At the audio launch of Gautamiputra Satakarni, the film’s director Krish Jagarlamudi seemed emotional and confident. While the confidence evidently stemmed from the work satisfaction on the landmark 100th film of Balakrishna, the emotion came from the fact that he’s telling the story of a Satavahana ruler about whom not much is known.
“It’s surprising how we don’t know our history. Not many of us know who Gautamiputra Satakarni is. In Maharashtra, they know him as the person Chatrapati Shivaji was asked to look up to by his mother.. Even the Tamilians know him as the great Nootruvar Kannar. But we don’t know him!” said the director further adding, “His kingdom’s Simhadwara was at Kotilingala in Karimnagar, and his capital was in Amaravati; his reign spread as far as Himachal Pradesh. I keep telling my team that if this man was a Greek man, several movies would have been made on him and probably won a few Oscars too. I am really happy to be bringing to life the story of this great man, his achievements and his glory on the big screen.”
Apparently it wasn’t easy to get information about the king as not much has been written about him. “There are writings about him by his mother Gautami Balasri, which helped with the basis of my story. I found B.N. Sastri’s writings on him and there is a lesson in a civil service preparation material where quite a few details are given about him in about 25 pages. I finally got all the information from Megasthenes’ book Indica. The information that Greeks have about us, we do not!”
Revealing how Balakrishna became a part of the project, Krish said, “Reading about him boiled my blood and I definitely wanted to make this story. We needed someone whose eyes spit fire, whose words could show royalty and a walk that can draw attention. Well, there was only one name that I could think of — Basavaputra Nandamuri Balakrishna. And his dedication to the role was proof of why we got him on board.”
The audio launch, which took place in Tirupati was a grand affair with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu in presence. Hema Malini, Shriya Saran, and Boyapati Srinu were others in attendance....