'Venkatapuram' hits the screens today. Here we tell you where this crime-thriller excites and where it really doesn't.
Anand (Rahul of 'Happy Days' fame) is a Pizza delivery boy staying in the same housing complex as Chaitra (Mahima). They fall in love over an eve-teasing scene here and a father-bestowed-outing there (yes, dad Kasi Vishwanath lets the guy roam about Vizag with his daughter so can duck eve-teasing in future!).
Three lecherous, inebriated delinquents have been on the prowl in Bhimili island near the beach side, raping women and killing them at times. One fateful day, the heroine ends up in their vice-like grip. Only the hero can save her from this trouble.
However, the duo's problems only multiply because of certain villains from unexpected quarters. Who are they and what do they want? Is the heroine alive or dead? How is the hero going to avenge the savagery visited upon her? All of this form the crux of the second half.
For a crime-thriller, 'Venkatapuram' has a gripping enough narration in the second half, although the story line is nothing novel. At a crisp run-time, the second half is told fairly engagingly.
There are no deviations from the mainstay of the story in this part of the film. Rahul, who has an image make-over compared to his previous films, is an angry young man on a rampage. If his mission of going after all those who ruined Chaitra's life is suspenseful, the character of a sincere cop with a humane face, played by Ajay, enriches the screenplay.
The thing with crime-thrillers is that, it's extremely difficult to prevent formula from finding its way into the story as the suspense comes to be unfolded. That's where 'Venkatapuram' betrays its Achilles' Heel. Once the face of the villain is revealed, it's a predictable fare.
When Anand decides to go on a bloody path, it's shown as if killing is his second nature. No difficulty. No challenges. Sometimes, no sweat. Only action.
It doesn't quite help if everyone from the leader to the followers is given the same punishment. It doesn't quite help to have a villain who is almost ready to die without waging a battle.
Chaitra's characterization is a dampener. Why does she have to be shown as indulging in fantasies like smoking? It's not like her lack of self-control is an element that the film needed.
The dialogues are laidback and plain. Where is the need to repeat 'Venkatapuram police station' so many times?
Rahul is maturing as an actor for sure. He gets to do a serious-kinda role and that's good for an actor refusing to be stereotyped. However, looking too much like Vikram won't help. Mahima is hardly heroine material. Ajay Ghosh as a cop has a full-fledged role. His eyes go a long way in delivering the right act. Kasi Vishwanath not getting to dub for himself is a minus.
Achu's music is enjoyable, but it's nothing short of a blasphemy that 'Kokkoroko' and 'Egire' were used without a proper tempo-building. The cinematography can't be over-rated for sure. In the scenes at the beach side, there is no sense of ominous danger that we feel.
'Venkatapuram' has an engaging second half. It's formulaic, but the narration hides the obvious. The performances are generally good.