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Dasara: Is the Nani-Keerthy Suresh starrer trying too hard to crack the pan-Indian formula?

The action entertainer, directed by Srikanth Odela, releases in theatres on March 30

Dasara: Is the Nani-Keerthy Suresh starrer trying too hard to crack the pan-Indian formula?

Last Updated: 12.32 PM, Mar 15, 2023


During the promotional interviews for his previous release Ante Sundaraniki in 2022, while talking about the advent of pan-Indian cinema, originating from the Telugu land, Nani had said, “It’s audiences that decides what is a pan-Indian film and what isn’t. One can’t sit here and make decisions about it. This isn’t as simple as dubbing a Telugu film in other languages and expecting audiences to like it.”

Is this applicable to Nani’s next release Dasara too? The action entertainer, which has him sharing screenspace opposite Keerthy Suresh, marks the directorial debut of Srikanth Odela and releases in five languages - Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam - on March 30. The trailer of the film was launched amidst much fanfare in Lucknow across all languages yesterday.


While Nani has already clarified there’s nothing similar between his film and Allu Arjun’s Pushpa, it’s evident that the aesthetic, visual tone and the raw violence are a desperate effort to tick all the boxes of a pan-Indian film checklist. It’s a premise that can be sold to audiences across the country - an underdog, stuck in a crisis, takes on the system and goes on a killing spree to protect his loved ones.

Like most pan-Indian films RRR, KGF 2, Pushpa, the story belongs to a specific setting and a periodic era. The lead character hails from a marginalised community, will do anything to fulfil his ambitions and violence and revenge are celebrated. The emotions are intense, the conflict is personal and it appears as if only the backdrop has undergone a change.

After Shyam Singha Roy, Nani is taking his ‘Natural Star’ tag seriously again for Dasara and he’s going all out to promote the film across the country. The film has a mix of actors from multiple industries - Sai Kumar, Dheekshith Shetty, Samuthirakani, Shine Tom Chacko - but will the story offer anything out of the blue for audiences? All eyes are on March 30, when Dasara is expected to open big.

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