After watching the trailers, most of us did not expect anything more from Vennela 1 1/2 than low brow comedy. What came as a surprise was that the film did not pack a sensible story that might have made us sit through the haranguing second half.
There is a character who willingly becomes a pawn in Krishna Krishna's game, only to ensure that he get rid of his millionaire girl friend for a richer girl. When he tells the hero that he became a victim of his malware game for a reason, the film starts looking superficial, much like JD Chekravarthy's 'All The Best', where a similar kind of dampener was revealed in the climax.
Even otherwise, of course, the film lacked coherence and humour. The many gags, including the voyeuristic jokes and toilet humour, do not entertain even the frontbencher. The screenplay and the dialogue are neither here (for the multiplex audience) nor there (for the average cinegoer). If the sexual innuendos and other absurdities seem to have been tailor-made for youngsters (whether or not a minority will enjoy it is another matter), you should be a child to be awed by the meaningless plot.
Kishore's inspiration from Bollywood is unmistakable, but he would have done well to first have a story in place. Despite the many weird characters and their buffoonery, the twists are few and far between. In the absence of any forward movement in the second half, Brahmanandam was expected to redeem the pace. To make the matters worse, Brahmi was awfully boring, forcing us to say that he should never accept a role that wants him to flirt with girls half his age. Not only does he fail to tickle the funny bone in such scenes, but also looks absurd.
Khader (Kishore) and his sidekick come across as characters who could change the course of the story or at least contribute their mite but the first one has less relevance than the latter. While their roommate (Krishna Chaitanya) busily woos Vennela (Mongal Gajjar), they indulge in cheap humour, which evokes a smile but only at one place (read the micro wave-washing machine-lap top scene).
Instead of taking a false inspiration from Deva Katta, Kishore would have done well to learn the tricks from Ravi Babu. Had he done so, he might have concocted better scenes and better twists, not to forget some emotional content.
Even a 'Delhi Belly', for all its in-your-face vulgarity, had its camaraderous moments. If the idea is to play to the gallery and show nothing more than crass humour, nobody would feel the need to think of filling the script with meaningful dialogues or a plot.
Performances are decent. Kishore was in his elements, though his slapstick comedy was just about ok. He waters down the film with his loud and hard-boiled lines. All the rest of the cast do justice to their roles. Monal looked better than she looked in 'Sudigaadu' but doesn't get to show her acting prowess. Even though he was spirited from the word go, Master Bharath's comedy was painful to watch. Raghu Babu and his sidekick were wasted in inconsequential roles.
Sunil Kashyap's good music goes waste. The BG score was apt for the film. The cinematography, especially, was off-the-mark.