The much-awaited biopic on the life of late legendary actor and influential political figure NT Rama Rao was launched on Thursday following a customary pooja at Ramakrishna Studios in Hyderabad. Titled NTR, the film will have actor Nandamuri Balakrishna playing the role of NTR.
The event was attended by celebrities of the Telugu film industry and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who also gave the muhurat clap. Talking at the event, director Teja felt gratitude for being at the helm of this project. “I’m extremely lucky to have got the opportunity to direct a film based on the life of NTR. Being his biggest fan, I never even in my dreams thought I will be directing a film on him one day,” he said.
“I’m very happy with the story. It is not the story I wrote. It is what happened. It is a very big history. We have enough content to make six films based on his life. So it is taking time to compress it into one film,” director Teja said, adding that they have plans to release it during Dussehra.
Balakrishna gave credit to his good karma from his past life for getting the opportunity to play his legendary father on the big screen. “We live in times, where we forget everything very quickly. To make sure that history about NTR remains permanently in the people’s memory, we are making this film,” said Balakrishna, who was in the full costume of Duryodhana, including a heavy looking crown on his head.
Balakrishna was dressed up as an epic character for the muhurtham shot. The film crew was recreating a court scene from the blockbuster period drama Daana Veera Soora Karna, which had NTR playing roles of Karna, Lord Krishna and Duryodhana. The filmmakers also had an actor dressed up like late matinee idol MG Ramachandran for the opening shot.
Daana Veera Soora Karna was the first film to be shot at Ramakrishna Cine Studios. MGR had clapped the muhurat shot for the 248th film in NTR’s decorated career.
Balakrishna said writing the script for the film was the most challenging part of doing this film. “We are working very hard to make a script that does justice to the life of NTR and people across the country, who are waiting to see this film. The script is coming out very well,” he said.
He also noted that not just in the field of cinema, but NTR’s contribution to politics also had far-reaching effects at the national level.
Balakrishna also explained why they decided to launch the film on this day. “Patala Bhairavi released on March 17 (1951). But, looking at the way it was received at the box office, we increased its prints on March 29. Which made it the film with the highest number of prints in South India. This film became a super hit and with that, he became a mass hero.
“Lava Kusa released on March 29 (1963), and NTR’s first color film Desoddharakulu (1973) also released on the same date,” he added. On this day (in 1982), Telugu Desam Party was also founded.”
The regular shooting of the film will begin from March 30. Teja will first reportedly shoot NTR’s early days in Chennai as a government employee before he became a demigod to his fans and followers through his films. The biopic will be made in Telugu and Hindi.