Bheemasena Nalamaharaja Movie Review: A lovingly cooked dish
The story revolves around the central themes of family and food, beautifully validating the expression ‘a family that eats together, stays together’
A chance encounter over perfectly-cooked biryani between caretaker Sarah Mary (Priyanka Thimmesh) and chef Lathessha (Aravinnd Iyer) makes the opening of Bheemasena Nalamaharaja, the latest offering from director Karthik Saragur, which has been released on Amazon Prime Video today.
The story revolves around the central themes of family and food, beautifully validating the expression ‘a family that eats together, stays together’. The characters here are fresh ingredients to a popular recipe which involves family, relationships and food.
Sarah meets Lathessha at the Nadi Moola Resort where she drools over biryani cooked by him and a simple 'thank you' to the chef leads to a conversation in which Lathessha recounts his life journey, narrating several brutal truths which have brought him to the present day. Lathessha is an orphan and while growing up, he becomes best friends with Kenda (Vijay Chendoor). Becoming a chef was always a passion, he says, and he talks of how he first met Vedavalli (Aarohi Narayan), an extrovert and a very stubborn girl. Enamoured by her charms, Lathessha changes his name to Bheemasena Nalamaharaja and leaves the resort where he works to live in the city. He runs a mobile canteen to make ends meet and ends up marrying her against the wishes of her strict father (Achyuth Kumar), an Iyengar bakery owner. The couple is eventually blessed with a daughter.
Cast: Aravinnd Iyer, Aarohi Narayan, Priyanka Thimmesh, Achyuth Kumar
Director: Karthik Saragur
Producers: Pushkar Mallikarjunaiah, Rakshit Shetty, Hemanth M Rao
Now you might think Latheesha’s life is going great and you wouldn’t be wrong, except that one horrible night turns his life upside down. Faced with unpredictable challenges, he must rely on his love for his wife, his family, and his cooking talents to extricate himself from the mess he is in. Will this work for him? You have to wait for the unexpected climax to find out.
The story is narrated by Sarah, who highlights the twists and turns this cook’s life takes. Bheemasena Nalamaharaja is a simple story written by Suni and Karthik that reminds you of a well-made dish, perfect for the palate. It has all the basic rasas and is equal parts sweet, sour and bitter, with just a hint of spice. Each character has been created with finesse and the performances reflect this too. Aravinnd has practically lived his character of the chef. Arohi Narayan as Vedavalli and Priyanka Thimmesh as Sarah balance out Aravinnd’s character and Achyuth Kumar delivers a versatile performance. Vijay Chendoor, known for his usual comedy outings, has been cast in a slightly different role this time around. A special mention also goes to child artistes, Chitrali and Aadya.
However, like any popular dish, this one too has a few shortcomings — it is slow-paced and some sequences are unnecessary. If they are cut out from the final product, the result would be a perfectly balanced dish. Two thing you must not miss Bheemasena Nalamaharaja for though are the absolutely delightful Charanraj's background score and Ravindranath's cinematography.