Custody Movie ReviewBOTTOM LINE
Boredom Arrest!



U/A, 2h 28m

What Is the Film About?

Shiva (Naga Chaitanya) is an ordinary but honest police constable leading a normal life having issues related to love and marriage. How he lands in a big mess involving a dreaded criminal, Raju (Aravind Swamy)?

A gang wants Raju dead, and Shiva unexpectedly becomes a saviour. Who wants Raju dead, and is there a twist in the tale, is the movie’s basic plot.


Naga Chaitanya playing Shiva fits the bill perfectly of a sincere and honest cop who doesn’t go overboard on the aggressive side. It makes it look like a close-to-real portrayal. Unfortunately, that’s the best thing about the part, as it lacks depth and misses big time on the emotional side or intensity.

The character of Shiva doesn’t go beyond surface-level niceties. It isn’t elevated anywhere and looks like another casually done part with no impact. The realism in the presentation and also action without depth make it look flat and ineffective. It has a sincerity about it, but that’s it.

Kriti Shetty gets another lacklustre role that fails to give anything memorable to her. She is neither utilised on the glamour side nor even her performance explored. And yet the character remains present throughout. It is an ordinary-looking part that ends in a similar vein and eventually turns out as another forgettable outing despite a lengthy screen time.


Venkat Prabhu of Maanadu and Mankatha (Gambler in Telugu) fame directs Custody. The director is known for simple but engaging stories packed with neat twists and racy screenplays. Custody’s premise involving police and a criminal looks right down his alley. 

The team has addressed the issue related to the Custody’s beginning during the pre-release promotions, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it is still boring and ordinary. A large portion of the first half is dedicated to the lead pair’s love story (Naga Chaitanya and Kriti Shetty). 

Usually, the love story (or the personal track) would be overlooked, given the overall thriller narrative, but here the director had an opportunity to impress. Custody is set in the early 90s, which gives enough meat to bring in the nostalgia factor at play using this thread. Sadly, that is not the case, as the touches end up at surface level like a cricket reference T or similar minor touches. It is okay to keep things subtle, but they don’t register and come across as missed opportunities here. 

The crux of the story commences around the hour mark with the entry of Aravind Swamy’s character. The proceedings leading to the interval after his introduction itself show signs of weariness and hint at the potential problem in store ahead. 

The second half comprises a single track involving the police, the criminal and support. It is all about taking the criminal to court. An entire half running on such a thin line requires extraordinary, gripping content and screenplay to pull through. It doesn’t happen in Custody. 

The director conjures up lengthy action blocks to compensate for the lack of content. They bore immediately and tire one out. The weak writing and lack of solid friction between the protagonist and antagonist further mar the appeal. The ending with a small twist is too little too late, and also, the one involving the core action plot is utterly predictable. 

A film with the characters and premise of Custody needs to be either a hard-hitting tale of a cop or a gripping action thriller with a racy screenplay. None of it is the case with Custody. It is primarily filled with stretched action blocks on expected lines. 

Overall, Custody is a big disappointment coming from Venkat Prabhu, the director of Maanadu. The plot and twists are flat and predictable, leading to a boring and tiresome narrative. Even for those who like different outings, Custody is a patience-testing outing.

Performances by Others Actors

Aravind Swamy plays a crucial role in the movie apart from Naga Chaitanya. He is introduced powerfully, and that’s where things end. However, like the rest, he, too, missed the mark. It is shocking to see an actor like Aravind Swamy go through an entire narrative without having a single appreciating scene or block. His usage is the biggest disappointment. 

Sarath Kumar is seen in another critical part. It is another forgettable part, with the actor’s dubbing being a major put-off. Vennela Kishore, with his godawful wig, irritates like never before. The comedy doesn’t work, and he makes it painful to watch. Priyamani has a vital role that is central to the main story. But, she appears only in a couple of scenes in the entire movie. She is wasted, considering the importance of the part. Sampath Raj is another actor in the same category. Goparaju Ramana and others in minor supporting roles are okay.

Music and Other Departments?

Ilaiyaraaj and Yuvan Shankar Raja compose the music for the film. The songs add to the boredom and appear as speed breakers in the narrative. The background score impresses in parts but, on the whole, lacks the unique quality that one usually associates with Yuvan’s combo with Venkat Prabhu. 

Technically the movie is decent with SR Kathir’s realistic cinematography. The ’90s setting could have been explored better visually, but it’s alright considering the action narrative. Venkat Raajen editing is okay. The narrative could have been crispier, though, given the action-thriller content. The action blocks are on expected lines which should have been elevated with good choreography. It doesn’t happen in Custody and is lengthy. The writing is not effective, and a significant miss in holding the attention.


Naga Chaitanya’s Sincere And Realistic Approach

A Couple Of Blocks


Boring Narrative

Predictable Story

Tiring Action Blocks

Weak songs

Did I Enjoy It?

Will You Recommend It?

Custody Movie Review by M9News

Final Report:

Maanadu director disappoints big time in his bilingual attempt failing to create any impact with any character despite the presence of many notable names. Custody’s second half is utterly predictable, with lengthy action blocks that don’t impress.

First Half Report:

The majority of the first half of Custody is dedicated to an ordinary love track. Arvind Swamy’s entry commences the main plot just before the interval. The second half needs to make a big impact.

— Custody begins in the 90s backdrop of Morampudi, Rajahmundry. Shiva is introduced as an honest constable, and Priyamani portrays the role of CM. Stay tuned for the first half report.

Cast: Naga Chaitanya Akkineni, Krithi Shetty, Arvind Swami, Priyamani, Sarath Kumar, Sampath Raj, Premji Amaren, Vennela Kishore, Premi Vishwanath

Written & Directed : Venkat Prabhu
Producer : Srinivasaa Chitturi
Music Director : Ilaiyaraaja / Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography : SR Kathir isc
Production designer : Rajeevan
Editor : Venkat Raajen
Art Director : DY Satya Narayana
Dialogues : Abburi Ravi
Banner : Srinivasaa Silver Screen