NTR-Kathanayakudu, the biopic on former Andhra CM NT Rama Rao, had hit theatres on January 8 amidst much anticipation from Balakrishna fans. But contrary to expectations, the movie turned out to be a box-office dud, owing mainly to the larger than life persona of NTR portrayed in the movie, leaving the audience with hardly anything new to take home.
It was around the same time that director Ram Gopal Verma announced the release of his movie Lakshmi’s NTR. RGV, known for his controversial statements that often stir a hornet’s nest, claims that Lakshmi’s NTR is an honest portrayal of NTR’s life. The director, who has been churning out one flop after the other, says Lakshmi’s NTR would trace the events after NTR’s marriage to writer Lakshmi Parvathi, a decision that eventually led to his overthrow as the state’s CM. RGV’s movie is controversial even before its release as the plot reveals the exact sequences that Balakrishna and director Krish have carefully avoided in the two-part biopic on NTR.
Lakshmi’s NTR has not only irked the makers of the NTR movie but has also stirred up trouble with the Andhra Pradesh minister Chandrababu Naidu (NTR’s nephew), with RGV openly accusing the current CM of backstabbing NTR while the latter was the CM of the state.
To add to the controversies, Ram Gopal Verma on Saturday, in a series of tweets, has openly challenged the makers of the NTR biopic to announce the release date of NTR-Mahanayakudu, the second part of the biopic, which was earlier announced as a February 8 release, clashing with Yatra. For reasons best known to the makers of the film, the release date is yet to be announced.
RGV’s challenge doesn’t stop here. In a rather bizarre tweet, RGV has said that both the film will be released on the same date because NTR from heaven has instructed him to do so.
The instruction from heaven seems to have come with specifications. RGV has said that the trailer of Lakshmi's NTR will be released exactly 24 minutes after the announcement of the release date of Mahanayakudu.
RGV also claims that Kathanayakudu was not a theatrical hit because NTR will bless only his wife’s movie Lakshmi’s NTR.
Nothing has stopped RGV from openly criticising the Andhra CM for staging a coup that led to the overthrow of NTR, and the director has fired arrows at the CM in the crudest manner possible.
This is not the first time that Ram Gopal Verma has taken digs at Chandrababu Naidu through the movie. "VenuPotu", a song from Lakshmi’s NTR, was released in December and offended many as it was about the alleged betrayal of NTR’s own party members who sided with Naidu. A slew of complaints from TDP workers followed, and it ended with RGV filing complaints against the complainants.
Ram Gopal Verma’s movie supposedly depicts those portions from NTR’s life that raked up controversy after his marriage with writer Lakshmi Parvathi. Naidu staged a coup against the CM because he suspected that NTR was planning to hand over the reins of the party to his second wife Lakshmi Paravathi, and that the party would have disintegrated under her rule. Interestingly, Parvathi is now a member of the YSRCP and is aiming to contest against the TDP.
Though Ram Gopal Verma has been the poster boy for controversies, netizens consider Lakshmi's NTR to be an honest portrayal of NTR’s life. People say that they are eagerly awaiting for the movie created by the ‘first true disruptor’. There are also memes of NTR, in his Krishna costume, speaking to RGV doing the rounds on social media. It remains to be seen if RGV’s movie will truly be a "disruptor" and showcase NTR’s tumultuous history.