Released amidst huge expectations, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy can be considered a dream project of sorts for Mega Star Chiranjeevi. After giving a successful comeback with Khaidi No. 150, it was extremely crucial for Mega Star to ensure the momentum stays.
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy was in making for a long time before actually going on floors. The plans to start the production of this period action drama were on for quite some time. But, overflowing budgets and various other date issues always put the film in the backseat. These speed breakers convinced Chiranjeevi to go for home production and get the ball rolling. Backed by Konidela Productions, the movie which was initially supposed to cost Rs 200 crores ended up being a Rs 250 crore project.
The movie had a grand release on 2nd October 2019 and had tremendous openings in Telugu. Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy performed on par with the biggest blockbusters in Telugu. However, it had an average run in other languages of its release.
Telugu theatrical rights bought in producers an amount of Rs 150 crores. The satellite, digital, and other language theatrical rights rang in close to 100 crores business. Overall, while the movie didn’t collect multiple times returns in terms of collections, it managed to recover the massive investment which is commendable.
While the movie failed to generated huge buzz in other languages like Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi, it was a grand opener in the Telugu market. Megastar’s charisma was enough to draw people to theatres and it received positive talk right from the first show. The positive talk and business for the Telugu version weren’t repeated in other versions and its performance was quite lackluster across India. The historical backdrop and impressive star cast gave impressions of another Bahubali in making. However, with other markets not supporting the Telugu business, it ended up as a disappointment.
The Telugu version raked in Rs 100 crores in just 8 days and went on to become the next non-BahubaliIH. Not just that, Chiranjeevi also crossed his son Ram Charan’s Rangasthalam business of Rs 120 crores in just 2 weeks. Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’s victory march finally started slowing down after the festive season and it ended up at Rs 125 crores. This caused losses to the distributors in many areas where there were expectations of this movie raking in Rs 150 crores.
Despite being recorded as a non-Bahubali Industry Hit collection-wise, the heavy initial investment, budget overflow resulted in losses to multiple distributors. This marked the first occasion in Tollywood where an Industry Hit movie managed to bring losses to the stakeholders.
The movie was laced with a tremendous starcast. Mega Star Chiranjeevi was ably supported by Amitabh Bachchan, Vijay Setupathi, Ravi Kishan, Jagapathi Babu and Sudeep. Chiranjeevi was paired opposite Nayanthara and Tamannah who both played their limited roles to great perfection.
The presence of Amitabh Bachchan, Vijay Sethupathi, and Sudeep was planned by the makers to attract Hindi, Tamil, and Kannada audiences however it didn’t work out well. Sudeep as Avaku and Vijay Sethupathi as Raja Pandi were great with their performances and added great value to the star cast. Their presence in the second half added great strength to the screenplay.
However, it was Mega Star who stole the show in this Surender Reddy directorial. Right from his amazing underwater entrance scene till the climax scene, the movie was entirely moved on Chiranjeevi’s shoulder. The film relied heavily on his screen presence and action episodes and he for sure didn’t disappoint. Many have reported that apart from Chiranjeevi, who holds together the film and support from Vijay Sethupathi and Sudeep, the movie didn’t pack the punch.
Rathnavelu’s cinematography and Amit Trivedi’s BGM were other highlights of the movie. While Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy was the biggest movie of Surender Reddy’s career, the critics felt that his direction lacked the force needed to drive a movie of this scale. The inconsistencies in the screenplay and lack of research and authenticity were pointed out by many. Overall, it was the scale of the movie and massive investment initially which led to unexpected returns in what could have been another pan-Indian blockbuster.