Behind the Movie Venkatadri Express: Young hero Sandeep Kishan is growing into a good artist with each movie. Interestingly, he selected debutant Merlapaka Gandhi to direct this flick with Rakul Preet Singh as heroine. Let us see, how smooth is this Express journey?
In the Movie Venkatadri Express: Story begins with introduction to the family of retired head master Rama Murthy (Nagineedu). He enforces a strict Family Constituion to follow for all the family where in any member can be thrown out of the house if commits 100 mistakes. Such are his disciplinary standards. Sandeep (Sandeep Kishan) is his youngest son who already fell for 99 and is on the verge of reaching the century. At this moment, Sandeep’s elder brother Brahmaji (Brahmai) marriage venue is fixed in Tirupathi. Now, the entire family has to board Venkatadri Express. However, Sandeep’s berth confirmed in another bogie away from his family members faces interesting adventurous situations enroute. Sandeep who missed the train in Hyderabad boards it again only in Tirupathi. How did Sandeep meet Prarthana (Rakul), how does auto driver (Thagubothu Ramesh), Thrill Narayana (MS Narayana), Dasthagiri (Sapthagiri) help Sandeep in reaching the destination, when Rama Murthy realized the real value and kind natured attitude of Sandeep ti raise the bar from 100 to 1000 mistakes? All these form the rest.
Values of the Movie Venkatadri Express: Basic essence of movie which was elaborated in promotions and beginning of the film is how one should help the others and be altrusitic. Conflict developed early on in the story between Sandeep and Rama Murthy could not find the exact justification as the story proceeded on. Gandhi added number of sub plots with Thagubothu Ramesh, Dasthagiri and MS Narayana. While the first two really kicked off for a wonderful first half output, second half becomes quite predictable with sluggish narration and drowsy screenplay. Most of the episodes in second half look like gap filling ones until Brahmaji’s character comes back to importance leading to a ‘Bommarillu’ kind of climax. Chota K Naidu’s camera work is the best part and Sandeep Kishan should be thankful to his uncle. Editing was weak in second half. Ramana Gogula’s musical score is okay. Production values are just average.
Performance wise, Sandeep Kishan needs to develop that emotional clarity in face expressions. He has agile body and smooth going mannerisms. It’s the diction in dialogue delivery with needed modulations which should help him in building a strong future career. Rakul is beautiful and does not have much to perform here. Thagubothu Ramesh, Sapthagiri kept the entire first half engaging with their comic timing. There were certain scenes where Sandeep could have performed far better (missing the train, mistakenly boarding the Tirupathi-Hyderabad train instead of the other way, climax). Nagineedu is as usual while Brahmaji’s character dying for marriage was well etched. Jayaprakash Reddy comes late in second half. MS Narayana did not evoke the laughter while 30 years Pruthvi was into a purposeful character.
Out of the Movie Venkatadri Express: Frankly, a movie which could have wrapped in less than two hours is dragged by at least 30 minutes. A neat second half like the entertaining first half should have worked wonders both for Gandhi and Sandeep Kishan. Even then, this is a novel attempt which can be appreciated because movies based on journey subjects tend to get bore. First half went on Express Speed and Second Half had numerous stops. Positives from Venkatadri Express are the new thinking of upcoming directors like Gandhi and encouraging artists like Sandeep Kishan with support from seniors like Chota.
If you really want to enjoy a nice weekend with family without any high expectations, Venkatadri Express can be a safe option, neither completely disappointing nor completely astonishing.
Cinejosh Verdict of the Movie Venkatadri Express: First Half Express Train – Second Half Goods Train
Cinejosh Rating: 2.75/5
Reviewed by Srivaas