The festival of Makara Sankranti this time is witnessing a clash of titans in the Telugu film industry with Chiranjeevi and Balakrishna releasing their blockbuster movies on alternate days.
The Sankranti season (the three-day festival is being celebrated from January 13) is seen as a crucial time for the film industry here to rake in money as film goers throng cinema halls in large numbers.
The release of Chiranjeevi’s 150th film Khaidi Number 150 on Wednesday and Balakrishna’s 100th film Gautamiputra Satakarni hitting the screen a day later, has generated a huge interest.
The Chiranjeevi film is a remake of a hit Tamil movie Kathi, while the movie with Balakrishna in lead role is of historical genre on the life of Gautamiputra Satakarni, the 23rd ruler of Satavahana dynasty of Andhra.
Gautamiputra Satakarni, directed by National award winning director Krish Jagarlamudi, stars veteran Bollywood actors Hema Malini and Kabir Bedi and Kannada superstar Shivaraj Kumar in key roles.
Shriya Saran has played the role of Satakarni’s wife in the movie.
Balakrishna said his father legendary NT Rama Rao intended to make a film on Gautamiputra Satakarni but could not do so as he entered public life in 1982.
Noting that he was planning his own story as 100th film, Balakrishna said, “One fine day Krish approached me with Satakarni script. I accepted to do this film after listening to the first ten minutes of the script. It is a divine intervention, that I had an opportunity to do a historic role.”
Showering praise on Gautamiputra Satakarni, Baahubali director SS Rajamouli said, “Saaho Basavatarakarama puthra BALAKRISHNA!!! I salute you sir for your potrayal of Satakarni that will make nandamuri tarakaramaraogaru (NTR) proud. He will shower his blessings from above. Anjanaputhra Krish, the blessings of 12 crore Telugus across the globe will be with you.”
Chiranjeevi’s come back film Khaidi Number 150, directed by V V Vinayak, in which the megastar essays dual roles, has been made in true to his style of action scenes, songs and peppy numbers.
Chiranjeevi’s last film was Shankardada Zindabad, a remake of Bollywood hit Munnabhai MBBS.