The genre of romantic comedy/drama is one of the most overused genres in cinema across languages. Hence it is difficult to make an engaging romantic film given that only two kinds of endings are possible. One happy and the other sad, but when done well it is always a delight to watch a good Rom com like this one.
Conflict points in romantic films have varied over the years. Earlier it used to be parental opposition. Often times this parental opposition used to come on the grounds of money and caste. However this soon became a cliché in movies (though not in the real world) and thankfully it has now taken a back seat. After money and caste next came the protagonists belonging to different communities. Abhishek Varman’s 2 states is a perfect example of this. The director gave a nuanced film about a Punjabi boy and a Tamil girl and how they overcome the barrier of belonging to two different cultures.
Currently the theme of live in relationship is hugely in vogue. Many Hindi films like Shuddh Desi Romance, Luka Chuppi etc have had stories of live in set in non metro areas. Urvasivo Rakshasivo directed by Rakesh Sashi deals with modern issues in love and also an interesting conflict point between marriage and a live in relationship. Keeping with the current trend of remakes Urvasivo Rakshasivo is also based on the Tamil film Pyaar Prema Kaadhal. Since I have not seen the Tamil film my review will be as a standalone.
Sree Kumar (Allu Sirish) gets smitten by Sindhu (Anu Emmanuel) who is working in a different office but soon joins him. Sree makes several attempts to woo her with the help of Sunil and Vennela Kishore. Sindhu starts liking Sree too but it isn’t love for her yet. On a rainy night they both get intimate and Sree proposes love to Sindhu but she doesn’t accept. The reason according to her is it happened in the heat of the moment. Sindhu has some very clear cut goals with ambitions of setting up a restaurant and marriage doesn’t really feature in that yet. Sree on the other hand comes from a conservative middle class family where the mother played by Amani wants a nice homely girl for her son. Sree gets heartbroken when Sindhu doesn’t accept his love but things change when Sindhu also falls for him. However, there is a big hitch. Sree wants marriage but Sindhu proposes live-in. After some thinking Sree agrees for live-in hoping that he can convince Sindhu for a marriage later on. They take a pent house and soon Sree is juggling between his live-in relationship and also being a dutiful son without the parents’ knowledge. This is the basic synopsis.
The best thing about Urvasivo Rakshasivo is how the director does justice to the title. Sindhu is easily the trickier part out of the two leads both to write and also enact. On more than one occasion Anu Emmanuel may come across as spoiled with her opinions and dreams, but at the same time the audiences also understand where Sindhu is coming from and why she is so stubborn when it comes to not wanting marriage. Anu Emmanuel does a brilliant job in striking the perfect balance and makes the audiences fall in with love with her. This is easily her best performance till date. Kudos to Rakesh Sashi for not spoiling the core of Sindhu’s character even when the situation becomes ugly. The happy ending also doesn’t come at the cost of squashing Sindhu‘s dreams which is very satisfying.
Rakesh Sashi also deserves credit for how he portrays the differences in the attitudes of his two protagonists. Both Sree and Sindhu come across as very believable persons and perfectly right in their own place. The chemistry between Sirish and Anu Emmanuel is on point and their love making scenes have been aesthetically shot.
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Also the film never gets into the zone of preaching about live in relationships. There is enough entertainment particularly in the second half when the juggling act begins. Sunil and Vennela Kishore are majorly responsible for that. Their scenes with Sirish are a laugh riot. Vennela Kishore in particular is a hoot with his one liners inspired from the OTT terminology. My favorite bit in the second half is when Sree is running from his parent’s house to the pent house and vice versa becomes a representation of a batsman running between the wickets.
The portions between Anu and her on screen father Prithvi are also good to watch. There is certain sweetness to them. Prithvi as the modern dad works as a contrast to Amani’s traditional mother.
Allu Sirish as Sree is a perfect fit for his part. He does stand his own and makes the tribulations of Sree relatable. However, there is one bit which sticks out and that is the scene when Sree gets drunk.
The songs by Achu Rajamani and Anup Rubens are mostly a delight to watch except for the break up number.
The one area where Urvasivo Rakshasivo could have been better is the first half. The conflict point could have come earlier with a cut down on the office scenes.
Final word: Urvasivo Rakshasivo is a rom com with enough entertainment and more importantly a strong leading lady.