Bheeshma movie review: A breezy and funny outing

Treated as a romantic entertainer with the theme of organic farming, director Venky Kudumula maintains a pulse of humour and drama, balancing the neatly-written character graphs to the storyline.
Still from the movie Bheeshma.
Still from the movie Bheeshma.

Bheeshma (Nithiin) is a meme creator, who is embarrassed about staying single and makes futile attempts to get rid of his singleton status. He falls for Chaitra (Rashmika Mandanna) at first sight and tries to woo her till he inadvertently gets embroiled in a complex situation.

Then we have a lonely old man named Bheeshma (Anant Nag), who runs Bheeshma Organics. He is on the lookout for a suitable successor, who can carry forward his ideology in this corporate world. His moves were closely watched by his rival Jisshu Sengupta (Raghavan), who is on a mission to promote conventional chemical farming over organic agriculture. How do these worlds connect with each other forms the crux of Bheeshma.

Treated as a romantic entertainer with the theme of organic farming, director Venky Kudumula maintains a pulse of humour and drama, balancing the neatly-written character graphs to the storyline. The script is unwavering and he narrates in a completely straight-forward manner. With spurts of entertainment and no poignant moments, he hits the right notes and ensures that the execution never goes off the rails.

It is refreshing to note how in the guise of a love story, Venky conveys some facts about the hidden dangers of chemical fertilisers. Without making a big noise about it, he drives home the message about how these pesticides may cause acidification and mineral depletion of the soil. It’s equally exciting to see how he highlights a subtle point about leading our way of life in Koratala Siva’s style, while reminding us of Trivikram Srinivas’ flavour in terms of keeping the comedy quotient high.

The first half is interesting and a lot of film’s best bits rest in this hour. Post intermission, the drama gets quite predictable and repetitive. The progression of the quirky love track is interrupted by some mundane sequences as well. As a result, there’s a change of pace that feels abrupt. A little emotional heft would have kept the narrative afloat and the director falters at places by taking cinematic and creative liberties in certain scenes with respect to the point of view.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean this hour lacks the finest moments. The tunnel scene in which Bheeshma pretends to have kissed Chaitra and the ensuing conversation between Vennela Kishore and Raghu Babu will leave the audience in splits. The battle of wits involving Bheeshma and Raghavan is charming. The beauty of Venky’s screenplay is that it gives us scenarios and moments that are entertaining, genuine and meaningful. The dialogues too are quirky as the characters in the film and they liven the scenes.

Nithiin and Rashmika make a cute pair and their love story plays a pleasant sub-plot to the narrative. They both deliver compelling yet nuanced performances. Sampath Raj as Chaitra’s father, Deva plays an effective role which would surely etch his performance into the minds of the audience. Especially, his WhatsApp conversation with Bheeshma is so funny that your sides will ache from laughing. Vennela Kishore gives a stand-out performance with his witty one-liners.

Among the character actors, Brahmaji, Naresh VK, and Raghu Babu have their moments to shine. It is a delight to see Anant Nag in Telugu cinema after decades. He walks through his performance with a blend of a restraint, exuberance and conveys the message with his expressive eyes. Hebah Patel makes her presence felt in a special appearance.

Music composer Mahati Swara Sagar’s effective use of trumpet and water phone to elevate and dramatise the events or characters on screen is commendable. The songs Singles Anthem and Whattey Beauty have some nice moments and their placement complements the narrative. The usage of an old Telugu film song like Gaali Vaanalo (from Sobhan Babu-starrer Swayamvaram) gives a nostalgic feel. The situation resonates with the ordeal of the protagonist and also enhances the mood of the film.

Overall, Bheeshma is a breezy entertainer which works largely because of its original writing and
entertainment. The film is an easy and enjoyable watch for this weekend.

Movie: Bheeshma

Direction: Venky Kudumula

Cast: Nithiin, Rashmika Mandanna, Anant Nag Direction: Venky Kudumula

Rating: 3/5

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