Fri May 12 2023 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)


'Custody' Movie Review

Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Krithi Shetty, Aravind Swamy, Vennela Kishore, Priyamani, Sarath Kumar, Sampath, Jayaprakash, Ramki, Goparaju Ramana and others.

Music: Ilayaraja - Yuvan Shankar Raja

Cinematography: SR Kathir

Dialogues: Abburi Ravi

Producer: Srinivasaa Chitturi

Story - Screenplay - Direction: Venkat Prabhu

After a disaster like 'Thank You', Naga Chaitanya is hoping to bounce back with 'Custody'. This Telugu – Tamil bilingual is directed by Venkat Prabhu and Krithi Shetty is the heroine. The promos created a lot of curiosity on this film and it got released today under good expectations. Let us dive into the review to find out what Venkat Prabhu offered us.


Shiva (Naga Chaitanya) is a constable in the Sakinetipally police station located in the Godavari districts. The story is set in the 90s and Shiva loves Revathi (Krithi Shetty) who is forcibly getting married to another guy by her parents. Shiva doesn't know how to get his love back but he faces a huge challenge in the form of a bigtime criminal Raju (Aravind Swamy). With the Chief Minister herself targeting Raju, Shiva is left with the task of submitting him in the Bengalore CBI court. How will a constable like Shiva complete such a mammoth task? What happens to Revathi? All these issues forms the rest of the story.


Venkat Prabhu is a brand. If we watch his dubbed films like 'Saroja', 'Gambler', 'Rakshasudu' or 'The Loop', we can see his trademark style. He is known for making thriller movies which engage you as well as entertain you. He entered the film field 15 years ago and showed that he is still at the top of his game through his last outing 'The Loop' starring Simbu and SJ Suriya. Despite getting inspired by a Hollywood film, the way he generated fun in the film despite keeping the audience on the edge of their seats is a highlight. When a director with such a good track record decides to work with Naga Chaitanya, everyone expects a very good thriller. Venkat Prabhu who shows his specialty even in his flop movies has completely gone off the rails with 'Custody'. He said that he penned the script of 'Custody' after getting inspired by 'Nayattu' but he failed in presenting the movie with any intensity or gripping narration. People expect an intense and realistic movie when they hear about the story revolving around a constable who tries to protect a criminal from everyone for three days. But it runs in a very predictable manner and takes the commercial route which is quite disappointing.

The only thing that surprises the audience is taking big actors for even small roles. Aravind Swamy, Sarath Kumar, Sampath, Priyamani, Jeeva, Aanandi, Ramki, Jayasudha, Jayaprakash and many other huge names are involved in this movie but not even one of them gets a substantial role which was a huge minus. Venkat Prabhu did not etch the hero's character in an interesting manner. People expect a constable in Venkat Prabhu's movie to be very realistic and become a part of the movie without any unnecessary elevations but connect with the audience as the story progresses. It starts off in the exact manner but slowly turns into a regular commercial hero role who fights and gets many elevation shots. When the hero and villain travel together under dangerous circumstances, there needs to be an emotional connection between the characters. But all the roles appear very routine and even the heroine's character which has importance looks routine. The scenes between these three give the feel that they are repeated again and again which bores the audience.

A regular constable trying to protect a criminal who is the witness in a case that involves the Chief Minister. He needs to go against the system and take the witness from a village near Rajahmundry to Bangalore. This is the main point of 'Custody' which sounds very interesting. If Venkat Prabhu would have handled it well, it would have given a whole new experience to the viewers. But Venkat Prabhu left his style and took the commercial route. As the technology helps them in catching the villain in hours, the makers set the film in the 90s. Despite that, it is not easy to take a criminal when hundreds of policemen and rowdies are chasing them. We may think that Venkat Prabhu will come up with an intelligent plan but all he did was take a lot of cinematic liberties and run the film in a very regular manner without any thrills or twists.

The police and goons attack them every fifteen minutes and the hero does the impossible thereby coming out of the situation which is followed by another attack and it is followed by another escape. This is how the entire film goes on. Despite a few engaging scenes here and there, the movie fails to impress you as a whole. Escaping the police station with the villain for the first time engages you and the taking during this scene is quite impressive but it is not at all realistic. The villain's character is linked with the hero's past and this track looks very routine. The love track between the hero and heroine too lacks any freshness. It makes the movie quite boring during the initial stages. The film picks up the pace when Aravind Swamy's character enters the scene and the intensity increases before the interval which raises some curiosity on the second half. But the disappointment is huge in the second half. Venkat Prabhu tried to narrate a realistic story in a commercial way which spoiled everything. 'Custody' falls somewhere in between realistic and commercial routes.


Naga Chaitanya did his level best in portraying the honest police officer role. He showed the required intensity and his emotions during the scene where his brother dies are wonderful. He tried to carry the film on his shoulders but even he appeared a bit helpless during some scenes. Krithi Shetty got a meaty role in this film. She improved a lot in terms of acting when compared to her past works like 'Bangarraju', 'The Warriorr' and 'Macherla Niyojakavargam'. Aravind Swamy's Raju character was not as special as expected. His introduction generates a lot of hype but it ends up as a very routine role. Sarath Kumar's character too was built up initially but it lacked substance. Ramki's guest role and the twist to it is quite silly. Priyamani's screen presence as the Chief Minister is quite good but the role lacked any strength. Vennela Kishore brought out a few laughs and experienced actors like Sampath, Jayaprakash, Goparaju Ramana and others did a decent job.


We expect a lot from the combination of Ilayaraja and Yuvan Shankar Raja but the songs are not at all worth remembering. The background score is decent though. Kathir's cinematography is amazing as he generated the required mood and tone through his lighting. Production values are decent enough. Some of the scenes look quite grand but the overall quality was not that great. The entire fault of 'Custody' lies in Venkat Prabhu's script. The storyline is interesting but the screenplay failed to pack a punch. The gripping narration required for thrillers went missing and there is not one exciting episode in this movie. Venkat Prabhu failed to show his mark in taking as well.

Verdict: 'Custody' - No Thrill, No Entertainment!

Rating: 2.25/5

Disclaimer : This Review is Just An Opinion of One Person. Please Do Not Judge The Movie Based On This Review And Watch Movie in Theater