Festive mood is prevailing in cinema halls in Hyderabad ahead of Sankranti with the release of Balakrishna’s Veera Simha Reddyand Chiranjeevi and Ravi Teja’s Waltair Veerayya. With the government of Telangana giving its nod to theatres to screen additional shows to cater to the demands of the stars’ massive fan bases on January 12 and 13 respectively, shows began as early as 4 a.m.
On Friday, Chiranjeevi and Ravi Teja’s fans took over the single-screen theatres in RTC Crossroads, Kukatpally and other areas from the crack of dawn. The multiplexes too began screening the film from 7.30 a.m. The cheering in these halls hit a crescendo each time the film had dialogues that brought back memories of Chiranjeevi’s blockbuster films of the 1990s and when he danced to music composer Devi Sri Prasad’s ‘massy’ songs.
The Sankranti cheer was missing at the movies the last two years during the pandemic. In 2020, weeks before the pandemic set in, Mahesh Babu starrer Sarileru Neekevvaru and Allu Arjun’s Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo turned out to be blockbuster hits. Though Ravi Teja’s Krack released in 2021 before Sankranti, many of the family audiences were reluctant to step into crowded spaces. Sankranti 2022 saw the release of Nagarjuna-starrer Bangarraju, at a time when the Omicron wave had begun to surge.
For theatre owners and movie buffs, Sankranti 2023 is a return to normalcy. The Telugu dubbed films Vaarasudu and Thegimpu are the other players, along with the smaller Telugu film Kalyanam Kamaneeyam starring Santosh Sobhan and directed by first-timer Anil Kumar Aalla.