Venu Madikanti’s Venkatapuram (2017) Movie Review
Cast: Rahul, Mahima Makwana, Ajay, Ajay Ghosh, Kasi Viswanath
Edited by Madhu
Music Composed by Achu Rajamani
Screenplay & Direction by Venu Madikanti
Cinematography by Sai Prakash Ummadisingu
Censor Certificate: UA & Runtime: 109 Minutes
Venkatapuram, A modern-day exploitation movie reminiscent of something like “Twilight Portait” or “Hard Candy” or “Descent” in so much as it promises something interesting and important with its concept, but delivers little to nothing in its execution. It’s one of those misleading exploitation flicks that encourages you to build up the concept and scenario with expectations of competency, but once you start watching the movie, you receive nothing close to what was advertised or promised. Probably the worst pay off of any rape revenge drama’s I’ve ever seen.
Anand, a pizza delivery boy, leads a routine life working and enjoying his private time on his terrace. One fine day, a girl by name Chaitra (Mahima) gets into the same apartment. Who loves to do her private study on the terrace. In a short time, they get appealed to each other, but things fall apart when Anand gets arrested for the murder of Chaitra. Due to poor investigation of S I Durga Prasad (Ajay Ghosh) things move to unforeseeable situation. How Anand finds the truth and seek revenge on the band of baddies forms the rest of the story-line.
Screenplay of the movie suffers with great lack of knowledge on director’s part. The young director tries hard to make a commercially viable thriller that satisfies each and everyone in the audience. He takes inspirations from many old movies that tried to construct a thriller in similar fashion but loses all the points due to lack of proper emotional build up. When Balu and Swapna in Maro Charitra undergo the wrath of sexual predators, we feel for them and come out of the theatre with a heavy heart. Here in a crime patrol-esque script and screenplay, lack of originality on director’s part and extremely predictable story telling doesn’t let us immerse into the world of Venkatapuram.
While Scripting for the movie, the director and writer might have thought he needs to get into the groove of making the film a big hit commercially. He doesn’t give enough time or emphasis to writing good characters. He just utilizes his time to show some uncanny scenes that we have already seen in many movies. In actuality, for his idea that should work but his second hour for the revenge saga to work, he needed a strong love story but what he gives us is an unbelievably convenient interaction between the characters to just let the story move forward without giving proper explanations like; In what world does a father ask some young man whom he randomly met to take his daughter around the city. He might feel safe about the guy but doesn’t a father who has plans to marry off his daughter have his own concern about letting a young man build rapo with his kid? A man who is ready to pay the rent of a pent house for her studies can’t he understand if his daughter tells him about her ambition? What is need for a girl who enjoys so much freedom to go for a passport without telling her father? Again, from when did getting a passport meant getting a US Visa? Doesn’t a study Visa need guardians/parent’s approval? Also for commerciality to blossom director overlooks few more logics. When he doesn’t know who are those three seasoned rapists? Whom did he go to kill? Why does an SI concerned about his job doesn’t even cross check or use his force to extract details of a lonely girl? Why do they think she is a prostitute? What gave? This is how director leaves basic points that can tighten his script to create some false emotion that pledges to be true for the moment. We need much more effort from you sir, Venu Madikanti to feel the pain you want to convey!
Venu Madikanti as a director doesn’t try to make an effort in convincing about his casting choices. He wanted to make a movie, got a producer and a hero, so he went ahead and made it. Couldn’t he understand Mahima Makwana has gone overboard in giving expressions? Similar kind of movies in Tamil and Malayalam brought in local talents but we needed some Hindi actress to play off a Telugu girl’s role! Writing suffers with inconsistency and convenience while Direction lacks any destination.
Cinematographer needs to go for few more lessons to understand how DI works. Just by applying few layers on daylight shots they won’t become night shots! Also, why doesn’t anyone in the home of SI, switch on lights? Sai Prakash does know few basics but that is not enough to build a tone for such a movie. Musically, we have an unusual yet interesting soundtrack by Achu Rajamani, out of which 2 tracks “Egire” and “O Maya” stand out. But these tracks are all forcibly inserted into the narration. Even the BGM doesn’t quite serve the purpose. Editing by Mahesh is absolutely direful. There is no sense of cohesion throughout the film. Movie feels like an extended trailer with jumpy cuts and poor transition between the scenes.
Performances wise it also doesn’t give you anything to write about. Most of them in the cast remain wasted with only a few given more time on the screen showing the imbalance. Rahul aka. Tyson once again gets betrayed by his writers and the director. He makes a sincere effort. Frankly, the biggest mistake in this attempt has to be the casting of Television actress Mahima Makwana in the female lead, who doesn’t look like acting for even once and keeps rendering her dialogues with a single face expression throughout. Even the dubbing by Gowtham (Rahul) & Haritha (Mahima) is pathetic and annoys you much more than the performance of actors. In addition the film features Kasi Viswanath, Joginaidu, Anithanath, Ajay Ghosh, Ajay and few forgettable cameos too that fail to lift up the proceedings in any manner.
The film metaphorically tries to convey how the men in society are ignoring the roots and trying to sexually explore and exploit women as objects of interest. If society is a tree family can be called as branches. But the roots for a great society lie in respecting the women who form the basis for growth of the society. A green healthy tree survives all kinds of external pressures like huge cyclones, thunder storms and drought but if something spoils from within, then nobody can ever repair it. Film tries to depict the very idea by keeping the lady protagonist as innocent as possible and while she tries to explore her freedom as an adult she meets Anand as one branch of the tree who belongs to healthy category and the other, Inspector Durga Prasad who belongs to the spoilt category. Due to him the equilibrium of the entire tree falls in danger and to once again restore the balance and let an innocent flower of the healthy society, Chaitra blossom with his able support. This is an operation that white blood cells unleash against foreign elements in our body. While the idea looks brilliant and the post credit scene makes it obvious, the subtle point is lost in the translation on screen. Lack of proper understanding and scripting ability Venkatapuram suffers a Karna’s death!
PS: Rating depends on the scale of my thoughts regarding any movie I watched and the kind of analysis I thought fits the bill don’t expect this to go along the lines of popular demand!