Release of Prabhas’s Radhe Shyam: Theatre owners hoping to draw audiences back

Prabhas and Pooja Hegde’s romantic drama ‘Radhe Shyam’ is gearing up for theatrical release on March 11.
Prabhas and Pooja Hegde in Radhe Shyam poster
Prabhas and Pooja Hegde in Radhe Shyam poster
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Popular Tollywood actors Prabhas and Pooja Hegde are gearing up for the theatrical release of the period romantic drama Radhe Shyam on March 11. Shot in picturesque locations across Rome, Radhe Shyam is one of the most anticipated big-budget projects of 2021. It is also an important film for theatre owners who are still reeling from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, which forced audiences to stay indoors and switch to Over-the-top (OTT) platforms. The release of Radhe Shyam has been postponed multiple times due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns and safety guidelines issued across the country. 

Speaking to TNM ahead of the release of the film, Balgovind, owner of Sudarshan Theatre at RTC X Roads, explains that theatre owners are hoping that the film will reel in more audiences to the big screen. “People want to come back to theatres now because they are tired of holding themselves back. We are hoping that the movie will enthral audiences and lure them to choose theatres over watching films on OTT from the comforts of home,” he said. As is the case with many theatres across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Balgovind notes that most of the tickets for the first, second and third day shows have been booked. “We have planned for four shows. We can go ahead with the fifth show if the government permits but they haven’t so far. Most of the other theatres in Hyderabad are also booked for the first day,” he says. 

Speaking further about how audiences are willing to return to theatres, Balgovind says,”Pawan Kalyan and Rana Daggubati’s Bheemla Nayak which released on February 25 this year, was successful in pulling crowds back to theatres. It is also reassuring to see how audiences have preferred watching movies in theatres after the first second, as well as the third wave.”

Helmed by filmmaker Radha Krishna Kumar, Radhe Shyam will be released in five languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. 

“Audiences are happy to come back to theatres if the content is good. The pandemic has affected every sector and it has been no different with the cinema industry. But we are hoping that big-budget films like Radhe Shyam will have a good turnout,”  M Ramadasu, who is the vice president of Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce (TFFC) tells TNM. According to Ramadasu, the film will be released in 1000 screens across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “They are also planning to release it in north India, and across the globe as well,” he adds.

Following the massive success of Baahubali, Prabhas rose to fame as a pan-Indian star. Although Saaho was a big-budget film, it opened to mixed responses from critics. All eyes are on Prabhas’s Radhe Shyam since it marks Prabhas’s comeback as a romantic hero after nearly a decade. Radhe Shyam is also the project the actor will be working on before the release of KGF fame Prashanth Neel’s Salaar, wherein he will be sharing the screen with Shruti Haasan. He will also be seen in films like Adi Purush and Project K, which again boasts of a star-studded cast. 

Elaborating on how Radhe Shyam is an important film in the 42-year-old actor’s career, film critic Sangeetha Devi Dundoo who works as the Senior Assistant Editor at The Hindu stated, “The success of Radhe Shyam will help Prabhas to consolidate himself as an actor who can appeal to a nationwide audience in the post-Baahubali era. A win with Radhe Shyam would make viewers look past Saaho and further help his future large-scale projects Adi Purush, Salaar and Project K,” she says, while adding that Radhe Shyam provides an opportunity to make audiences feel that the Prabhas of Darling and Mr Perfect is not a thing of the past.”

Sangeetha also points out that big-budget, pan-India projects like Pushpa have worked well at the box office. “Big, spectacle films are being considered the best bet to draw the audiences back to the theatres. We all know the success of Pushpa across the nation. There is a widespread opinion in trade circles that Telugu cinema is faring better at the box office. With all the attention on them, the makers of Radhe Shyam, said to be produced with a budget of Rs 300 crore, would want their film to be a success story,” she says.

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