Home Kollywood Movie Reviews Custody Movie Review

Custody Movie Review

Dramas that unfold within a restricted time span with a high element of danger would make for a good substance to build a thriller. Film maker Venkat Prabhu who tasted success with this formula in Maanaadu has yet again deployed it in his recent project Custody. The drama is about a constable who is entwined in a situation in which he has to safeguard a ruthless criminal from a herd of henchmen who are after his life. Actor Naga Chaitanya makes his debut in Tamil cinema with his period action thriller drama Custody. Actress Krithi Shetty has played the female lead role in the entertainer. So, how has the thriller film Custody come out? Will it help establish a bankable lead hero image for actor Naga Chaitanya in Tamil cinema, and stretch the winning run of director Venkat Prabhu? To know that let us get into the movie review. 

Custody Movie Poster

Custody Movie Poster

The drama opens in 1996 to a bomb blast and cuts to 1998 where it follows the life of Siva (Naga Chaitanya), an upright young man who is employed as a constable in the police department. His sense of duty extends to the extent that he would not even flinch to halt the convoy of the chief minister of the state Dhakshayani (Priyamani), to let an ambulance pass. He is in a relationship with his childhood sweetheart Revathi (Krithi Shetty), who works as a driving institute instructor. Her parents are looking for a suitable bridegroom for her. Worried about being married off to someone else, she asks Siva to meet with her parents and ask for her hand in marriage. Siva obliges. Along with his father and mother he visits Revathi’s parents with a marriage proposal only to be rejected and insulted. A dejected Revathi rings him up later and tells him she cannot live without him and suggests that they elope and get married. 

Siva along with a colleague headed out of the station. Unexpectedly, a speeding car bumps into their vehicle. Passengers of the car are a CBI officer George (Sampath Raj), who is escorting Raasu (Aravind Swamy), a criminal, to the court to get him to testify in a high-profile case against chief minister Dhakshayani. In a mishap Siva remands them. George tries to explain the scenario to Siva, but Raasu attempts to mislead him. By the time Siva learns the truth, the situation escalates and becomes chaotic making things more challenging to present Raasu in court. Siva takes it upon himself to aid George to produce Raasu before justice. Will Siva manage to outdo a horde of hooligans and present Raasu alive in front of a judge, is what makes the rest of the case. 

Custody is the dearth of Venkat Prabhu’s bravura. It takes an ample amount of time to lure us into its world. For some odd reasons director Venkat Prabhu adopts a slow burn approach to establish the characters of his film. There are attempts from the director to document a few subtle social commentaries during this phase. The problem is, neither the writing nor the characters have layers in them to make for a gripping narrative which instantly incites a sense of banality in us. The poorly placed songs make things even worse. After the initial 30 odd minutes the film creates the impression as if it is about to take off. But it keeps playing out with predictability and dishes out exasperating events as cute and fun. For instance, Siva and Revathi are in an exigency of sorts, but on the pretext of being cute Revathi insists on going to a hotel just so she can have her favorite food. 

Fortunately, the film received the much-required zeal with the entry of Aravind Swamy’s Raasu followed by Sarathkumar’s Natraj. It is characters like these that boost the film which otherwise would have completely lost its stream one hour into the film. Few exchanges between the cop and the criminal in his custody are interesting and leaves us wanting for more. The transition of their relationship from hostility to brotherhood is constructed well. But the film lacks a coherence to turn them into much more than just a momentary brilliance. To keep the audience invested, director Venkat Prabhu uses too many twists that deters the flow of the film. The much-hyped action piece lives up to the expectations. Credit to stunt choreographer Mahesh and the cinematographer for capturing the action that takes place in a narrow space.  

Actor Naga Chaitanya just about managed to pull off his role. His stout physique makes him fit perfectly in the role of a cop. However, it is a bit tiring to watch the exaggerated mien of the actor throughout. Actor Aravind Swamy brings about his excellence to elevate his underwritten part. He puts on a great show. Actress Krithi Shetty’s character does not have a strong hold in the flow, and just jumps in and out of the proceedings. Nonetheless, the actress lives up to her role. Actress Priyamani makes her presence felt even in a short screen time. Literally except one or two gags, rest of actor Premgi Amaren’s jokes turn out to be a dud. Actor R Sarathkumar demands our attention with his towering screen presence. Actor Ramki makes an impact. Actress Jayasudha does justice to her role. Actor Sampath Raj delivers in his typical stereotypical role. Actor Y G Mahendran is as effective as usual. Actor Jayaprakash is functional. Actors Surya, Ravi Prakash, Annapoorna, Rajitha, Premi Viswanath, and Kadambari Kiran have all chipped in and have depicted their part well. Actors Jiiva, Anandi, Vaibhav, and Venkat Prabhu buck up the mood in cameo. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them. 

On the technical front, music directors Yuvan Shankar Raja and Ilaiyaraaja are clearly not at their best. But Yuvan Shankar Raja somewhat covers the ground with his background score that helps in shaping the thriller tone of the movie. Cinematographer S R Kathir has set up his camera at right spots. His visuals are colorful. Editor Venkat Raajen brings forth his editing prowess and enhances the work of his colleague with sharp scissor work. 

On the whole, director Venkat Prabhu’s Custody is a trite thriller film that fluffs the narrative with too many red herrings to hold fast to the attention of the audience but fails at it utterly. 

Leave a Comment