Verdict: A formulaic entertainer that works for the most part.
Directed by debutante Kishore Kumar, Where Is The Venkatalakshmi has Lakshmi Rai playing the titular role and is ably supported by Ram Karthik, Pujita Ponnada, Praveen, Madhunandan, Pankaj and Brahmaji. This also happens to be the debut movie for cinematographer Venkat R Shakamuri and production house ABT Creations, headed by Sreedhar Reddy, Anand Reddy, and R.K Reddy. Thatavarthi Kiran, a protegee of Puri Jagannadh, has penned the story, dialogues and screenplay for this comedy thriller which is set in a village. The theatrical trailer is quite impressive and has given us a glimpse of what this movie is all about.
What’s Where Is The Venkatalakshmi About:
The film opens with Ranganath (Brahmaji) and his wife being murdered by a ruthless villain, Veera Reddy (Pankaj). The story then shifts to a village named Bellampalli where Pandu (Madhunandan) and Chanti (Praveen) are introduced as close buddies. They poke fun at everyone in the village and do nothing for a living. Sekhar (Ram Karthik) is their only trusted friend who is in love with Veera Reddy’s sister Gowri (Pujita Ponnada). Then enters Venkatalakshmi (Lakshmi Rai) who works as a school teacher in Bellampalli. Chanti and Pandu get floored by her beauty. However, twist in the tale occurs when Venkatalakshmi is revealed as a ghost and is only seen by them. She doesn’t stop at just terrifying them and asks them to retrieve a box for her from Veera Reddy. The rest of the film answers questions like who Venkatalakshmi is, what she wants, and why she is visible only to Chanti and Pandu.
Lakshmi Rai is a popular name in Telugu cinema despite her limited appearances. Back to the Telugu silver screen after a gap of two years where she was last seen in Megastar Chiranjeevi’s comeback movie, Khaidi No 150. In Where Is The Venkatalakshmi Lakshmi Rai is seen in a role of a ghost, the director has ensured that there is no dearth in the glamour. Equally appealing is the sizzling chemistry between Poojitha and Ram Karthik. Amidst all this is the nonstop comical give and take between Praveen and Madhunandan and an engaging suspense element that will keep everyone hooked to the screen until the climax.
Debutante Karthik has done a good job in getting the best out his cast and crew. Kiran’s story, dialogues and screenplay are impressive. Hari Gowra’s background score and music is top notch and Venkat’s visuals, especially the village setting, is pleasing. Editing by S.R. Sekhar is up to the mark.
What Could Have Been Better:
Barring a couple of songs that seems a bit forced and a few provocative visuals, Where Is The Venkatalakshmi is a decent attempt aimed at audience who embrace formulaic entertainers.
Why You Should Watch:
Where Is The Venkatalakshmi is a comedy thriller laced with commercial elements and decent emotions. If you have the appetite for the comedy-horror genre, this one makes for a good weekend watch.