Venkatapuram is a slick revenge saga that’s consistently engaging
Venkatapuram is a film you’ll get when a director doesn’t pander to commercial obligations and trusts his story. Against a Vizag backdrop, Venu Madikanti packages a tale that’s replete with timely twists in a non-linear narrative. The revenge saga that runs well under two hours gives the Happy Days actor Rahul (as the protagonist Anand, a pizza delivery boy) something to cheer about. Based on a true cover-up story that offers a sneak peek into the functioning of the police system, Venkatapuram is a slick outing, whose drama and action elements are packaged in the right proportion.
The film opens with a mysterious murder at Bheemili where what you see isn’t exactly what you get. Anand is a prime suspect in the incident, but his version of the story could do a lot to uncover the cloudy nature of the case. A journey into his past reveals he’s an orphan, who has nothing much to his life beyond his bills and his work at a pizza joint. The film takes us through his equation with Chaitra, a college student and how an incident transforms the youngster into a no-holds-barred revenge seeker. Revenge is certainly glorified here and the director never tries to be politically correct either, he keeps the dialogue minimal and uses cinematic liberties to take certain situations forward.
If only the film had shown more sensitivity in its portrayal of a new-age girl; instances like the one where Chaitra and her friends hang out at the college terrace for a smoke are proof of that. At places, the film is rather similar to the Tamil film Visaranai on how politicians and cops function; Venkatapuram takes a black-and-white view on the system.
While the narrative scores, the film has little to boast about in the performance of its lead cast. Rahul’s toned physique gets ample focus though his body language clearly leaves a lot to be desired. To the filmmaker’s credit, the multi-layered role does well to hide his shortcomings. There are lip sync issues with the dialogues, mostly for the debutante Mahima Makhwana, who transitions from television to films comfortably. Still, this film works because of directorial control, Venu frees the result from convoluted sub-plots and is also aided by the cinematographic appeal and Achu’s subtle music score.
Cast: Rahul, Mahima Makhwana, Ajay
Director: Venu Madikanti