Ahead of elections, Andhra’s season of political ‘thrillers’ storm the box office


23 February 2024 09:02 PM | Updated Feb 24, 2024 11:08 am IST – Visakhapatnam

A theater with a poster of the film 'Lakshmi's NTR' in Vijayawada in May 2019.

A theater with a poster of the film 'Lakshmi's NTR' in Vijayawada in May 2019. , Photo Credit: File Photo

It's election year, and political parties in Andhra Pradesh are back on the big screen to project their leaders as villains or heroes.

Ahead of the elections in 2019, a series of politically inspired films hit the silver screens. In January that year, actor and Hindupur MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna had come up with the biopic 'NTR: Kathanayakudu' on former chief minister and TDP founder NT Rama Rao. A month later, on 7 February, its sequel 'NTR: Mahanayakudu' was released.

While 'NTR: Kathanayakudu' depicts NTR's journey, from his entry into the cinema industry to his entry into politics, the sequel features a part of his political journey, starring Rana Daggubati as Nara Chandrababu Naidu . Both biopics were directed by acclaimed filmmaker Krish Jagarlamudi.

However, 'NTR: Mahanayakudu' clashed at the box office with the other film 'Yatra', which released on the silver screens a day later on February 8. Directed by Mahi V. Raghav, the biopic of former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy 'highlights' the padyatra undertaken by YSR ahead of the 2009 elections.

In late March that year, renowned filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma's 'Lakshmi's NTR' was released. The film was based on the events that unfolded after the arrival of Lakshmi Parvati in NTR's life.

'Capital Files'

Two films were released this month. The first was 'Yatra 2', which was a biopic about Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, and the second was 'Rajdhani Files', which created a stir as it dealt with the issue of the ongoing farmers' protest in the Amaravati capital region after the YSRCP. Was based. The government had announced its three-capital decision a few years ago.

Several YSRCP leaders promoted 'Yatra 2' and were showing the film for free to party supporters. 'Rajdhani Files' had the support of TDP leaders.

Sri Ram Gopal Varma had made two films – 'Vyuham' and 'Sapadham', which are said to be made after the 2019 elections by Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, Mr Naidu and JSP President K. Was based on incidents related to Pawan Kalyan. , He is scheduled to be released during the first week of March.

Although these films have been appreciated by fans, critics and audiences, they have had little commercial success at the BO.

Analysts say that politically motivated films are not new. He says that such films are either leader-centric or issue-based, but their objective is undeniably to influence voters and benefit political parties.

Director Mani Ratnam's 'Iddru', and RGV's 'Sarkar' starring Amitabh Bachchan and the two-part film 'Rakta Charitra' starring Vivek Oberoi and Suriya were based on the life and events of some political leaders. Earlier the names of characters, places and situations were changed, but now filmmakers shy away from changing the names of characters.

“Cinema is being used as a platform to portray leaders as villains or heroes. Most of the scenes and situations in these films are imaginary. There may be some impact on audiences, especially in rural areas, but it is barely achievable in urban areas. Since all such films are politically supported, there is no issue of earning and achieving targets,” says a senior political leader.

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