May 23, 1988 in Kerala, India
May 23, 1988 in Kerala, India
Bhama is a south-Indian film actress who is known for her work in Malayalam and Kannada language movies. After making a promising debut with the Malayalam movie Nivedyam (2007), for which the actress bagged several awards, she went on to appear in movies such as Ivar Vivahitharayal (2009), Sakudumbam Shyamala (2010), Neelambari (2010), Sevenes (2011), Shyloo (2012), and Ramanujan (2014).
Bhama was born as Rekhita Kurup to Shylaja Rajendra Kurup on May 23, 1989, in Kottayam, Kerela. She is the youngest amongst her siblings and has two elder sisters – Renjitha and Reshmitha. Bhama initially did her schooling from the St. Mary's Higher Secondary School and later attended the Infant Jesus School Manarcad. The actress later achieved a bachelor's degree in Sociology via a correspondence course.
Bhama began her acting career with the TV show Thaali; she was an anchor of the show that aired on Surya TV.
As an Actor
After finding success in the TV industry, Bhama made her film debut with the Malayalam movie Nivedyam (2007), directed by A.K. Lothidas, whom she considers as her mentor. Staying true to the director's faith, the actress went on to deliver a compelling performance as Sathya Bhama and bagged multiple awards as well: including the Film Critics Award for Best Newcomer and Ala Award for Best Actress.
In the same year, she appeared in a supporting role in the film Hareendran Oru Nishkalankan directed by Vinayan, with Indrajith and Jayasurya in the lead roles. The film is written by Vishnu Vinayan, based on his own comic book. The following year she found success with the movie Cycle (2008) directed by Johny Antony and then ventured into Tamil cinema. Making her debut in the Tamil film industry, the actress starred in the movie Ellam Avan Seyal which was a remake of the Malayalam movie Chinthamani Kolacase (2006). However, unlike its Malayalam version, which was one of the biggest hits of 2006, Ellam Avan Seyal failed to impress the Tamil audience and bombed at the box office. This movie turned out to be the only Tamil movie for Bhama in the decade, and she would only go on to appear in her second Tamil movie four years later – Sevarkodi (2012).
After the failure of Ellam Avan Seyal, in the same year, Bhama starred in Bipin Prabhakar's One Way Ticket (2008), alongside Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead role. The movie was Bipin's second project and much was expected from the movie as he had shown his caliber with his maiden movie Khakhi (2007). However, the movie received unfavorable reviews at the box office and turned out to be another failure for Bhama, who had very little to do in the movie. The actress' ill luck at the box office continued in 2009 as she starred in another unsuccessful movie Colours directed by Raj Babu. It was only in June 2009 that Bhama delivered a hit with Saji Surendran's directorial debut Ivar Vivahitharayal. The actress essayed the role of Kavya, a radio jockey, in the movie which went on to have a dream run at the box office.
In 2010, Bhama appeared in a low-budget comedy movie Sakudumbam Shyamala, alongside Kunchako Boban, Urvashi, Saikumar, Nedumudi Venu, and Suraj Venjaramoodu. Despite being made on a low budget, the movie went on to become a box-office hit. Banking on the success of two back-to- back hits, Bhama starred in another blockbuster movie Neelambari directed by Harinarayan. The drama movie that also stars Anoop Menon and Vineeth in lead roles went on to run for 150 days in Mallapally. The Malayalam star in the same year made her Kannada debut with the movie Modalasala (2010) alongside Yash. Replicating her Malayalam film industry success, she delivered another convincing performance in the role of Deepu. After tasting success in the Kannada film industry, in the following year, she made her Telugu film debut with Manchivadu (2011) opposite Tanish. However, the movie did not fare well at the box office and Bhama and Tanish as a lead pair were negatively criticized by the audience. The same year she appeared in two other Malayalam movies Swapna Sanchari and Sevenes which fared well at the box office.
Bhama next debuted in Kannada cinema in 2012 with the movie Shyloo alongside Ganesh, The movie, which is a remake of the successful Tamil movie Mynaa, received average reviews at the box office but Bhama and Ganesh’s performances were appreciated by the critics. Following this, her second Kannada film the same year titled Ondu Kshanadalli directed by Dinesh Babu was criticized for its insipid narration. However, The Times of India gave the film three stars out of five and praised the film's script and narration. She had two Malayalam releases both on similar romantic comedy genres with an ensemble cast; Husbands in Goa which was a hit at the box office and 101 Weddings which received average ratings from the critics. Her Tamil release that year, Sevarkodi, also opened to negative reviews.
Out of the four Kannada releases in 2013, Auto Raja, a romantic drama written and directed by Uday Prakash was a hit at the box office. Bhama was also a part of ‘The Day of Judgement,’ the third independently shot action film from the movie D Company, that was an anthology of three independently shot action films. Her no-makeup look in the movie was much talked about in the Malayalam film industry. In spite of constant criticism on her choice of roles being ‘ultra-modern' and ‘bold', she starred Kadhaveedu for which she received appreciation from critics and audiences alike.
After shuffling between Malayalam and Kannada films in 2013, the following year, the actress starred in only the third Tamil movie of her career titled, Ramanujan in which she played the character of Janakiammal Ramanuja, the wife of the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. The movie though received mixed reviews from the critics, the actors received positive reviews for their performance. Bhama also played two different roles, a Christian housewife in 100 Degree Celsius and a 15-year- old mother in Ottamandaram which were both women-centric Malayalam thrillers. Her sole 2015 release includes the Kannada movie Arjuna directed by P.C. Shekhar.
In 2016, she starred in the movie Maalgudi Days which is inspired by a real-life incident that happened in Nagaland in 2002. The emotional thriller opened to a positive response from the critics. Bhama's 2017 releases include the movies Raaga, Kaneerium, and Khilafath.
As a Singer
Bhama has worked as a playback singer as well. It was reported that she had sung the song 'Kannil Kannil' which was supposed to be included in the movie Bike. However, the movie was later canceled and the song was never released. She has also sung the title song for the movie Meow Meow Karimppoocha. In 2014, she sang a song for the movie 100 Degree Celcius.