NTR biopic : Who is to blame for the debacle ?


The prestigious biopic on legendary actor NTR turned out to be an epic disaster at box office as both parts failed to draw the attention of audience. When the project was announced last year, there were a lot of expectations in audience and trade circles and Balakrishna himself turned producer with this film. Teja was initially roped in to direct this biopic, but due to personal reasons he backed out in the last minute and director Krish came on board. Krish has completed the film in less than 100 working days and released the film in time. The first part ended as an embarrassing flop despite getting decent reviews from critics. The second part turned out to be a colossal disaster as it failed to recover the theatre expenses in all areas.

So, who is to be blamed for this huge disaster and are the reasons behind for it ?

1) Balakrishna is the first person who is to be blamed for this embarrassment. Rather than making this film as a tribute to his father, he cashed in on the huge pre release buzz in trade circles and sold it for exorbitant prices in all areas. At the rates sold by the producers, the film would never become a hit even if it had got good talk. Balakrishna could have released the film on his own, but he preferred to make money out of this prestigious project. Also, Balakrishna should let go the role of young NTR to some other actor. If he really wanted the film to become a box office hit, he should let go the role of young NTR to some other actor. But, his ego didn’t let him do that. He himself played the character and got criticized for not looking the part as young NTR.

2) Krish should also equally share the blame for the debacle of this project. His lackluster directional skills and hasty research work on the legendary actor are the major reasons for the failure. After Teja’s sudden exit, Krish joined the project and took very little time to do research about NTR. For the biopic on Savitri, the makers of Mahanati did profound research and collected a lot of unknown details from different sources. But, that didn’t happen for NTR biopic. Krish jumped board from Manikarnika and immediately started shooting after making some changes to the script. He finished the shoot in very less time and hardly did any research on NTR’s political journey. There are no unknown facts and details about NTR in this biopic. Krish and his team should have done more efforts to garner information from contemporary politicians and journalists of NTR’s time.

3) Even as a producer, Balakrishna failed to do justice to this biopic. He tried to squeeze the last penny from distributors though the first part turned out to be a huge loss venture. Many of the distributors are NTR fans and they bought the rights even though the producers quoted high prices. The production house didn’t budge an inch even after the first part tanked heavily and tried to sell the second part for hefty prices. Only after the media highlighted the struggle of distributors, Balakrishna has decided to compensate for the losses. Also, the greed for making money out of NTR’s craze has made the producers and director to come up with a two part biopic and this idea has backfired completely. They should have made this as a single film and the result might have been a different one.

4) Another reason why the biopic failed is due to lack of honesty in the story. Some of the important phases of NTR life have been sidelined by Krish and Balakrishna just to fit the agenda. This has resulted in outright rejection from audience.

5) Promotional strategy did more harm than good to this biopic. Krish and his team revealed all important characters much earlier than film’s release and they failed to generate any interest on the big screen. After the first part ended as a flop, the makers were short of plans on how to promote the second part and this has led to poor buzz in audience.

On the whole, all these factors led to the causing of huge embarrassment for such a prestigious project. Balakrishna has failed to make this as a tribute because of his ego as an actor and due to his greed for money as a producer. Director Krish got carried away by the hype and made a cursory research work about the legendary actor only to share the blame for delivering one of the forgettable films in his career.

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  1. I am an NTR Fan. Your Analysis seems to be lopsided, half baked and bereft of facts ! Biopics are not commercial films in their true sense and are a different genre for our audience accustomed to pure commercial films. You are blaming the Producer Balakrishna solely and he doesn’t deserve such an acrid analysis. It was the Director’s idea to make it into 2 parts and the Actor/Producer who gives a lot of leniency to his Directors, just went along with the idea of the Director. Motive of greed cannot be attributed to the Producer/Hero as it was never his idea to make it into 2 films. Most of the first part is periodical involving huge expenses probably. Not to mention the astronomical sum paid to the lead star Vidya Balan who charges a bomb for such a meaty role. She is likely to have charged over 7.5 Cr as this is the minimum she gets paid in Hindi films. Other Artists too would not have come cheap as they are well known artists. About the Producer selling his films for astronomical sums, every film maker requires to cover his Production costs probably make a 10-15% profit for his efforts. Here, the main Distributor is a co-producer himself. Will he not know the cost of production in this film ? Is he a fool to offer high prices just because he is an NTR Fan ? Also, it is reliably learnt that the Director himself is a distributor in one of areas. Is he also a fool to buy at a high price ,having knowledge of the Production cost ? No one forces the distributors to part with heavy amounts ! If they earn huge profits on any film they distribute, do they share their profit with the Producer ? In spite of the same, your very website mentioned that the Producer is bearing 1/3rd of the loss in the 1st film, and also giving the second film free to the very same Distributors. Will any normal Producer be so magnanimous ? In fact, this is the first of its kind in the Indian Film Industry and all Producers should be as kind hearted as Balakrishna when their distributors suffer losses. And you brand him greedy for this kind gesture ? Show a single Producer who was as large hearted ! Coming to the Director, he did what his brain could handle. He claims he did 2-3 years of research, yet fumbled in the narrative. He could not take cinematic liberties as NTR’s life is an open book. Mahanati took 3 years of research, yet they took cinematic liberties. They too did not show 100% real life story of Savithri. If they had not taken these liberties, Mahanati too would have been a damp squib. It is not possible to show blatant truths in biopics due to the respect and sympathy for the departed souls. Trying to make Biopics dwelling only on the controversies in their lives only shows the depravity of the Director and the Production house. To sum it up, it would be moronic on your part if you continue to write your half baked analysis.


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