Veteran director Kodi Ramakrishna (one of my father’s favorite directors) dished out quite a few blockbusters during his hey days. In a very old interview he compared a wholesome entertainer to a sumptuous meal. He observed that no matter how big the assortment of items, if you missed out on the essentials like ‘Avakaya’ pickle Telugus would go unsatisfied.
The movie ‘Venkatadri Express’ is designed based on this principle and weaves a simple story into an engaging screenplay. While the movie resorts to a few scenes that manufacture comedy, the threads that move forward to logical conclusion keep the audience interested throughout the movie.
Predictable characters like a tough father, a good-at-heart and risking the danger of becoming a good-for-nothing son, devoted mother, drunkard accomplice, pelli kaani babai etc actually help the audience to savor the comedy that is woven around them. Popular themes like father-son relationship, hero and heroine’s serendipitous meeting and their journey together, youngest son saving the day for the family, Tirupathi connection etc keep it simple for the audience and makes it for an easily digestible entertainer.
The producer (Gemini Kiran) deserves a special mention for backing a debutant director, selecting a seasoned yet progressive cinematographer like Chota K.Naidu (who is known for both his big budgeted and small films) and promoting the movie just enough before the word of mouth kicked in.
Director Gandhi’s directorial journey has a fairy tale beginning, with decent theatre occupancies even in the third week of his movie’s release. Will his future trains make a stop at ‘Cuddappah’ or ‘Araku’ or take off from ‘Platform 9 3/4? 🙂
Director Gandhi’s short film
‘Khubsoorat’- First movie I watched with a disciplined parent as the protagonist
My all time favorite drunkard’s scene