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From NTR to Jayalalithaa: Tollywood’s era of biopics

Tollywood has shown interest in making a number of biopics on some of the most legendary actors and politicians, the likes of NTR and Jayalalithaa.

Written by Krishna Vamsi | Hyderabad | Published: February 10, 2017 3:56:35 pm
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In an industry where over 200 to 250 films are released in a year, there is always a dearth of stories because of which the filmmakers put their energy into remakes and dubs of blockbuster hits from other industries for an easy taste of commercial success. With major league actors including Pawan Kalyan, Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh and Ram Charan working on remakes, there is a new fever that has gripped the Tollywood: the era of biopics!

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Since 2016, there have been many producers and directors (even actors) picking up stories of popular actors, politicians and freedom fighters to present it to the Telugu audience. While we are at it, here are five biopics that Tollywood is interested in:

N T Rama Rao by Balakrishna

The son of the legendary actor NTR, Balakrishna, himself announced recently that he would make a biopic on the actor’s cinematic and political legacy. Balakrishna, in fact, has already formed a fact-finding committee to research into the life of NTR that the actor says even he isn’t aware of. While the buzz is the actor himself will reprise the role of his father, it will be interesting to see what new facts would be revealed about the man.

‘Mahanati’ Savitri

While NTR was the popular male lead of yesteryear, the female lead of the era was none other than ‘Mahanati’ Savitri. Last month, director Nag Ashwin announced that his biopic on the Tollywood queen would be titled Mahanati (great actress). However, he is in search for the right actor to play the role of Savitri. Though the director said he wouldn’t focus on her tragedy, he would highlight Savitri as a prankster and a comedian.

Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy by Chiranjeevi

After making a comeback into Tollywood after 10 years, Chiranjeevi announced he would be a doing biopic on Telugu freedom fighter Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy under Surendar Reddy’s direction. History has it that Narasimha Reddy was one of the first freedom fighters to battle the British. He was hanged to death in 1847. If this project materialises, it is said that the megastar will have to undergo a major makeover.

J Jayalalithaa

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa passed away in December last year. A month after her death, National Award-winning Tollywood director Dasari Narayan Rao announced that he would make a biopic on the iron lady titled Amma. Jayalalithaa who had a huge success in politics was also a popular actor in Tamil and Telugu industry in the 70s and 80s.

Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao

Comparing KCR’s revolution to that of Mahatma Gandhi’s, Nelson Mandela’s and Martin Luther King’s, director Madhu Sreedhar Reddy had announced that he would be making a biopic on Telangana CM to showcase his struggle for carving the separate state of Telangana from erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. The film is expected to hit the screens in 2018.

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