'Krishna Tulasi' manages to do better than many previous films with disabled protagonists.

Krishna Tulasi review This romantic drama is a heartwarming tale about love and blindnessScreenshot/YouTube
Flix Sandalwood Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 10:51

Stories about persons with disability are generally a troubling prospect in Sandalwood. More often than not, audiences are served up a tale dripping with pity and condescension, as the disabled protagonists work simply as a mirror for the faults of the able-bodied characters around them.

Thankfully, while Krishna Tulasi can’t entirely escape from the trope of disabled persons with hearts of gold, it manages to do better than many previous films with disabled protagonists.

The film tells a love story that slowly blossoms between Krishna (Sanchari Vijay) and Tulasi (Meghashree). While Krishna is a tour guide who has recently moved from his hometown in Madikeri to Mysuru (much to his mother’s disappointment and concern), Tulasi is a voice artist in a dubbing studio. As they meet repeatedly on the same bus, conversations turn into friendship, which is poised to blossom into love. But a sudden revelation leads Krishna to a questionable decision regarding the relationship, and it seems like this love story may end before either person confesses their love.

There are more than a few interesting elements in this film. For one, in an effort to treat its blind characters respectfully, writer and director Sukesh Nayak spends a lot of time focusing on their daily routines and the way they live their lives. The picture the film tries to paint is of dignified, self-sufficient individuals who have made the best of their circumstances, and largely succeeds.

For another, it also fleshes out its protagonists, giving us a sense of their work, their various relationships, and their hopes and desires. And it keeps the eternally wise, innocent and genial personae of disabled persons to a minimum, which many previous films have struggled to do.

The visual journey is also quite pleasing, with the film bathing Mysuru in a mellow warmth. The music is similarly quite likely to stay with one long after the end credits roll by. On the acting front, Sanchari Vijay pulls off a strong performance, capturing the texture of a variety of emotions. Meghashree struggles with overplaying her character at times, but is largely likeable. The rest of the cast including Ramesh Bhat, Tabla Nani, Kuri Prathap and Padmaja Rao, deliver an earnest set of performances too.

The film, however, isn’t entirely able to escape from the heart of gold syndrome, and conceive of disabled characters who might be selfish or self-centric. So it never manages to move far enough from overdone tropes in Kannada cinema, particularly in the somewhat disappointing climax. It could also have done with a tighter edit, as it drags in parts and takes too long to get to its central dramatic conflict.

Still, Krishna Tulasi is worth a watch for anyone who’s tired of formulaic mass entertainers and is looking for a genial, if a tad too sentimental, tale.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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