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Bholaa Shankar failure: A wakeup call for producers to take creative control of projects

Chiranjeevi, Keerthy Suresh, Tamannaah played the lead roles in the Meher Ramesh

Bholaa Shankar failure: A wakeup call for producers to take creative control of projects
Bholaa Shankar
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 10.24 AM, Aug 15, 2023


Bholaa Shankar, the Telugu remake of Vedalam, adapted and directed by Meher Ramesh, opened to a tepid response at the box office the previous weekend. Chiranjeevi, Tamannaah and Keerthy Suresh played the lead roles in the film reprising the roles essayed by Ajith, Shruti Haasan and Laxmi Menon in the original. Anil Sunkara produced the actioner under AK Entertainments.

Right during the weekend, social media was abuzz with suggestions for Chiranjeevi, where his loyal fans and film buffs pleaded the star to choose his directors wisely, do roles that are apt for his age and asked him to avoid remakes. Meher Ramesh faced the brunt of viewers, triggering a meme fest about delivering duds continuously for stars like Jr NTR, Venkatesh, Chiranjeevi.


However, more than anyone else, one feels sorry for Bholaa Shankar’s producer Anil Sunkara who had also backed Agent, another major flop this year. There is no doubt about his passion for cinema, the knack to spot talent and make big projects happen. He genuinely believed in Vedalam as a script and thought it had all the ingredients to be a proper commercial potboiler.

In the promotional interviews, Meher Ramesh made it more than obvious that most creative decisions were taken only with the approval of Chiranjeevi. The scenario is no different in the case of most star projects, where the producer’s role is reduced to ensuring the right combination, pumping in enough budget, adhering to the demands of the director, star and not being given the scope to make creative calls.

There’s a reason why producers Ramanaidu, Dil Raju, Edida Nageswara Rao command respect in Telugu cinema. While they have a firm understanding of the market, enjoy a good rapport with stars and directors, their choices are also driven by their strong creative instincts without losing sight of commercial feasibility. They give importance to scripts primarily, are taskmasters on set, make everyone feel responsible for their work.

New generation producers like Rahul Yadav Nakka, the Chai Bisket duo Sharath Chandra and Anurag Reddy, S Naga Vamsi of Sithara Entertainments, Swapna Dutt, Priyanka Dutt are reviving the trend and bringing about the necessary change in Telugu cinema, striking a balance between creative and commercial necessities. Anil Sunkara, in a screenshot of a message that's going viral, has already said that he'll respond to the failure of Bholaa Shankar with a quality film. We wish him the best as well!