Gautamiputra Satakarni (GPSK), the 100th movie of Nandamuri Balakrishna, who is affectionately called Balayya, is a 100 percent political movie with a clear political message.

No doubt the film has created waves at the box office, pushing Balayya into big leagues of 'collection kings' in the US.

Balayya, though a big name in South India's movie industry, has never been a sensation in the overseas market, especially in the US. For the first time, the GPSK is all set to transform the politician cum actor into a 'Collection King' in the US market as well. Industry sources expressed confidence that Balyya would  soon join the 'Million Dollar' League.

This is not a big deal, given the recent trend in Tollywood. Prabhas’ Baahubali has become a benchmark for producers and ambitious Telugu heroes on what to target with their movies.

The two movies released in the past two days - Chiranjeevi's Khaidi No 150 and Balayya's GSPK - do not belong to the category of ordinary super-duper hits like Baahubali, which is only a commercial and technical hit.

They are outright political movies, with a clear message to political fans targetted at the hardcore caste constituencies of the protagonists of the movies, and also across the Telugu sphere. 

To access these films, one has to travel beyond the box-office and the brouhaha associated with big ticket movies like Bahubali.

For the first time, GPSK has successfully recreated the now forgotten catch phrase 'Telugu Pride'.

'Telugu Pride' was the magical chant of NT Ramarao when he launched the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1983 against the Congress, which was then struggling to survive in the former Andhra Pradesh.

NTR successfully invoked 'Telugu Pride' to unite Telugu people against the Congress, whose high command changed chief ministers at will - which was seen as an insult to Telugu self-respect.

The only talk one hears from all those who watched GPSK is that “తెలుగు వాళ్లంతా తప్పక చూడాల్సిన మూవీ.” (All Telugus must watch the movie). Why?


The story is about the most powerful Telugu King, Satakarni of Satavahana dynasty, who ruled South India and defeated strong enemies from all corners - including the Greeks. The gripping drama, with several elaborate war scenes, reminds viewers of the great valour and governance of the Telugu king. 

It also invokes the thought - Amid the throes of bifurcation, one needs a Satavahana-like king now, to help the Telugus emerge stronger.

Now, post-bifurcation, the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is struggling to gain popular approval for its massive capital Amaravati building plans and the reconstruction of Andhra Pradesh, which requires lakhs of agricultural lands from farmers. Unlike in Telangana, where the opposition is decimated, in Andhra Pradesh, the opposition is a formidable force and has the wherewithal to bounce back in 2019.

Chief minister Naidu, who is also the president of the TDP, has been struggling to construct Telugu sentiment on the lines of Telangana sentiment so that the Telugus of truncated Andhra Pradesh would back him in the building of Amaravati. On the ground, the new capital has been dubbed as a massive real estate fraud by environmentalists and political parties.

Naidu sought to counter the attack by invoking Telugu culture. He declared Sankranthi as the state's official festival and organised Godavari and Krishna Pushkaralu as Telugu festivals, investing hundreds of crores. Naidu sought to exploit every occasion by transforming it into a Telugu event and projecting himself as the emperor of Andhra Pradesh, without enemies - i.e., any opposition.

The movie GPSK, where his own brother-in-law and TDP MLA from Hindupur Balakrishna played the lead role, is seen as an extension of his efforts to regenerate Telugu sentiment among the people, to carry forward his political agenda of uniting people (via Telugu pride) in support of the TDP.