Rating: 6/10 (Strictly Ok)
Release Date: January 14th 2010
Cast: Victory Venkatesh, Trisha, Mukesh Rishi, Brahmanandam, Akash, Jaya Prakash Reddy, Dharmavarapu Subramanyam, Kasi Viswanath, Subbba Raju, Master Bharat, Akash, Ali, Siva Reddy, Surya, Prithvi, Raghu Babu, Jenny, Srinivasa Reddy, Surekha Vani, Telangana Sakunthala, Master Bharath, Shravan
Director: Sreenu Vaitla
Banner: 14 Reels Entertainment
Story: A ventriloquist named Venkata Ramana (Venkatesh) falls in love with the niece (Trisha) of a man named Paris Prasad (Brahmanandam) and is fooled into thinking she likes him and he goes all the way from Paris to Rayalaseema in hopes of wooing her when in reality, he is being used in a scheme planned by Paris Prasad to mess things up big time.
Performances: Venkatesh as usual does his job with the utmost sincerity and conviction and delivers a good performance. His impeccable comic timing is once again on display in this film and he matches up-to Brahmanandam in certain scenes in the film. He is believable in action sequences and it's another solid job by Venky.
Trisha is good as Pooja but does more of the same of what she did in Aadavari Matalaku Ardhare Verule.
Brahmanandam is hilarious as Paris Prasad. Once again, Sreenu Vaitla has created an excellent character for him and he steals the show as in every Vaitla film.
Mukesh Rishi, JP Reddy, Shravan, and Subbaraju do the usual fare as the villains in Seema.
Akash has a guest role as Pooja's fiance. There a horde of comedians and well known character artists as in every Sreenu Vaitla movie and they all do their job well. Dharmavarupu Subramanyam entertains out of all them.
Direction: Direction by Sreenu Vaitla is ok. After watching the movie, I felt something was missing and maybe there was not enough action in the end. Gopimohan has penned a routine story with faction elements and of late, we have seen an increasing number of films being in a foreign country in the 1st half and having Seema backdrop in the 2nd half. Sreenu Vaitla's hilarious trademark comedy is there in the film but one feels that something is missing to make the film a good watch and that's probably a convincing story. The 1st half is hilarious when compared to the 2nd half that ends in a predictable manner.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by DSP are decent. The songs are catchy and are well shot. Cinematography by Prasad Murella is excellent. Art by AS Prakash is fantastic for the house sets. Editing by MR Varma is ok. The movie lags in the 2nd half and it could have been trimmed. Fights by Vijay are ok. There are only 2 fights in the movie and they both come in the 2nd half. Dialogues by Chintapalli Ramana are good. Production Values by 14 Reels Entertainment are exquisite. The new trio have spent good money on the film and it clearly shows.
Verdict: Have you ever paid money to see a film and went it with decent expectations and come out disappointed because you felt something was missing in the movie? That's probably the feeling you will get after watching Namo Venkatesa.
When Venkatesh and Sreenu Vaitla joined hands, the thought of an actor like Venky under the flawless and entertaining direction of Sreenu Vaitla brought smiles to the faces of film lovers.
But sadly, they've delivered a average product which can stay afloat due to the Sankranthi advantage and the entertainment factor.
The film starts off in Europe and immediately establishes the characters and the comedy starts. But one feels the comedy in this film isn't as good ad Vaitla's previous films. It's good, but not ready level. Also the protagonist's profession as a ventriloquist seems odd but is something new.
The other part is that the story is nothing more than a more entertaining version of Venky and Trisha starrer Aadavari Matalaku Ardhare Verule with some action and Seema angle. Another thing you'll notice is that Namo Venkatesa does not have as much action as other Vaitla films. There are only 2 fights and they both come in the last 15 minutes. Despite all these drawbacks and issues, Namo Venkatesa still manages to not be a terrible film.
Overall, Namo Venkatesa is an underwhelming film from Venkatesh and Sreenu Vaitla. It's not as good as the directors other movies in the recent past and it's safe to say that this is his weakest film in recent times.
Watch it only if you really want to or to kill some time. But keep your expectations in check.