours being downright lame. Thankfully, her performance ensures it's not all downhill. Saying anything more at this point would amount to spoilers, so I’ll refrain, but suffice to say that the definition of a strong woman character still eludes Kannada filmmakers.

Verdict: No doubt, filmmaker Shashank means well with his choice of subject for Kousalya Supraja Rama, and kudos to him for trying, but could he have handled the second half better? Oh yeah! If family sentiments with happy endings are your cup of tea, go for it.


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