The very thought of watching the logo of Dwarakish Chitra on the silver screen as part of the credit rolls of Ayushman Bhava 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, which build up a thriller.
Vasu, recognised for churning out family-based subjects that pack in emotions of love with a tinge of suspense and horror, was aware that with a stalwart like Shivarajkumar in the film, he needed to keep the star’s fans happy too.
So he made sure that their attention was invited right at the beginning with an action sequence, which is captured on a running train, with a bogie on fire.
Cut, and the film takes us forward by three years, where we are introduced to Gopi (Anant Nag), living in a mansion with a close-knit family. Right opposite to this house is an outhouse, where one can hear cries, which gives a hint of horror.
Shivarajkumar enters Gopi’s house as Krishna. While he wins everyone’s heart in a jiffy, he convinces the family that he is looking for a job, and Gopi appoints him as a full-time caretaker.
Krishna’s inquisitiveness as to what’s happening in the outhouse, and about the person who is living alone there, is discussed by every member in the family.
He carefully makes an entry into the locked house, where he meets Lakshmi (Rachita Ram). She is Gopi’s mentally unstable granddaughter, who is kept away from the family.
Krishna, who has studied Lakshmi’s background, takes the help of 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 the occasion, 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 traced in Kerala. Krishna faces a crisis, as the two are chased by the police.
In spite of all the hurdles, Krishna manages to succeed in bringing back Lakshmi’s life to normal, and also brings her back home. Gopi and the entire family is upset with the incident.
However, they are happy to see that Lakshmi is fully recovered. Why Krishna is hellbent on getting Lakshmi cured of her illness, which he does with the help of music therapy, is told by one of Gopi’s relatives (Ramesh Bhat) when the former’s true identity is revealed.
The story of a doctor, who goes all out to rectify a mistake, is narrated in a sensitive manner. Vasu has stuck to his roots, and every scene in Aysuhman Bhava has the director’s presence.
From Shivarajkumar to Rachita Ram, the entire star cast brings forward his vision. Having put the film in the bracket of a musical thriller, the director makes sure that an extra effort is made on the background score, which has been composed by music director Gurukiran.
With a host of characters coming in and out, we see many well-known faces on the screen. An 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 the credit goes to a PKH Das, who has given the best aerial view of Kerala.
With increasing experience, Shivarajkumarhas has also 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 at relevant times, which mostly comes to the fore during 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 from her. 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 into films, 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 kind of subjects, 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 might also get Rachita Ram a new set of fans.
Director: P Vasu
Cast: Shivarajkumar, Rachita Ram and Anant Nag
Rating: 3.5 /5