Despite a stellar cast, the film completely rests on the shoulders of Naga Chaitanya, Krithi Shetty and Arvind Swami.
In the film ‘Custody’, Naga Chaitanya plays Constable Shiva, who needs to protect the criminal in his custody, Raju (Arvind Swami) for a few hours since he’s a witness, from those who want to kill him. Sounds familiar right? Well, most of us have seen films which take place in the span of a few hours with high stakes involved. However, Venkat Prabhu has a personal story to tell.
It starts with showing Shiva (Naga Chaitanya) as a sincere police constable, someone who would stop CM Dakshayani’s (Priyamani) convoy to let an ambulance go. He wants to marry his lover Revathi (Krithi Shetty). One day, he crosses paths with Raju (Arvind Swami), and George (Sampath Raj). The former is both a criminal and a key witness. And given his sincerity, Shiva wants to protect him at all costs.
The first half of the film is about Shiva and the world he lives in. His girlfriend’s parents don’t want them to get married because of his caste, and on his work front too, he is made to believe he is less than what he is. With the songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja and Yuvan Shankar Raja, the story is lighthearted but all before Venkat makes the big reveal.
The second half with Ramki’s cameo is interesting. The emotional scenes featuring Jiiva help in progressing the story. Vennela Kishore as Prem adds to the fun meta scene but with Venkat focused on Shiva, everything sticks to the surface.
Nonetheless, ‘Custody’ has some interesting fight scenes by Mahesh Mathew. Abburi Ravi’s dialogues, Ilaiyaraaja and Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score and SR Kathir’s cinematography benefit the film. Naga Chaitanya, Krithi Shetty and Arvind Swami pull off their acts well.
To say the least, ‘Custody’ is the kind of story that’s predictable with some of the characters not fully realised. However, if you like dramas with a touch of emotion, the film is for you.