Baahubali was a gamechanger in many ways. Particularly in the world of purchasing the rights to the Telugu original. After Karan Johar presented the Hindi version of the multilingual two part movie by SS Rajamouli, the film market in south India is keenly watched by production houses in Mumbai. No one wants to let go of a golden opportunity.
After Baahubali, the next film to hit gold literally was KGF, set in the Kolar Gold Mines in Karnataka. The dubbing rights to the Kannada film were bought by Farhan Akhtar and his partner Ritesh Sidhvani’s Excel Entertainment and Anil Thadani’s AA Films.
Which is why Farhan and his associates have decided to distribute Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy that stars Chiranjeevi in the title role. Produced by Chiranjeevi’s son, Ram Charan, this is the story of a lesser known freedom fighter from Kurnool district, Narasimha Reddy. It boasts of an ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Tamannah, Nayanthara, Sudeep, Vijay Sethupathi and Jagapathi Babu.
But while Farhan and friends would hope Sye Raa is another Baahubali, sceptics would have their doubts. Baahubali was a piece of fiction while Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’s Telugu character is hard to ignore. It is rooted in Andhra culture which may be lost in translation in Hindi. How much of a traction it will therefore have for a Hindi audience remains doubtful. The makers of the movie are banking on the special effects and the action sequences to carry the day.
Last month, Karan Johar bought the rights to the remake of Dear Comrade starring Vijay Deverakonda in Hindi. But the movie that was rather ambitiously released in all four south Indian languages was declared a flop and underperformed even in Telugu. It was a flop in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. The problem is Mumbai hoped that every Deverakonda film will now be another Arjun Reddy that has the potential to be made into a Kabir Singh.