17 mins of Balakrishna and Soundarya's shelved 2004 film 'Narthanasala' to stream online

The film was shelved after Soundarya's death, and was a remake of the 1963 film starring NTR.
Still from Narthanasala shooting in 2004
Still from Narthanasala shooting in 2004
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Narthanasala, the unfinished mythological film starring Nandamuri Balakrishna, late Soundarya, late Srihari and others, is in the news again. The film was a dream project of Balakrishna, announced in 2004 and partially shot for a few days. It was soon shelved, because of the sudden demise of actor Soundarya in an aircraft crash. The film, which is based on a chapter of the epic Mahabharata, featured an ensemble cast, including Balakrishna, who was set to debut as a director with the film. 

After a gap of 15 years, Balakrishna has now announced that 17 minutes of unreleased footage from the film is all set to stream online. 

“My father’s Narthanasala is a film that I like a lot. As it is already known, the film was started under my direction,” he wrote, as he announced the release of the footage. Balakrishna will be seen in the role of Arjunudu, which was played by his father N T Rama Rao in the 1963 version of the film. Soundarya will be seen as Draupadi (played by Savitri in the earlier version), while Srihari will be seen as Bheemudu and Sarath Babu will be seen in the role of Dharmaraju. 

Announcing its release, Balakrishna said that it will be out on Shreyas ET platform on October 24. Calling it a "Vijayadasami gift", the actor said that part of the proceeds from the release will be donated to charities. The footage will reportedly be available on a pay-per-view basis. 

The film reportedly had a huge ensemble star cast, including Sai Kumar as Duryodhanudu, late Uday Kiran as  Abhimanyudu, Kota Srinivasa Rao as Virata Raju, along with veteran director K Viswanath in a crucial role. Late VSR Swamy was the cinematographer, and late Veturi Sundararama Murthy was the lyricist.

Balakrishna currently has an upcoming film with director Boyapati Srinivas. Tentatively titled NBK 106, reports had earlier surfaced that Catherine Tresa will be playing the female lead in this film. However, reports now suggest that Anjali has bagged the lead role. It may be noted here that Balakrishna and director Boyapati Srinivas are teaming up for the third time after Simha and Legend turned out to be major hits in their careers. NBK 106 is being produced by Miryala Ravinder Reddy. 

Balakrishna’s last film to release was Ruler, directed by K S Ravi Kumar. The story was written by Paruchuri Murali and the film was produced by C Kalyan. Ruler performed poorly at the box office, and Balakrishna is now looking to score a big hit with his next film. 

(Content provided by Digital Native) 

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