Ayushman Bhava: Shivanna brings to life P Vasu’s musical thriller
With the trademark elements of director P Vasu, Ayushman Bhava, starring Shivarajkumar and Rachita Ram, is a treat for audiences from all walks of life
Watching the logo of Dwarakish Chitra on the silver screen as Ayushman Bhava's credit rolls evokes a wave of nostalgia. The production house’s 52nd film has director P Vasu’s stamp all over it. The director, who has written the story and the screenplay, establishes the subject right in the beginning with musical keynotes in the background.
Vasu, known for his family-based subjects that pack in emotions with a tinge of suspense and horror, was aware that with a star like Shivarajkumar in the lead, he needed to keep the star’s fans happy too. So, he gives them an action sequence right at the beginning, on top of a running train, with a bogie on fire, no less. Cut, and the film takes us forward three years, where we are introduced to Gopi (Anant Nag) living in a mansion with a close-knit family. Right opposite to this is an outhouse, where one can hear cries, which gives a hint of horror.
Shivarajkumar enters Gopi’s house as Krishna. He wins everyone’s heart in a jiffy and convinces the family that he is looking for a job, and Gopi appoints him as a full-time caretaker. Krishna’s inquisitiveness about the outhouse is discussed by every member of the family. He carefully makes an entry into the locked house and finds Lakshmi (Rachita Ram). She is Gopi’s mentally unstable granddaughter, who is kept away from the family. Krishna, who has studied Lakshmi’s background, uses music to establish a friendship with her.
‘Friend’ is how Lakshmi addresses Krishna. A wedding in the family leads to Lakshmi’s cousin, Chethan (Yash Shetty), expressing his wish to marry her. While the entire family is happy with the news and gets ready for another wedding, it does not go well with Krishna. It is on the day of the wedding that both Krishna and Lakshmi go missing from the house, and they are tracked down in Kerala.
In spite of all the hurdles, Krishna manages to cure Lakshmi and takes her back home. Gopi and the entire family are upset with the incident. However, they are happy to see that Lakshmi is fully recovered. Why Krishna was hellbent on curing Lakshmi is told by one of Gopi’s relatives (Ramesh Bhat), when the real identity of Krishna is revealed.
The story of a doctor, who goes all out to rectify a mistake, is narrated sensitively in this movie. Vasu has stuck to his roots, and every scene in Aysuhman Bhava has the director’s stamp. From Shivarajkumar to Rachita Ram, the entire star cast forwards his vision.
To justify the musical tag of the film, the director makes sure that the background score, composed by music director Gurukiran, is extra special. Equal prominence is given to the songs and their placement. The connection between Krishna and Lakshmi is established with soulful tracks like Takita Takita, Sara Sara, and Krishna Nee Begane, which have been worded well by the lyricist.
While the first part of the film deals with the family drama, the second half makes it a visual treat — and credit for this goes to PKH Das, who has given the best aerial view of Kerala.
Shivarajkumar has incresingly become selective about his roles. He is making sure that the character goes with his age, and Krishna is tailor-made for the Century Star. He moves between showing subtle expressions as well as getting aggressive during the action blocks.
Rachita Ram is seen in total contrast from her previous film, and she outshines others with her performance. P Vasu has helped her pull out a never-seen-before performance. The actor has always been tagged as a commercial heroine, but Ayushman Bhavan takes her acting talent to a new level.
It is nice to watch Anant Nag, who aces any role with ease, in a lengthy character. Nidhi Subbiah, who is making a comeback, makes her presence felt in a few scenes and a song.
Ayushman Bhava is a film that can attract all kinds of audiences, including ardent followers of Vasu’s oeuvre, especially films like Apthamitra and Aptharakshaka. It also works well for fans of Shivarajkumar, and for those who want to see more of Anant Nag. This film might also get Rachita Ram a new set of fans.