Ram Gopal Varma At It Again: This Time NTR’s Biopic
Hyderabad: Ram Gopal Varma(RGV) has dropped another publicity bombshell on Tuesday when he announced a biopic on the legendary Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao.
RGV is well known for depicting real life stories on celluloid which are controversial and which divide the public opinion. He earlier directed some Hindi films based on the lives Haji Mastan and Bal Thackeray. He also made two films in Telugu on the lives of Parital Ravi and Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao, two faction leaders from Anantapur and Krishna districts respectively. He raised old and new questions in both the films but answered only some of them leaving behind a trail of bitter controversies. In case of the film on Ranga, his only son Vangaveeti Radhakrishna had found fault with the movie on many counts. While the opinion about Ravi and Ranga was mostly divided on caste lines, the case of NTR is entirely different.
The Tollywood thespian, founder of Telugu Desai Party (TDP) and former Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh had admirers in all castes, regions and religions. NTR’s second wife Laxmi Parvathi is on record with her opinion on RGV. She is sure that RGV would distort facts about the last leg of NTR’s life journey and she would be shown as a villain of the piece. She asked Balakrishna earlier to be truthful in depicting the life his father.
The fact that Nandamuri Balakrishna, NTR’s son and Tollywood hero, had already announced that a movie on NTR’s life is being planned and he is going to act in the role of his father makes it suspicious since Balakrishna had sided with Chandrababu Naidu when the later ditched NTR . Now that he has entrusted (did he?) the direction to RGV, one can look forward to publicity blitzkrieg by using all the known and unknown, real and imaginary twists in the life of the leader who ended the monopoly of the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh.
The last days of NTR would make an excellent story for a movies since it has all the dramatic elements that make a movie a super hit. Firstly, NTR is a household name. He married Laxmi Parvathi, a woman who was younger than him by more than thirty years. He was outsmarted by his younger son-in-law Nara Chandrababu Naidu who mobilised the support of the TDP MLAs who got elected a few months ago solely because of NTR’s popularity. There is politics, crime, love, sacrifice, governance, horsetrading, innuendo, intrigue, machination, plot and meticulous execution. What more is needed for a film to be a hit?
His beloved sons and daughters ditched him to join hands with Naidu. He died in a mysterious way when he was preparing to launch a campaign against Naidu and getting ready to fight Lok Sabha elections in 1996. There are controversies about all these turns and twists as there are at least two versions at every stage. Which version would RGV adopts is going to be crucial in deciding the veracity of the script.