Om Namo Venkatesaya

Vina venkatesam nanadho nandha!! Sada Venkatesam smarami smarami!! Mampahi mampahi Kaliyuga Hari Narayana Artha jana Poshaka Anandha Rakshaka Namaskarothi Namaskarothi Sri Sri Venkatesa!! Sarvajana subham karoti karoti Akhilanda koti Brahmandanayaka!!

Plot : Om Namo Venkatesaya is majorly about Lord Venkateswara and his devotee Hathi Ram Babaji. Hathiram Baba (Nagarjuna) from a very young age wants to meet God and see him with his naked eyes. He reaches Anubhavananda Swamy (Sai Kumar) to learn the process and education of meeting god. With meditation and complete devotion he earns affection of Lord Venkateswara in the form of a young kid. But he gets disappointed as he doesn’t know it is Lord himself. So by the time he reaches home to settle down as a normal person he gets an invite from his guru and with his skill to play Pachikalu (Ludo) as boon Ram Baba starts to Tirumala and rest is how he and Lord Venkateswara (Sourabh Raj Jain) develop a bond. Watch it on screen to know further.

Performances : Akkineni Nagarjuna proves once again he is the best actor suited for devotee roles and devotional films. He single handedly holds the key for various key scenes and carries the film with his impeccable performance. He just makes Ram Baba believable and his devotion a character to move forward. His body language and scenes with Lord Venkateswara makes one notice how talented he is once again and those eyes speaks volumes. Sourabh Raj Jain looks perfect fit but him not knowing telugu became an hindrance. Many of his scenes doesn’t have a lip sync to the actual dialogue.

Much more care was required in those scenes. Vimala Raman and Ashmita are purely ok as goddesses and we feel their lack of ability in some scenes clearly. Jagapathi Babu made his presence felt even in a small role. Ajay, Brahmanandam, Rao Ramesh, Vennela Kishore, Raghu Babu, Jabardasth gang, Prudhvi all are routine in their portrayals and they could not contribute much than prolonging few scenes. Anushka looks good in the songs but her weight does show off and becomes an hindrance for her and even in few key scenes. Her run during the highly emotional climax makes feel sad for her. She needs to get fit or reduce her weight as soon as she can.

Technicalities : Editor Gautham Raju and Cinematographer Gopal Reddy show their prowess and experience in not letting the movie drag on and making it a visual spectacle. You can not fault them at any place as they give their best step forward in making the place look vibrant. Music and Back Ground score by MM Keeravani is an asset to the movie and he never let’s any opportunity to elevate go begging. In fact few very ordinary scenes too dvelve an audience member into the proceedings as the BGM highlights them to next level.

JK Bharavi who wrote Sri Ramadasu and Annamayya looks to have lost some touch as the scene flow follows a pattern and his dialogues doesn’t have the vigor once he possessed. He needed to be more upbeat and endearing for the movie to work on the whole rather than at places. His unlimited knowledge and command in mythology is appreciable but his screenplay undermines the ultimate effect that a devotional movie could give. All said his pen does deliver better towards the end of the film.

K Raghavendra Rao approached the movie with a complete dedication and semi biographical manner. Taking few inspirations from previous movies like Vipranarayana. He does his job of shot division well but he lacked in making the perfect connection like he did in Annamaya. But his directorial touch in few scenes is visible and for his age to be able to deliver such a visually pleasing movie he should be complimented. Kiran kumar and Producers have but their best foot forward in making the movie more scenic and vibrant as the story needed it to be.

Analysis : The story of Hathiram Baba is not as popular as of other devotees and that allowed the team to take several liberties and even though their logics in connecting events was strong the writing feels like over hashed and slightly disproportionate. Until the climax one doesn’t find himself completely involved in the proceedings but the emotional climax does justice to the theme. Overall the film is for devotees by devotees to Lord Venkateswara. Watch it for the performances and knowing about a devotee.

Rating : 3/5