Yatra: Will YSR Biopic Be Beneficial for Jaganmohan Reddy?

The biopic, in which Malayalam industry star Mammootty plays the lead role, released in about 970 screens worldwide on Friday.

It’s indeed a season of biopics in the Telugu film industry and perfectly in line with the assembly elections in one of the Telugu speaking states. The latest one, Yatra, is based on the life of former chief minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly referred to as YSR.

It’s indeed a season of biopics in the Telugu film industry and perfectly in line with the assembly elections in one of the Telugu speaking states.

The latest one, Yatra, is based on the life of former chief minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly referred to as YSR.

The biopic, in which Malayalam industry star Mammootty plays the lead role, released in about 970 screens worldwide on Friday.

With a brief focus on YSR’s mega walkathon ‘padhayatra’ that helped him to reach to the chair of the chief minister, the biopic shows how addressing farmer distress was one of his key agenda. The movie opens on a note highlighting the poor state of farmers in the state under the ruling of the then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

“Movies or any form of art will definitely have a certain impact. They recreate past, recreate a struggle that a particular individual has undergone. And this one has done the same,” said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

In the summer of 2003 and with roughly a year left for elections, YSR took up the ‘padhayatra’, walking about 1500 kilometers across the state, mostly in the rural areas in an attempt to reach out to people. Party workers, close to the leader, say the condition of the farmers and people in the rural areas pushed him to take up this mega walkathon.

And it did help him gain traction in the state and how- in the year 2004 he defeated Naidu to become the next chief minister and was also re-elected for the next term. However, a shocking tragedy moved the state after YSR’s sudden death in a chopper crash in 2009.

Now, following his footsteps, his son YS Jaganmohan Reddy who leads a key opposition party in Andhra Pradesh also concluded a 3000 kilometers ‘padhayatra’ recently. The question remains whether the trick will be able to weave magic again?

“YSR’s biopic uses a really famous line that the leader used at that point. It is ‘Nenu Vinanu, Nenu Vunnanu’ (which literally translates to I heard you and I am here for you). Now, it will be associated with Jagan, that Jagan is here for people of the state, to address issues under Naidu’s ruling. At that time also the target was to vote out Naidu and it did happen,” said Reddy.

In the run up to 2019, a biopic war has emerged. From The Accidental Prime Minister to a biopic on the current prime minister, there are movies to tell different stories. Will Yatra look distinct in this race?


@mahivraghav

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