Bholaa Shankar is an upcoming Indian Telugu-language action film directed by Meher Ramesh and produced by Anil Sunkara. It stars Chiranjeevi in the lead role along with Tamannaah and Keerthy Suresh. Bholaa Shankar has generated immense buzz among Chiranjeevi fans as it marks the megastar’s return to the big screen after a gap of almost 4 years. His last film was Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy which released in 2019.
About the Film
Bholaa Shankar is the official Telugu remake of the Tamil film Vedalam (2015) which starred Ajith Kumar in the lead role. The film revolves around Bholaa Shankar, a former gangster who later becomes a guide and protector to his sister. How he fights the drug mafia forms the crux of the story. Apart from Chiranjeevi, Bholaa Shankar also stars Tamannaah Bhatia as the female lead, while Keerthy Suresh plays Chiranjeevi’s sister in the film. The cast also includes Raghu Babu, Rao Ramesh, Pankaj Tripathi and Murli Sharma in key roles.
The film is produced by Anil Sunkara under the banner AK Entertainments. The music is composed by Mahati Swara Sagar. Marthand K Venkatesh is the editor and Arthur A Wilson handles the cinematography. Principal photography commenced in Hyderabad on 11th November 2021. Major portions of the film have been shot in and around Hyderabad, except for a song which was filmed in Kerala. The current status indicates that shooting is complete except for a couple of songs.
Bholaa Shankar marks the third collaboration between director Meher Ramesh and Chiranjeevi after Billa (2009) and Khaidi No. 150 (2017). Meher Ramesh is known for helming commercial mass action entertainers, usually remakes of Tamil blockbusters. So expectations are high from this combo.
Chiranjeevi’s Comeback Vehicle
Bholaa Shankar is one of the most awaited Telugu films this year simply because it marks the comeback of megastar Chiranjeevi after 4 long years. His last release Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy (2019) was a commercial and critical success, but ever since then the actor did not take up any new film projects. He was busy with his political career as a Member of Legislative Assembly and other commitments.
Hence, there has been tremendous curiosity among his fans regarding Chiranjeevi’s next film. Now that Bholaa Shankar has been announced, it is naturally the most anticipated Telugu film currently. Moreover, it is arriving right before the 2023 Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly election, which is Chiranjeevi’s first election as a politician. So the timing and hype surrounding Bholaa Shankar’s release on 11th August 2023 is apt.
Another key reason is that Bholaa Shankar sees Chiranjeevi in an action-packed mass entertainer after a long time. His last few films like Khaidi No. 150 and Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy catered more to class audiences. But Bholaa Shankar aims to bring back the mass appeal and mannerisms that Chiranjeevi is loved for. Fans are eager to watch Chiranjeevi in his energetic avatar, dancing and fighting with great enthusiasm. So expectations are sky-high from all quarters.
Remakes have dominated Telugu cinema off late, with most hits being remakes of Tamil or other language films. Bholaa Shankar is also the official remake of a Tamil blockbuster, which adds to its appeal. The original Vedalam (2015) starring Ajith Kumar and Shruti Haasan was a huge box office success directed by Siva.
Ajith’s charismatic screen presence and the film’s mass commercial elements achieved great theatrical response. Now audiences are keen to see how Chiranjeevi adapts Ajith’s character and if Bholaa Shankar manages to recreate the magic of Vedalam when it releases on 11th August 2023. Since the original itself was highly entertaining, hopes are high that Bholaa Shankar will also provide a fun, masala theatrical experience for Chiranjeevi’s diehard fans.
Director Meher Ramesh
Director Meher Ramesh may not be among the A-list filmmakers in Telugu cinema, but he has carved a niche for himself when it comes to handling commercial mass entertainers. Most of his hits are remakes of Tamil action films, a space he is most comfortable with.
Films like Billa and Khaidi No. 150 worked mainly due to the masala sensibilities that Meher Ramesh added. He has collaborated with Chiranjeevi earlier in Khaidi No. 150, which emerged as a hit. Their combo delighted the megastar’s hardcore fans who enjoyed Chiranjeevi reprising his vintage mass hero avatar after ages.
So their reunion in Bholaa Shankar raises expectations that Meher Ramesh will once again showcase Chiranjeevi effectively in the genre that the actor is best known for. The director seems to have a pulse on the kind of roles and treatment that suits Chiranjeevi at this stage in his career. Overall, Meher Ramesh directing this remake indicates that Bholaa Shankar will have enough mass elements and entertainment quotient for Chiranjeevi’s fans when it releases on 11th August 2023.
Cast & Crew
Bholaa Shankar comprises of a formidable cast and crew, which enhances the buzz around the project. Apart from Chiranjeevi in the title role, the film has managed to rope in top league actresses Tamannaah Bhatia and Keerthy Suresh. Both are among the top heroines in South cinema currently and have good market value.
Tamannaah has been cast opposite Chiranjeevi which indicates their combination will be utilized to depict glamourous songs and romance. On the other hand, National Award winner Keerthy Suresh portraying Chiranjeevi’s sister is also interesting and adds weightage.
The supporting cast consisting of accomplished actors like Raghu Babu, Rao Ramesh, Pankaj Tripathi and Murli Sharma indicates that the film will deliver solid entertainment when it hits screens on 11th August 2023. Technically too, the film is in safe hands with PC Sreeram’s protege Mahati Swara Sagar handling music and Marthand K Venkatesh as editor.
Overall, Bholaa Shankar has brought together an exciting star cast, promising director and experienced technicians. This has naturally elevated the buzz and expectations from the project.
Ideal Release Period
Another positive for Bholaa Shankar is its release timing in August 2023. Currently no other major Telugu film is slated to release around the 11th August 2023 date. Chiranjeevi has announced that Bholaa Shankar will release on 11th August 2023.
If Bholaa Shankar arrives as scheduled, it will have a free run at the box office with no competition from other star-studded Telugu projects. The covid pandemic had caused a pile-up of releases, but 2023 looks relatively dry in terms of big Telugu movies lined up. Most are eyeing Sankranthi 2024.
So Bholaa Shankar has ample breathing space during its release period. It will cater to Chiranjeevi and mass movie fans who have been deprived of such entertainment for some time. Being a solo release is advantageous for distributors also. Hence the release timing of 11th August 2023 seems ideal for Bholaa Shankar to dominate the box office if content clicks.
On the whole, Bholaa Shankar has several factors that have enhanced buzz and expectations from the project – Chiranjeevi’s comeback after years, celebrated original Tamil film being remade, director Meher Ramesh and Chiranjeevi’s hit collaboration, promising cast & crew, favorable release period of 11th August 2023 etc.
The film seems to be positioned as a full fledged mass entertainer aimed at Chiranjeevi’s core fanbase who relish watching their favorite star in energetic mass roles. If Bholaa Shankar succeeds in showcasing Chiranjeevi in his vintage mass avatar and delivers a theatrical entertaining experience, it is sure to emerge as a much needed box office success for the megastar. Given the long wait for Chiranjeevi’s film, the anticipation is palpable. Bholaa Shankar has all the ingredients to become a blockbuster, provided the content matches expectations when it releases on 11th August 2023.