Naga Chaitanya has joined hands with Kollywood filmmaker Venkat Prabhu for the action entertainer, Custody. This Telugu – Tamil bilingual is carrying good expectations thanks to its solid promotional material. Krithi Shetty has played the female lead in the movie. Custody has hit the big screens today, and let’s see how it is.
Constable Shiva (Naga Chaitanya), a small-town guy, is deeply in love with Revathi (Krithi Shetty). The girl’s parents do not approve of their love. One day, Shiva arrests gangster Rajasekhar (Arvind Swami) and a CBI officer George (Sampath) accidentally. Shiva learns through the CBI officer that Raju needs to be produced in Bengaluru court. But Raju has the support of CM Dakshyani (Priyamani) and the entire government. Determined, Shiva chooses to produce Raju in the court and starts fighting against all odds. Revathi too joins him in his journey. Did Shiva succeed in his attempt? What challenges did Shiva undergo to protect the truth? This forms the crux of the story.
Naga Chaitanya gets in the shoes of an underdog character pretty well. He has put in a lot of effort to look lean, and there is sincerity in his performance. Chaitanya was also good in the action sequences, and he makes a mark in the police station fight. He tries to hold the film together with his earnest performance.
Arvind Swami is the right fit for Raju’s role, and a few scenes between him, Chaitanya, and Krithi Shetty are good. The comedy touch given to his character evokes a few laughs. The handsome actor’s charisma is still intact. Krithi Shetty is good in her character, and she does what was expected of her.
Goparaju Ramana and Vennela Kishore provide entertainment with their witty punches and antics. The first half starts slowly, but once Arvind Swami’s character gets introduced, the film picks up the pace, and the same is maintained till the halfway mark.
Venkat Prabhu had already revealed that the film is about the hero trying to protect the antagonist. So, the main challenge for him was to pull off this wafer-thin plot in an interesting manner. Unfortunately, the second half is a big minus, as the proceedings lack any excitement and things are too bland.
It was surprising to see such mediocre work from the great Ilaiyaraaja and Yuvan Shankar Raja. The songs are pretty bad, and the background score is also not that great. Better BGM could have helped a few scenes. The cinematography by SR Kathir is neat. The editing is below par as the film feels a bit lengthy, especially due to the second half. The VFX work is shabby.
Coming to the writer-director Venkat Prabhu, he did a below-par job with Custody. Venkat Prabhu got it wrong with the screenplay, and he also lost control over the entire second half. The film never recovers post the interval, and the proceedings from thereon are pretty dull. It was also said that the latter half would have edge-of-the-seat moments, but there were none. Given his track record and the kind of subjects Venkat Prabhu comes up with, one would surely have good expectations, but the film doesn’t reach them at all.
On the whole, Custody manages to engage in bits and pieces but apart from those portions, there isn’t anything great to rave about. Naga Chaitanya and Arvind Swami try their best, but it is the direction and story of Venkat Prabhu that has to be blamed. If you are a fan of Venkat Prabhu or Naga Chaitanya then make sure to lower your expectations before watching the film.