After competitive biopics on NTR, the matinee idol of Telugu cinema and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, set off ripples in political circles in the run-up to the April 11 elections, it is now the turn of the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to become the subject of another biopic.
The controversial producer-director Ram Gopal Varma has announced that he was all set to make a movie on the political journey of KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known.
Titled ‘Tiger KCR” with a tagline “The Aggressive Gandhi”, the film will trace the journey of KCR from his childhood in Telangana’s Medak district to his foray into politics and spearheading the Telangana statehood movement and eventually becoming the first Chief Minister of India’s youngest state in 2014.
Controversy’s favourite child
RGV is known to court controversies, be it in choosing the subjects for his movies or taking on the critics in the run-up to their release.
Going by the poster of the latest movie, it appears to be a propaganda venture to eulogise the leadership qualities of KCR and his perseverance in sustaining the Telangana agitation against all odds.
However, the maverick film maker packs the punch with hard-hitting jibes at politicians from coastal Andhra for creating obstacles in the path of the formation of separate Telangana state.
Obviously, his target is N Chandrababu Naidu, who is now the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is widely seen as an “anti-Telangana” party for its flip flops over the statehood demand. Though the regional party finally came on board in support of the division of AP to carve out a separate Telangana state, its political tactics were seen as “obstructionist.”
Without naming Chandrababu Naidu, RGV said, “My film on KCR talks about a few people who created the circumstances for separation.” He, however, assured that the movie will not showcase the people of Andhra Pradesh in a bad light.
“It is a biopic of KCR from the time he couldn’t bear the 3rd class treatment being given to Telangana people by the Andhras, and how he fought in a fiery way to achieve Telangana state,” RGV, the director of hit movies like “shiva”, “Satya” and Sarkar”, tweeted.
Elaborating on the tagline, he says, “Like how the peaceful Mahatma Gandhi fought the British and got independence for India, the aggressive Gandhi KCR fought the Andhras and got Telangana state.”
Rubs TDP on wrong side
His earlier movie, “Lakshmi’s NTR”, the story of the Telugu Desam Party founder told from the perspective of his second wife N Lakshmi Parvathi, had kicked off a controversy with the present TDP dispensation raising objections over showing Chandrababu Naidu in poor light.
The TDP had approached the court seeking a ban on the film for allegedly “distorting” the events surrounding the toppling of NTR in a revolt led by Naidu in August, 1995. The ruling party had also moved the Election Commission, seeking a ban on the movie on the ground that it was provocative and derogatory.
However, it went on to become a big hit.
“Lakshmi’s NTR” focuses on the final stages of NTR’s life when he was tormented by the rebellion within his party and betrayal by his son-in-law. It is a hard-hitting take on the political drama in the TDP’s first family that led to NTR’s dethronement.
On the other hand, a two-part biopic– “NTR-Kathanayakudu” and “NTR-Mahanayakudu”, produced by NTR’s actor-son and TDP legislator N Balakrishna, failed to impress the audience. It was seen as an “official” version of NTR’s life, meant to strike an emotional chord with the voters ahead of the elections. Balakrishna, himself an actor of considerable repute with over 100 films under his belt, donned the role of his illustrious father while Bollywood actor Vidya Balan played the role of NTR’s wife Basava Tharakam.
The cast and crew for the KCR biopic is yet to be finalised. “I have done thorough research on the subject. I will portray the truth. The shooting will start soon,” the 57 year old producer-director said.
A few weeks ago, he had announced that he was working on a biopic of Sasikala, a close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalithaa.
The movie will also feature political leaders like KCR’s son K T Rama Rao, daughter K Kavitha, nephew T Harish Rao, politicians of other parties like Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Lagadapati Rajagopal, Vundavalli Arun Kumar, K Roshiah, N Kiran Kumar Reddy and media baron Ch Ramoji Rao.