Interview : Venkat Prabhu – I initially wrote two different screenplays for Custody
Published on May 9, 2023 7:48 pm IST

Custody starring Naga Chaitanya, is all set to arrive in theatres on 12th May. The film, directed by Venkat Prabhu, has Arvind Swami as the antagonist. Krithi Shetty is playing the female lead, while Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and Yuvan Shankar Raja composed the tunes. Srinivasaa Chitturi produced the film, which also has Priyamani, Sarath Kumar, Sampath Raj, Premji, Vennela Kishore, and Premi Vishwanath in key roles. Ahead of the release, we had a brief interaction with Venkat Prabhu, and here is the transcript.


Is Custody’s story based on real incidents?

While Covid, my film Maanaadu got delayed since that film involves a lot of crowds. So during that break, I started writing this story. My first inspiration came from this Malayalam film named Nayattu. I really enjoyed that film. So I thought of making such a film but in a commercial format. While penning the story, I saw a song from Love Story. That’s when I decided to have Naga Chaitanya in the film.


Will there be a love track throughout the film, along with the action part?

The film doesn’t have the aspects such as how the lead pair first met or how they fell in love. Instead, it’s about a small-town guy named Siva, who is a constable. The film starts with the personal problems of Siva, and then he gets entangled in a much bigger problem. The action begins 20 minutes before the interval, and from then, you can’t take your eyes off the film. We tried to make Custody as interesting as possible.


Arvind Swami has a big image, and Chaitanya has a different image. So what made you cast Arvind Swami in the film?

That’s what I actually wanted. I wanted someone more powerful than Chaitanya. There are two giants in the form of Arvind Swamy sir and Sarath Kumar sir. Chaitanya is small compared to them in the film, and the proceedings will be interesting as he needs to take care of a challenging situation.


How difficult was it for you to write a story that happens in 4 days?

I initially wrote two different screenplays for Custody. One screenplay I rejected is something we have seen in other films. It was like showing two stories happening at different places but at the same time. After some point in time, they collide. So I didn’t go ahead with it. Then I thought that only when Chaitanya gets to know about Arvind Swami in the film audience should also know about his character.


Could you tell us about Krithi’s role?

Krithi plays Revathi in the film. She is a driving school instructor. She is a very good actress. We wanted someone who would be quirky as well as mature. I was a bit hesitant to cast her initially. But when I met her, I was sure she was the right choice to play Revathi.

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