‘Kousalya Supraja Rama’ movie review: An engaging take on the perils of male ego

Director’s Shashank’s relationship drama, starring Darling Krishna, Milana Nagaraj and Brinda Acharya is extremely watchable thanks to the performances and a sensitive handling of an important theme

Updated - July 29, 2023 01:51 pm IST

Published - July 28, 2023 05:59 pm IST

Brinda Acharya and Darling Krishna in ‘Kousalya Supraja Rama’

Brinda Acharya and Darling Krishna in ‘Kousalya Supraja Rama’ | Photo Credit: Saregama Kannada/YouTube

Watching the protagonist Ram (Darling Krishna) in Kousalya Supraja Rama reminds you of V Ravichandran’s titular character in the 1996 Kannada film Sipayi. Ram’s chauvinistic attitude is a mirror of Sipayi’s behaviour with his lover (Soundarya), whom he calls his bombe (doll). She is a puppet in Sipyai’s hands, while Ram wants women to dance to his tune.

Women in both films retaliate to expose the prejudiced mind of their respective men. However, Sipayi’s conclusion reveals the outlook of people back then, as the film declares that a woman is incomplete without a man. But in director Shashank’s Kousalya Supraja Rama, the writing of the female character (Brinda Acharya) suits the times we live in; she is progressive enough to show her back on a man who needs constant ego-massaging.

This is the first big plus of the film. The hero’s transformation happens not just due to a personal loss but also because he is too late to make amends to save his relationship. Till then, Ram is an arrogant individual, who follows his father’s (Rangayana) principles on being a man. His father’s philosophy in life involves disregard for women, and this leads to Ram mistreating even his mother Kousalya (Sudha Belawadi).

Kausalya Supraja Rama (Kannada)
Director: Shashank
Cast: Darling Krishna, Milana Nagaraj, Brinda Acharya, Nagabhushana Runtime: 147 minutes
Storyline: A chauvinistic man changes the way he treats women when he suffers twin setbacks in his life 

Tables turn when a changed Ram marries Muthu Lakshmi (Milana Nagaraj), who is progressive yet flawed. Her character allows Ram to stop looking at life from his point of view and understand people around him. Once pampered and handled with kid gloves by his mother, Ram now takes the responsibility of making a difference in his wife’s life. 

Muthu Lakshmi is an alcoholic, and director Shashank doesn’t make her an object of ridicule. He tries to offer a reason (though it’s silly) for her addiction. But the director’s struggle to take the story to the climax without bumps is apparent when the plot runs in circles in the last act. Even if it’s well-intentioned, Kousalya Supraja Rama is told through a male gaze, and Muthu Lakshmi is just a tool to help Ram become a better person.

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Despite the rough edges, Kousalya Supraja Rama is thoroughly watchable because Shashank’s writing is mostly focused on the film’s central theme. Even Nagabhushan’s character isn’t just used for comedy, but also to unmask Ram’s hypocrisy with brutal sarcasm. Milana Nagaraj’s portrayal of a drunkard is a tad over the top, but she performs with superb restraint in serious portions. Darling Krishna is convincing in both shades of Ram, and it’s a relief to see the real-life couple’s chemistry revel on screen after a couple of miss-hits (Love Birds, Mr Bachelor).

Films that talk about a man’s flaws often end up glorifying him to appease the masses. When Ram calls a girl “bro” for smoking, there were whistles in the theatre, but the hall went silent when the hero talks about gender equality. Maybe we need more such films to warm us up to some harsh truths. It’s encouraging that Shashank, for the most of the film, has dealt with an important subject with sensitivity. 

Kausalya Supraja Rama is running in theatres

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