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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Satvahana Gautamiputra Satakarni ~ 100th movie of Balakrishna and the price !!

Fridays, Deepavali, Pongal ~ one common link could be release of new films ! ~  in rural Andhra, the thrill would fill the air in those days, with release of movies of famous stars – at times, the box [containing the film reels] would be processioned, huge crowds would stand before the movie halls, vying for the honour of watching ‘first day, first show !’ of their favourite stars – and can you imagine what price, one will be willing to pay ??  Ironical that some Govts, order tax cuts for the coffers of Actors and Producers, common man pays high price !!

The Satavahanas  ruled the Deccan area around the start of the first century BCE, lasting through another century or so.   The Satavahana kingdom mainly comprised the present-day Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. At different times, their rule extended to parts of modern Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. The dynasty had different capital cities at different times, including Pratishthana (Paithan) and Amaravati (Dharanikota). The dynasty reached its zenith under the rule of Gautamiputra Satakarni and his successor Vasisthiputra Pulamavi. The kingdom fragmented into smaller states by the early 3rd century CE.  The well run Kingdom issued coinage with images of their rulers and formed a cultural bridge, played a vital role in trade.

Gautamiputra Satakarni  is one famous from this dynasty and there are archaeological evidences of his coins and inscriptions. 

Nandamuri Balakrishna is the sixth son of N. T. Rama Rao garu. He entered the film industry as a child artist at the age of 14 with the film Tatamma Kala.  His 100th film has hit the screens recently; in this, he plays the ruler of Satavahana Empire.  Gautamiputra Satakarni,  Telugu epic historical action film produced by Y. Rajeev Reddy, Jagarlamudi Saibabu  stars Nandamuri Balakrishna in title role, and Shriya Saran as the female lead, Hema Malini in a crucial role and music composed by Chirantan Bhatt.

Now days Indian desi movies get off to International start, being screened across the globe. Some initial report suggested that Gautamiputra Satakarni got off to a sluggish start  racing towards  $500,000 at the US box office. Initial figures also suggest that the film grossed Rs 12.2 crore in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The exemption of 15% entertainment tax has also helped domestic box office numbers.

The movie is a milestone for Balakrishna as it marks 100th film in his Tollywood career. The actor and the director also placed huge bets on this movie to make it into commercial success. The film was reportedly made on a budget of Rs 70 crore. The BO collection would be an acid test for Balakrishna as his earlier films Dictator and Lion were not big hits. The film has an impressive star cast including Bollywood actor Hema Malini, Kabir Bedi and Shriya Saran, who is seen romancing the Tollywood star.

Now comes the news that a devoted fan of actor Balakrishna stunned audiences and surprised the Telugu film megastar as well when he scrimped and bought a ticket paying Rs 1 lakh to watch `Gautamiputra Shatakarni', the 100th  film of the actor released on Thursday.

Gopichand Innamuri, 27, who owns a modest restaurant in Narsaraopet, Guntur, walked into the benefit show for cancer patients in a city theatre, where organisers were hoping to sell tickets for anything between Rs 500 to Rs 2,000. When Gopichand handed over the cheque against the ticket, organisers said they were left speechless. Gopichand said he also wanted to be part of the cause of helping patients at the Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital and Research Institute here.  "I saved that money over one year so that I could give it for a cause through Balakrishna's movie," Gopichand told TOI. "I chose not to spend money unnecessarily on parties etc., with the intention of saving it for charity. I was waiting for the movie to be released so that I could donate it," he added.

Gopichand, who has an MBA degree, is looking forward to taking a picture with Balakrishna soon.Although he met the actor at the Sri Brahmaramba theatre at Kukatpally, Gopichand felt it was not the right time for a picture."Balakrishna appreciated me for making the donation," Gopichand said. Balakrishna is also the chairman of the hospitals' board of trustees.  The fan also got to watch the benefit show at Sri Brahmaramba theatre at Kukatpally along with Balakrishna, and director of `Baahubali' Rajamouli, among others.

The actor's fans went into a frenzy at the theatre bursting crackers, celebrating the movie's release. Shouting slogans like "Jai Balayya, we love you Balayya', they ushered Gopi into the theatre. Media reports state that the  tickets were auctioned days in advance. For his `Legend', released in Mar 2014, a fan in Rayalaseema bought the first ticket for Rs 40,000.Balakrishna's film `Ramarajyam' also made big news as an NRI bought the premier show ticket for $5,000 in New Jersey, US.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Jan 2017.

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