Strange are the ways of tinsel town. Under the same roof in Hyderabad, live both 'Khaidi no. 150' and 'Dhruva IPS'. But the 'cop' does not chase this 'khaidi'. On the contrary, he is helping this prisoner get back to doing what he does best. Act and dance.


The reference is to the father-son duo of Telugu megastar Konidela Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan Tej and their forthcoming movies. 'Khaidi no. 150' is Chiranjeevi's 150th film, a much-awaited personal landmark. It will also mark his return to the silver screen, eight years after he gave it up to make his foray into politics. It is so named also because 'Khaidi' was one of his biggest hits of his career in 1983. Incidentally, Ram Charan is the producer of 'Khaidi no. 150', that will release on Sankranti. 


Living cheek by jowl with the 'Khaidi' is 'Dhruva IPS' which is Ram Charan's film in which he plays the role of a cop. The last time he donned khaki in the remake of 1973 classic 'Zanjeer', he could not break the shackles of failure. Despite a crackling script, Amitabh Bachchan's shoes were just too large for this 2013 version of Inspector Vijay to make a splash at the box office. Zanjeer 2.0 sank and with it, Ram Charan's hopes of a Bollywood entry. 'Dhruva IPS' that releases on 9 December, would hope to present a better case.  


Which is why the next two months are critical - make or break - months for the Konidela khandaan. None of Ram Charan's movies have tasted the kind of success his collaboration with SS Rajamouli, 'Magadheera' did in 2009. Which is why it is important for Ram Charan, one of the highest paid actors in Tollywood to taste success with 'Dhruva IPS'.


Ram Charan has played it safe by buying the rights to a superhit Tamil film 'Thani Oruvan'. The film that starred Jayam Ravi in the original, is an engaging cop versus evil scientist story. Arvind Swamy, the heartthrob from 1992 superhit 'Roja' plays the antagonist. A point to note is that many thought Swamy outshone Jayam Ravi in 'Thani Oruvan'. It will be interesting to watch how the dynamics between Ram Charan and Swamy play out given that the latter is reprising his role in the Telugu remake.


Just like son, father Chiranjeevi too has looked to Tamil Nadu in his quest to ensure a foolproof success. After spending months scouting for the right script that will suit his political image as well, he zeroed in on another hit film of 2014, Vijay's 'Kaththi' (The Knife) to remake it in Telugu. The film will see Chiranjeevi play a double role in which one of the characters, takes up the cause of the farmers. The actor-turned-politician who is a Rajya Sabha Congress MP now, would hope to milk it for political benefit as well. 


Apart from Ram Charan, daughter Sushmitha also is involved with the film, taking care of the costumes. 


But when everything seemed to be going just right, demonetisation has threatened to upset the applecart. 'Dhruva IPS' which is being produced by Ram Charan's uncle, Allu Aravind, has pushed its release date by a week to 9 December, hoping that by that time, things would be more normal. December 2 would have been a risky release date as long queues are expected outside banks and ATMs, soon after pay day. And watching a movie would hardly be a priority for the people. 


'Khaidi no. 150' will face the Sankranti challenge from Nandamuri Balakrishna's 'Gautamiputra Satakarni', a historical film on the Satavahana ruler. It is an important release for NTR's son Balakrishna as well as it is his 100th film. Both superstars are expected to go all out to promote their respective movies.


For several years, the Chiranjeevi family has been seen as the first family of Tollywood. It easily has the largest number of actors in the Telugu film industry with Chiranjeevi's nephew Allu Arjun extremely popular even in Kerala with dubbed versions of his Telugu flicks. Not just that, Chiranjeevi and brother Pawan Kalyan also have one foot in politics, extending their sphere of influence.


But at this point in time, a lot is riding on two movies, that is bound to have a bearing on the currency the two actors enjoy.