Partners — Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani — looking to cash in on the Telugu epic film, have bought the Hindi rights. But industry experts feel that the move may backfire.
Buoyed by the super success of the Hindi dubbed version of Kannada film Kolar Goldmine Films (KGF), Farhan Akhtar and his business partner Ritesh Sidhwani, who invested in KGF, have now promptly bought the Hindi rights of the historical Telugu biopic, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. They plan to release the dubbed version simultaneously with the Telugu film. Starring Chiranjeevi in the titular role, the film boasts of a stellar cast that includes Sudeep, Vijay Sethupathi, Jagapathi Babu, Nayanthara, Tamannaah, Anushka Shetty and Amitabh Bachchan.
Interestingly Mr Bachchan who has only a guest appearance in this ambitious epic is mentioned right on top of the credit titles in the Hindi announcement of the Telugu magnum opus — perhaps to draw the attention of the Hindi viewers.
However, the attempt to woo Hindi audiences to a Telugu-language period drama with heavy colloquial dialogues may not work the same magic for Akhtar and Sidhwani as KGF, which worked mainly because of its never-seen-before action scenes. In fact, trade experts in Bollywood feel that Farhan and Ritesh may have bitten off more than they can chew. For one, this is a film primarily meant to amplify Chiranjeevi’s star power. Also, unlike KGF, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy is a verbose film with extreme culture-specificity in its dialogues, making it challenging for outside audiences to connect to the film. Lastly, director Surinder Reddy has no experience in making historicals, so it remains to be seen if he will be able to ‘make history’ with this film.
For now, it appears that Bollywood is rushing towards Telugu cinema in haste. Karan Johar quite literally had to pay a hefty price for the remake rights of Telugu film Dear Comrade, especially after the film underperformed in the end. Perhaps Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar ought to learn a lesson or two from him as they try to cash in on Sye Raa.