Agnyaathavaasi: Here’s why Pawan Kalyan, Trivikram Srinivas’ power-packed combination guarantees success

Hemanth Kumar

Jan,09 2018 16:09:03 IST

Telugu film industry is obsessed with power-packed combinations of successful actors and directors. In the past we’ve had actors like Megastar Chiranjeevi collaborate with A Kodandarami Reddy, K Raghavendra Rao, and Ashwini Dutt to deliver some of the biggest blockbusters in the 80s and 90s.

Later, in the early 2000s, it was NTR Jr who rose to stardom, thanks to his films with SS Rajamouli and VV Vinayak, and then, there’s Balakrishna himself who found his mojo yet again when he began working with Boyapati Sreenu. Today, any film that brings together two of the biggest names in Telugu cinema - Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram Srinivas - is a good enough reason to celebrate both for the fans of the actor as well as people betting big on their combination.

Among the 24 films that Pawan Kalyan has acted in so far (Agnyaathavaasi is his 25th film), he had previously worked with Trivikram Srinivas twice. Their first film Jalsa (2008) revived memories of a vintage Pawan Kalyan, who had an incredible sense of humour. But the film which turned their combination, so to speak, into a legend was Atharintiki Dharedi (2013). It went on to become a blockbuster on its release. Now, their third film, Agnyaathavaasi is expected to turn into an unstoppable force at the box-office when it releases on January 10.

Poster for Agnyaathavaasi/Image from Twitter.

Poster for Agnyaathavaasi/Image from Twitter.

Truth be told, there’s a sea of difference when you watch Pawan Kalyan in every other film (Gabbar Singh being the only exception) in the last 15 years or so when compared to how he is in ‘A Trivikram Srinivas Celluloid’. The two first met during the making of Pawan Kalyan starrer Gokulam Lo Seetha for which Trivikram Srinivas was an assistant writer. Later, when Trivikram turned director, he pitched the script of Athadu; however, Pawan Kalyan didn’t seem to be interested in the film and even he quipped that he slept off midway through the narration. Interestingly, the film turned out to be a contemporary classic with Mahesh Babu and Trisha playing the lead roles.

It didn’t take too long for them to figure out that they had a lot in common. No wonder, Trivikram Srinivas is one among the very few people whom Pawan Kalyan counts as his friends. “When I was down, he was the only one who stood by me. He’s (Trivikram) not going to gain anything by being my friend. I find it funny when people say that he keeps guiding me. He’s an extremely knowledgeable man and a great writer, and no one can stop a talented man.”

And Pawan Kalyan went to the extent of saying, “I’ve such a good rapport with him that I’ve the liberty to get into an argument with him. I might not even do that with my own family members. We have immense respect towards elders and film industry. I used to be quite depressed for a long time and I realised that it was because I considered everyone’s problems as my own problems. During the shoot of Jalsa, when Trivikram Srinivas saw how troubled my mind was, he introduced me to Gunturu Seshendra Sharma’s Naa Desam, Naa Prajalu which changed my life. It inspired me to do something for the country and people.”

Trivikram, on the other hand, has been equally forthright about his admiration and respect for Pawan Kalyan. He once said, “Pawan Kalyan is like a banyan tree standing tall at the edge of the village. He doesn’t discriminate or shy away from helping anyone who comes to him, and he doesn’t feel the need to talk about it. That’s a rare quality to have.”

The equation which Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram Srinivas share proves that miracles can truly happen when two individuals becomes close friends. Back in 2013, just two weeks before their second film Atharintiki Daredhi was slated for release, the film fell prey to a piracy gang and overnight, lakhs of CDs of the film’s first half were available in the market. Soon, a part of the film was uploaded illegally on the internet and for few days, it seemed like only a miracle can rescue the film from there onwards.

Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram Srinivas.

As a result, the film’s release was advanced by a week, while thousands of Telugu moviegoers, irrespective of which actor they support, came out in support of the film and continued to raid shops selling the pirated CDs. Finally, when the film released, it was a roaring success, and went on to become the biggest blockbuster of all time, surpassing the earlier records set by Magadheera. This is perhaps the only film in more than a decade or so with continued to pique our curiosity despite the existence of its pirated version even before the film saw the daylight. Not surprisingly, the Pawan Kalyan-Trivikram Srinivas combination became even more sacred at the box-office.

With their latest film Agnyaathavaasi all set to release on 10 January, the film is expected to raise the bar even further to showcase the power of their combination at the box-office. In several areas across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the film was sold for at least 20-30% more than their previous hit Atharintiki Dharedhi; however, several trade pundits and distributors believe that the film will fetch good profits for everyone.

KV Harish, a distributor from Nellore, says, “Pawan Kalyan has a massive fan following and when he’s back with a Trivikram’s film, the expectations are even higher. Trivikram’s previous films like S/O Sathyamurthy and A...Aa were huge hits at the box-office, and his presence has made a lot of difference this time. It’s true that the theatrical rights have been sold for a high price, but given the buzz surrounding the film and lack of a major competition this Sankranthi will be a big advantage for the film. Most distributors will enter into a profit zone within 10 days, if the film lives up to the expectations.”

Not just in the two Telugu speaking states, Agnyaathavaasi has raised eyebrows at the US box-office too. It’s reportedly the first Indian film to release in more than 576 locations, surpassing Baahubali 2 and Dangal’s record release in the process.

Kiran Muppavarapu, whose company LA Telugu is releasing the film in US, says, “Traditionally, major theatre chains in the US have only focused on Bollywood when it comes to Indian films. However, the success of Baahubali and Baahubali 2 was a huge eye-opener for everyone. Moreover, Telugu films have been consistently raking in good money in the past 3-4 years. We’ve been working closely with several studio executives over the years and we were able to convince a lot of them to allocate the best of screens for our film. More importantly, it’s the combination of Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram Srinivas that has given us plenty of reasons to believe that it’s going to attract a lot of crowds.”

Ask him if it feels like bit of a gamble to release a Telugu film in so many theatres, Kiran adds, “It might feel so, but you have to take a leap of faith to cross a milestone. If it works out, then the numbers are going to be massive and the success of our film could set a template for many more big budget films in future to go for a wide-release.”

Back in Andhra Pradesh, the distributors and theatres owners have been given a special permission for seven days to screen the film around the clock, and in Telangana too, reports say that there could be additional shows to cater to the demand. There’s a festive atmosphere at the theatres in every nook and corner. Moreover, no one knows how long it might take before Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram Srinivas might come together, considering Pawan Kalyan’s political aspirations, and it has in turn led the actor’s fans to treat the film as even more special it already is.

You know what’s the difference between Pawan Kalyan in a Trivikram’s film compared to other films? For fans, it all boils down to that extra amount of energy and spark in his onscreen persona, and for a change, Pawan Kalyan looks happy to be part of a film. And people are willing to spend a million bucks to watch him be the star they have known him to be over the years.

Published Date: Jan 09, 2018 16:09 PM | Updated Date: Jan 09, 2018 16:09 PM