Vastadu Na Raju is for those who aren't particular about what movie they're watching as long as they're watching one. This Manchu family project is a simple movie put together with some basic old-fashioned elements, and doesn't aspire for more than some minimal entertainment for whoever chances upon this flick.
A few horrendously stupid errors lead to rowdy-sheeter Narsimha (Prakash Raj) wrecking the life of aspiring kick-boxer Venky (Vishnu). First, Narsimha spots his sister Pooja (Taapsee) and Venky sitting under the same statue; even though Venky and Pooja are strangers to each other and are sitting in completely different directions, Narsimha "misunderstands" the scene and, accordingly, threatens Venky with a gun and goons.
Also, out of a completely random twist of fate, Pooja's photographs land up in Venky's pocket - for no reason other than the fact that the photo studio "made a mistake". Venky's family stumbles upon the photos, concludes that they're a couple, and keeps ambushing the girl and showering its love for her. Narsimha happens to see these scenes as well, and this rankles him even more.
The reason he's in such a bad mood is that a) he's in general in a bad mood; and b) he's promised the Home Minister (Sayaji Shinde) that he'll make Pooja his daughter-in-law, as he has been promised an Assembly seat in return.
Now, neither Venky nor Pooja has any clue what's going on in each other's lives. And understandably, Venky gets really cheesed off when Narsimha keeps coming at him with weapons and abuses for no reason.
But very strangely, no one gets down to explaining / discussing / clarifiying things / doing anything productive while the mess is hitting the fan. Instead, there's a whole hour and a half, after the interval, dedicated to showcasing how Venky sets things right.
VNR is not a bad flick - it's just that it's way too run-of the-mill. The story's elementary, and the first half of the flick might kill you if you're not prepared for how dumb and formulaic the proceedings are. Plus, there are ridiculous dialogues, a retarded heroine, and clichéd fights to deal with. Also, there's very little romance overall.
But the comic track and some good performances keep the film alive in its latter half. Brahmanandam resuscitates the happenings all through, and some humour with Prakash Raj also works out well.
Vishnuvardhan Babu has worked on his weaknesses (the lisp is almost gone, for starters), and seems like he's finally done taking baby steps towards acting. He can now better his comic skills - it's lucrative. Taapsee is cute, and it might be good to see her in better movies now.
The songs are good to listen to and even watch - if only the film were half as slick as they are.
Like we said, VNR isn't a bad movie. But if you're planning to catch this one in a theatre, find someone like-minded to go with you, and then get a life. It's saner to wait for this one to hit the TV channels.