Kethireddy Jagadishwar Reddy’s ‘Lakshmi’s Veeragrandham’ is raking up a huge controversy. The title, an obvious reference to Lakshmi Parvathi’s first husband Veeragandham Subba Rao, a harikatha artiste, and the poster, which shows the back of a shapely woman, seem to have not gone down well with the widow of late NTR and present YCP leader.
Lakshmi Parvathi has severely condemned the makers, especially director Kethireddy for announcing the film without seeking her permission. She said that people might make any number of films on NTR, but if they wanted to portray her life, her permission was necessary. She also threatened to take legal action if the film makers did not comply with this.
Rumours abound that Lakhmi Parvathi is especially miffed with Kethireddy’s film as it portrays her life as the wife of Veeragandham Subba Rao, how she met NTR and how she attracted him while working on his biography. It is known that NTR had married Parvathi just before the 1994 elections, which saw TDP returning to power in the state. Kethireddy on his part has been openly saying that he wants to reveal the other side of Lakshmi Parvathi’s story – how she completed her post-graduation with her first husband’s support, how she would accompany him on his harikatha recitals and what led to her leaving her relationship for NTR.
The muhurat shot of Lakshmi’s Veeragrandham at NTR Ghat faced many hurdles, with the team receiving a call from the Banjara Hills Police Station informing them that a complaint had been registered by Ms. Parvathi’s P.A. On being asked to show a copy of the complaint, however the police permitted the team to go ahead. This incident was followed by Ms. Parvathi’s visit to NTR Ghat where she paid homage to her late husband’s samadhi and sat in silence for a while, saying she had come there as she was deeply hurt by the attempts to malign her.
The team of Laksmi’s Veeragrandham – producer G Vijayakumar Goud, Director Kethireddy and the film unit have already announced their plans to do in-depth research before making the film. They visited her first husband’s native place Bheemavaram to collect necessary information and even toured Lakshmi Parvathi's native village Pachhalathatiparru and Ponnuru.
Director Kethireddy has openly asked why Lakshmi Parvathi is assuming that she will be shown in a negative light. He said that it was his democratic and intellectual right to make a movie as he pleased. If Lakshmi Parvathi had any objections, she should raise them after she had watched the movie. He said he would be touring Andhra Pradesh for information and invited Ms. Parvathi to raise her concerns publicly. He said he would address her concerns on the same public platform and if any of the onlookers felt that he was insulting the lady, he would shelve the project and beg her forgiveness.
However, Lakshmi Parvathi is not the only person against this film. The Panchayat members and village heads of NTR’s native place Nimmakuru objected to the shoot 'Lakshmi's Veeragrandham' in their village. They felt the image of NTR & Nimmakuru will get damaged if there are any objectionable scenes in the biopic. The film unit had to assure the villagers that they wouldn't shoot in Nimmakuru without their consent and left quietly after offering tributes to NTR and Basavatharakam by garlanding their statues.
Kethireddy has alleged that he has been receiving threat calls since the project was announced. Just as Lakshmi Parvathi had been wielding power extra-constitutionally while NTR was alive, she was now using all her influence to create impediments and hurt him, he said. He said he would visit the DGP for police protection and would not hesitate to approach the courts for the same. He requested the state government to provide security for himself and the producer of the project.
This film is to hit the theatres in January 2018 and the makers have revealed their plans to release it in Tamil and Hindi as well. While veteran actress Vani Viswanath was first rumoured to be playing the title role, it is now being said that actress Raai Laxmi has been cast in the film.