Back in 2013, director Harish Shankar was fresh off the success of blockbuster Gabbar Singh. Top hero Jr. NTR gave him a chance to direct him. And he absolutely wasted the opportunity to deliver a good film, let alone a decent film. Let's find out why.
Plot: When a jobless student Nandu stalks Akarsha (Samantha) and makes her fall in love with him, it's actually part of a whole plan Nandu cooked up. Who is Nandu and what is his plan? Watch the rest of this painful movie to find out.
Performances: As usual, Jr. NTR gives a sincere performance and tries to do his part to make the film watchable. Despite a terrible script at hand, NTR's all around ability to fight, dance, and act gives the film the much needed breathing room. Sadly, it's too weak for him to carry it to the finish line.
Samantha is alright as the heroine and Shruthi Hassan is decent in the flashback. Both get their fare share of time in songs and screen time. Famous dubbing artist Bommali Ravi Shankar plays the villain and he is adequate. The character is cruel but borders on annoying. Mukesh Rishi does a role he has done N number of times now and he is routine. Rao Ramesh is decent as a cop. Rohini Hattangadi is absolutely wasted as a grandma who tries to do comedy. It's hard to believe that Harish Shankar has failed to come up with even a single good comedic situation after Gabbar Singh.
Direction: Story and screenplay by Harish Shankar is the biggest minus for this film. After entertaining us in Gabbar Singh with solid comedu sprinkled throughout, he fails to create even a single laughable sequence here. The story is as old as the hills and the flashback is nothing but illogical and over the top sequences which often end in lots of excessive and pointless bloodshed. Other than NTR, not a single actor makes an impact and he relies upon the Nandamuri hero to carry the entire movie. The interval twist is also predictable. There's not a single memorable moment in the first or 2nd half and that makes Ramayya Vasthavayya a painful and boring movie to sit through topped with excessive gore and overaction.
Technicalities: Songs and BGM by Thaman are decent. Some songs are catchy like Jabili Nuvve Cheppamma and Kurrayeedu, but the background score is way too loud. Ranarangam which comes in the end only adds to the runtime. Cinematography by Chota K Naidu is another plus for the movie. He has filmed the rustic locales of the village and shot all the songs beautifully. Dialogues by Harish Shankar are ok. Fights are decent but they have too much bloodshed in the end. Art direction is excellent. Editing is a huge minus. As there are no entertaining scenes, the movie feels never ending at 159 minutes. Production Values by Dil Raju are excellent as always.
Final Take and Analysis: A lot was expected from the combo of Jr. NTR and Harish Shankar for Ramayya Vashtavayya. Harish in particular was coming off the record breaking success of Gabbar Singh and naturally fans and the audience alike got excited to see how his next film would turn out. Unfortunately, it's highly disappointing even for Jr. NTR fans.
There's no strong story or screenplay. The story is very routine and has a template we have been fed since Baasha with revenge angle and flashback. At least if the first half is passable, and the flashback portion is engaging the audience will be gripped to the narrative to an extent.
The first half is decent for all about 20 minutes and then the problems are loud and clear during the romantic track and so called comedy scenes between NTR and Rohini Hattangadi. You're neither entertained or interested at this point. The interval bang is predictable and 2nd half starts with the flashback but the execution is very cliched and uninteresting once again.
As mentioned before there's not a single memorable scene in the film and everything just ends in excessive gore and bloodshed.
Overall, Ramayya Vasthavayya is a movie low on content and high on violence with an overdose. Despite NTR's best efforts, director Harish Shankar fails in every department to make this an engaging entertainer. A boring narrative, extremely routine story, loud acting, and senseless violence is not the type of film we expect from Dil Raju and company. Watch it only if you're a die hard Jr. NTR fan.