Review : Venkatadri Express – Decent Attempt
venkatadri-express Release date : 29 November 2013 Rating : 3/5
Director : Merlapaaka Gandhi
Producer : Kiran
Music Director : Ramana Gogula
Starring : Sundeep Kishan, Rakul Preet Singh, M.S.Narayana, Jayaprakash Reddy

Director Merlapaka Gandhi is making his debut with the film ‘Venkatadri Express’. The movie has Sundeep Kishan and Rakul Preet Singh in lead roles. The movie has been produced by Gemini Kiran and it has released today across the state. Let us checkout the film now.

Story :

Ram Murthy (Nagineedu) is a retired headmaster who does not tolerate mistakes. He enforces a strict code of conduct in his family and anyone making more than a 100 mistakes is banished from the household. Sundeep (Sundeep Kishan) is his youngest son and Ram Murthy is quite irritated with the young lad’s behaviour.

Sundeep has racked up a score of 99/100 in the mistakes department and he is one mistake away from being banished from the family. Meanwhile, a marriage alliance is fixed for Sundeep’s elder brother Brahmaji (Brahmaji) and the entire family boards the Venkatadri Express to travel to Tirupati for the wedding.

As usual, Sundeep gets into trouble and misses the train. Afraid of being banished from the family, Sundeep tries his best to catch up with the train. He must beg, borrow and even steal in order to get onto the train before Tirupati.

How Sundeep manages to do that and what happens during his journey is what this movie is all about.

Plus Points :

Sundeep Kishan is just about ok as a bumbling young fellow. He has given a decent performance in the first half. Raku Preeth Singh looks pretty and she makes a good impression, even though she does not have much to do in the film.

Nagineedu is effective as Ram Murthy. Thagubothu Ramesh and Sapthagiri take care of the comedy department and they have done a superb job. Sapthagiri will earn good recognition for his performance as the naive Dasthagiri. Brahmaji entertains briefly.

Screenplay is good and effective in the first half. It is quite tough to engage viewers with a plot that is so simple and linear but the director manages to do this by cleverly mixing comedy and entertainment into the proceedings.

Minus Points :

There are some fight sequences in the second half which are a little too powerful for a film like this. After setting up the first half quite interestingly, the director could not do much in the second half with the wafer thin plot.

M.S.Narayana’s comedy track is a big bore and it is not very effective. In fact, the film starts going downhill after his entry. Jayaprakash Reddy has been given a very cliched characterisation.

‘Venkatadri Express’ becomes very predictable in the final stages. The emotional scenes, where a suppressed son decides to voice out his feelings against a strict dad, are very similar to the ones found in films like ‘Bommarillu’ and ‘Parugu’.

Technical Aspects :

Cinematography is a big asset for the film. The frame looks very rich and colourful. Ramana Gogula’s music and background score help the movie. Editing is good in the first half, but it should have been sharper in the second half.

Director Merlapaka Gandhi’s efforts are commendable. His handling of the film is good in the first half but he has tried to play a safe game in the second half. Production values are good.

Verdict :

‘Venkatadri Express’ has a good and entertaining first half. This part is backed up by good pace and nice comedy. However, what looks like a promising ride starts going downhill in the second half. The film loses pace and it starts becoming very predictable. In the end, ‘Venkatadri Express’ becomes an okay watch. If you go in without any expectations, you may enjoy the ride Rating – 3/5

Reviewed by Mahesh S Koneru


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