“What made Andhra Pradesh politics go upside down is the relationship between a man and a woman,” declares the trailer of Ram Gopal Varma’s upcoming NT Rama Rao biopic Lakshmi’s NTR. The cast includes P Vijay Kumar, Yagna Shetty and Shritej. A release date is yet to be announced.
Starring P Vijay Kumar as the Telugu screen icon-turned-politician, Lakshmi’s NTR focuses on Rao’s political debut in 1982 and his marriage to his biographer and writer Lakshmi Parvathi, who was his second wife (his first wife, Basava Tarakam, died in 1985). After a long acting career, NTR founded the Telugu Desam Party in 1982 and served as Andhra Pradesh chief minister for three terms. He was forced to resign from his own party after his son-in-law and current Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu wrested control of the Telugu Desam Party from him in 1995. NTR died the next year and Parvathi started the NTR Telugu Desam Party (Lakshmi Parvathi). She is now with the YSR Congress, the main Opposition party in Andhra Pradesh.
Lakshmi’s NTR in December ran into controversy when an Andhra Pradesh MLA reportedly filed a complaint against Varma for the song Vennupotu in the film, claiming that it defamed Naidu by painting him as a “backstabber.”
Lakshmi’s NTR’s is the third film on the former Andhra chief minister after Krish’s two-part biopic, starring NTR’s son Nandamuri Balakrishna in the lead alongside a large ensemble cast that includes Vidya Balan, Rana Daggubati, Rakul Preet Singh, Prakash Raj and Sachin Khedekar. The first instalment, NTR Kathanayakudu, opened in theatres on January 9 and focused on its protagonist’s film career. The sequel NTR Mahanayakudu, which will examine NTR’s years as a politician, will be out on February 22.