Watch For Nagarjuna’s Devotion
‘U’ Certified, 144 mins.
What is the film about?
It is the story of Rama (Nagarjuna) and how he becomes Hathiram Baba. His journey to Tirumala and meeting the god and eventually becoming a great devotee of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy is what the film is all about.
How is Nagarjuna’s performance?
Nagarjuna is the heart of the film and there is nothing beyond him in the movie in terms of performance. He gets better and better as the film progresses and is in peak form towards the end. It could also be the fact that he has played similar characters in the past, but there is a visible ease in his body language throughout. Nagarjuna in a devotional film feels like a fish in the water. He knows where to push the buttons and does exactly that when required. Definitely, Om Namo Venkateshaya is one of his career best performances.
Direction By K Raghavendra Rao?
K Raghavendra Rao is a legend, no doubt about it but he is outdated now and no matter how many devotional films he does in his late career, it won’t change. This outdated making value along with caricature-like characters takes away from the central emotions. In Annamayya, we are never distracted that way in terms of any emotions that are portrayed as part of the narrative.
Coming back to Om Namo Venkateshaya, the good thing here is the film doesn’t have much scope for those side characters. They are what they are, side characters and they come and go without making any impact. The crux of the film is between devotee played by Akkineni Nagarjuna and god played by Saurabh Jain. And since Nagarjuna gives his heart out we are glued to the proceedings withstanding the distractions.
This lack of effect from the distractions also makes this a better film than Shirdi Sai, the last film in the actor and director’s combination. Overall the film has a thin story but it manages to engage due to a strong heartfelt performance by Akkineni Nagarjuna. The second simply sticks to the point it and delivers accordingly.
Anushka Shetty and others?
Anushka looks perfect for the role. Her weight doesn’t become an issue here unlike the film yesterday (Yamudu 3). Basically, she has been neatly presented although she has nothing to do performance wise. Saurabh Jain initially doesn’t fit in the world created with our known faces. But by the time we get towards the end, we get used to him and the emotions aren’t entirely diluted by his presence. Sai Kumar is good in a brief role. Sampath is just okay. Rao Ramesh goes way over the board. Raghubabu is alright. Brahmanandam is badly used.
Music and other departments?
If Nagarjuna is the heart of the film, then MM Keeravani provides the soul. His music gives an outdated feel in terms of melody but that goes well with the overall tone of the film. it simply means it is perfect for the movie and elevates the emotions where it is necessary. The climax, for example, works due to this combination of heart and soul. As far as rest of technicalities goes, they are all tacky and give outdated vibe.
Pre-climax and climax
Since radical making might offend many, the only other way to approach the subject alternatively would be to make in with better production values and remove the caricature stuff in terms of the acting.
Did I enjoy it?
In parts, especially the second half
Will you recommend it?
Yes, for Nagarjuna’s performance
Om Namo Venkatesaya Review by Siddhartha Toleti
Final Report: Om Namo Venkatesaya has loads of senior and junior actors but when you walk out of the theater you would only remember Nag for his performance. Overall Om Namo Venkatesaya is a decent one time watch for devotional movie lovers. Om Namo Venkatesaya not a memorable film as Nag’s ‘Annamayya’ but the movie is decent in its own way. Visit back this space for Om Namo Venkatesaya Review.
– Nag’s performance requesting the lord to take his life away by doing the Sajeeva Samadhi is definitely one of the best in his career. Kudos to him!
– It is a movie which will be loved by the family audience.
– Ajay known for his villainy roles does a ‘Garuda’ role in Om Namo Venkatesaya.
– Raama’s dream comes real, he meets Lord Venkateswara played by Saurabh Raj Jain, Vimala Raman plays wife ‘Padmavati’ role.
– Dialogues written by JK Bharavi should have been better.
– Vennela Kishore plays the role of Rao Ramesh’s assistant.
– Several actors like Raghu Babu, Brahmanandam, 30 years industry Prudvi etc makes no impact for their roles.
– Asmitha As Bhudevi
– Jagapathi Babu tickles Anushka Shetty with a feathered quill in Vayyari Kalahamsika Song.
– Jagapati Babu appears in the beginning of the second half. He does a cameo. He appears in a full song with Anushka. He looks very different from his current salt and pepper look.
First Half Report: Movie is Okay so far. Nag transforms himself into the simple and sober look. He plays the picture perfect devotee role. Anushka plays the role of Krishnamma but nothing remarkable in the first half.
– Too many songs so far, ‘Akhilanda Koti Brahmanda Nayaka’ song being the best until now.
– Raama takes the job of motivating other devotees in Tirumala while Rao Ramesh plays the baddie who troubles devotees.
– MM Keeravani music gives an outdated feel in terms of melody but that goes well with the overall tone of the film
-Saurabh Jain who has played Lord Krishna on TV Serials plays his part with ease.
– Anushka, Rao Ramesh, Brahmi, Raghu Babu, Vennela Kishore and Pruthviraj have been introduced in Tirumala.
– Sampath (mirchi villain) is just ok reole
– Raama cancels his wedding and goes to Tirumala to see his Lord Balaji.
– Director Raghavendra Rao’s touch is evident in first song ‘Entho Aanandam’, plenty of skin show from Pragya including flower shots on heroine’s tummy.
– Parents set a wedding date with Raama’s Maradalu Bhavani (Pragya Jaiswal).
– Pragya Jaiswal does a very brief role but she looked very glamorous. Pragya don’t have much to do in the movie
– Raama (Nagarjuna) has been introduced as a devotee who wants to meet the God.
– The movie opens with a brief SPB voice over about Tirumala and an ardent follower of Lord Balaji.
– Om Namo Venkatesaya show is about to begin.
Preview: Om Namo Venkatesaya
Preview: Om Namo Venkatesaya, Live updates will begin in few minutes. Om Namo Venkatesaya Review will follow.
Akkineni Nagarjuna has been in the industry for over three decades now. Though he started on a slow note, he hit back hard with the cult classic Shiva. The success of the film changed many things for Nag and there was no looking back for him.
Then years later, there came a phase where he was considered as the lover boy and did films like Ninne Pelladutha. The success of this film made him a household name in Tollywood. But Nagarjuna surprised everyone when he decided to act in a film like Annamayya.
There were a huge hue and cry as to why he has accepted such a devotional film when his career is going so high. But the project opened several eyes and made Nag a solid star who can carry out any role in his career.
This continued with the success of more devotional films like Sri Rama Dasu and Shirdi Sai Baba. Whenever there was a devotional film made, only one name was being uttered and that Nagarjuna’s.
So continuing that trend, Nag is once again back with his favorite director K Raghavendra Rao and is playing Hathi Ram Baba who is an ardent fan of Lord Venkateswara.
The film has been titled Om Namo Venkatesaya and is up for a release tomorrow. Pragya Jaiswal and Anushka play the female leads in this film which has been made on a very sincere note.
But there is only one question which is looming all over is that whether a devotional film like this will run in a time zone like 2017. Well, the odds are in the film’s favour as everyone is looking at this film only as a simple and breezy affair as there will only be serenity and Nag’s performance to watch out for.
Will it draw the crowds to the theatres, we need to wait and see. Come back here to see the full review.