Saturday, February 11, 2006

Khushi (2004)

Khushi (2004)
Featuring: Anant Nag, Avinash, Vijay Ragavendra, Sindhu Menon and others.
Directed by: Prakash

Quite honestly I have never been crazy about movies that revolve around teenage life. That probably is because every teen is so eager to become an adult that once we all have passed that stage, anything remotely to do with that rather bizarre phases of our lives looks least appealing. Especially after the bizarre and meaningless ‘Excuse Me!’ my resistance against such “its all about love as we see it” themes by college going dudes and dames has only increased.

I watched “Khushi” despite this because I nurse a quiet admiration for Vijay Raghavendra. Right from his “Chinnaari Mutta” days this child artiste seemed like a confident performer. The other obvious reason why I wanted to see the feature was for Anant Nag. Good or bad, Anant always delivers and if you throw in Avinash as well, it makes for one interesting mix of things.

“Khushi” is an entertaining fare. It is a movie that connects two very vital generations of our times and I encourage movie makers to make more such movies in the future. Movies and India, as I have so often said, are like the Siamese twins. One cannot live without the other. This makes teenage theme-based movies very delicate since they affect the present and future of our land. Directors and script writers need to make smart choices in how they deliver the message. Prakash, in this case, does exactly that. Without falling for the very easy trap of showcasing teens sucking each others faces and pretty much demanding love with the all too familiar “nanna love maaDu!”, Prakash showcases a complete family entertainer.

Ajay, Vijay (brothers) and Shashi (cousin) live with their respective fathers (Avinash and Anant who are brothers as well) and Avinash’s wife. From childhood these three are known for their “back-door” ways of dealing with problems which includes everything from forging report cards and lying to parents without a blink. Fed up of their non stop antics, the brothers send their kids to stay and study in a boys’ hostel. The boys grow up with unfulfilled wishes of freedom and dreams of living a complete teenage life. To make sure at least their college life is full of fun, they manage to dupe their parents once again into believing that they are ‘too childish’ in nature and need some real world experience if they are to take over the family run business. To accomplish this seemingly difficult task the brother duo then shunts these three fellows to live in one of their bungalows under the watchful eye of Mandeep (Mandeep Rai). One thing leads to another and the boys manage to master all vices in no time. During the three years of their stay there they also manage to fish out some belles for themselves to dance around and date when required.

They return home victors but as it turns out, a drunken Mandeep spills the beans on these guys’ real picture. The parents are shell shocked to realize that their erroneous ways have not yet bettered. In a heated exchange of words the boys leave home with a challenge to make a certain amount of money in one month. This whole scenario reminds of several movies we have seen in the past and so has nothing much to it.

Once out in the real world the boys (now men) still find it hard to land on their feet from this freefall. One event after another they start realizing the true meaning of the word responsibility, affection, family and what it takes to have a social identity. The rest of the story revolves around how the girls in their lives, especially Vijay Raghavendra’s girlfriend Chaaya (Sindhu Menon), help these guys realize their true worth and find true “Khushi”.

As I said, movies like this one do not need too much dissection. The theme of the teen mind going through various ups and downs to discover reality is what “Khushi” is all about. One wonders if the director could have experimented with this time tested theme a little more and designed more creative scenarios instead of following the traditional approach.

Performance wise Vijay Raghavendra occupies a good amount of screen presence with his experienced portfolio. I hope he gets more challenging roles to improve and grow as a professional. The other two performers are ok with nothing exceptional to write home about. The same goes about the girls playing their respective girlfriends. Only Sindhu Menon gets apt screen time and she essays her role with a lot of confidence. It is easy to lose character in such a large casting but she keeps her focus well. Supporting cast which includes a bumbling Dwarakish and a wasted Ramesh Bhat enter and exit without much to do.

Technically the movie is fresh and editing is crisp. Music and background score are very well scored by Guru Kiran and are shot well in the movie too. Watch out for one disco number which seems to have drawn a lot of inspiration from “Dil Chaahta Hai”’s disco track in its presentation.

On the whole “Khushi” entertains, amuses and delivers.

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