Cast: Aishwarya Rajesh, Rajendra Prasad, Siva Karthikeyan, Vennela Kishore
Story: Arunraja Kamaraj
Screenplay – Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao
Dialogues – Hanuman Chowdary
Cinematography – B Andrews
Editor – Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Music – Dhibu Ninan Thomas
Direction – Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao
If Remaking is an art, Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao has been an expert in it. He made Subhakankshalu, Suswagatham, Suryavamsham, Subhamasthu, Suprabatham, Dongodu, Sudigadu and Annavaram. From 1995 to 1999, he became a big name for all the producers looking for a director to remake a film. EVV Satyanarayana, Raviraja Pinisetty used to be given remake films before him but EVV completely took over comedy scene as his forte decreasing the amount of remakes he touch and Raviraja lost his market after Sarada Bullodu and Rukhmini failures. Hence, Bhimaneni took over the remake market as the best possible director with big hits.
But his touch in remakes seems to have been lost. His Speedunnodu, Silly Fellows and now, Kousalya Krishnamurthy, all show that he is not able to recreate same emotion from the original. A role that Sathyaraj owned in Tamil did not translate with same conviction in Telugu as Rajendra Prasad looked odd with a beard that seemed completely fake. For an actor like him, who is accepted in his regular looks, doesn’t need a fake beard or something that makes him look out of character.
Jhansi doesn’t seem to be the right choice for a role that requires a real middle aged woman from village. Jhansi is trying hard to prove her mettle as an actress but she is asked to shout more than required to capture anger. People feel she is getting monotonous in her portrayal as well. The role might have worked better with Radhika or Divya Vani who have better chemistry with Rajendra Prasad and have wider range than Jhansi.
Aishwarya Rajesh who became a revelation in Tamil in the same character, looked too rigid in the Telugu version. She is active in some and she is rigid in others. When you see the Tamil version, you feel that she was far more consistent and better as her interpretation matched with director’s feedback one feels. The way, director handled her in this version also seems unconvincing. She is clearly unable to match herself from original and the blame should go to the director and direction department.
The important scenes from the original where, a farmer’s story is paralleled with a sports player’s journey are missed here. There Siva Karthikeyan was the producer and director needed such a character to bring audiences to the theater. Original writer used Chak De India and many sports dramas to make his version of all of them. And a strong presence of a box office star helped the film to get better coverage and openings.
Here, Sivakarthikeyan is not a star and the music did not become as major success as Tamil version too. So, using same scenes from the original wkgg dubbing, made it look like a cheap attempt than making a genuine attempt like Bhimaneni used in 90’s. Music is same but in Telugu the songs did not work as much as the original. Andrews camera work is patchy and editing is not upto the mark too.
On the whole, if the makers decided to take the heart of the original and tried their own script in Telugu, the movie could have been much much better. With performers like Aishwarya, Rajendra Prasad, we don’t see why a strong concept is so diluted by going for dubbing of important game scenes. If a star actor was needed may be Nani or Vijay Devarakonda, with a good paycheck might have accepted to be a part of the film giving it much better native Telugu film feel rather than clumsily executed cheap remake feel. You can easily watch original with subtitles on streaming platforms.