Autonagar Surya

Autonagar Surya is a 2014 Indian Telugu-language action film[5] directed by Deva Katta. The film stars Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Akkineni in the lead roles, with Brahmanandam and Sai Kumar in pivotal roles. The film was produced by K. Atchi Reddy on Max India Productions banner while R. R. Movie Makers acted as its presenter who later disassociated themselves with the film.[6] Anoop Rubens composed the music for the film while Srikanth Naroj, known for his work in the 2011 film Hostel handled the cinematography. Gautham Raju handled the editing.[7]

Autonagar Surya
Autonagar Surya poster.jpg
Movie Poster
Directed byDeva Katta
Produced byK. Achi Reddy
Written byDeva Katta
StarringNaga Chaitanya
Samantha Akkineni
Music byAnoop Rubens
CinematographySrikanth Naroj
Edited byGautham Raju
Production
company
Max India Productions
Distributed byCineGalaxy Inc.,
(Overseas)
Sri Venkateswara Creations,
Hari Pictures
Release date
  • 27 June 2014 (2014-06-27)[1]
Running time
157 minutes
(Initial Version)[2]
145 minutes
(Final Version)[3]
CountryIndia
LanguageTelugu
Budget25crore[4]

The principal photography started officially on 14 October 2011 at Hyderabad.[8] After Filming continuously till December 2012, the film's shoot was halted due to the Financial turmoil of the producers ultimately reviving in September 2013, Wrapping the entire shooting by 30 November 2013.[9] The film was scheduled for a worldwide release on 27 June 2014 in theaters.[10] Upon release, the film opened to mixed to negative reviews from critics due to which the film was trimmed by 12 minutes.[11][12][13][14]

PlotEdit

The film is set in the 1990s and revolves around an orphan named Surya who works as a mechanic in Autonagar. In an unfortunate situation, Surya kills a goon, goes to jail for five years, and earns an engineering degree there to start his dream project, which is to build a vehicle that runs only on batteries. He wishes to complete the project once he is out of the jail. After finishing his sentence, However, he faces hurdles while working on his project in the form of the city mayor and his henchmen who control the Autonagar area. The rest of the story is about how Surya deals with them.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

During the post-production activities of his directorial Prasthanam, A 26-year-old IT employee was migrating from Chennai to Calcutta along with his wife, 18-month-old baby and some extra luggage. In Orissa around midnight, a couple of drunk railway police boarded the compartment. They asked him whether he paid for all of the extra luggage. They demanded him to pay for the extra luggage and threatened to throw the luggage out of train if not paid. The IT employee refused to pay as he already bribed a ticket collector in Chennai. When they asked him to show the receipt, he questioned them "since when they have been issuing receipts for bribes?" and asked if they are going to issue one if he pays now. A quarrel took place which ended with the Railway police throwing the IT employee's wife and the 18-month-old baby out of the running train, both died on spot. This disturbed him very much, which he told in an interview later.[15]

Deva Katta later reacted to the incident. He said, "The problem does not lay 'in' the system but way 'under' the system, deep inside each one of us, our very understanding about life and its interconnections. All actions and reactions finally boil down to the elemental level of thinking with which we live and view others life." He also said that "More than the incident it was the responsiveness of the total system that alarmed me the most" as there was no news later about the IT employee and about the actions taken on those drunk police officers. That article made Deva Katta to design the conditions and basic frame of the film's plot and the protagonist's character and claimed no reference to the people involved in the incident anywhere in the film. He added that the disturbance is a "subconscious stream" in the film and said that the film is all about "an underdog’s rise from a nobody to somebody while fighting for his share of life, ambition and happiness".[15]

Though the origin of this project was revealed by Deva Katta in the late 2010, Naga Chaitanya signed an Untitled film which was reported to be directed by Deva Katta under Max India Productions which would make this film Deva Katta's Third Directorial Venture in 2011.[16] Deva Katta confirmed that the project is Autonagar Surya itself and not any other film.[17] Due to the construction of an automobile industry set designed by Art Director Ravindra, the filming delayed and was set to start after Naga Chaitanya completed his shooting for Dhada.[18] After Dhada became a Box Office failure, news of shelving the film temporarily were reported.[19] However, the film had an official launch on Vijaya Dasami of 2011.[20] A Tata 207 pickup truck was stripped down for a unique and massive look which was used by the Hero in the film predominantly. The truck's photo was released later which gained attention from the public.[21]

CastingEdit

In December 2010, reports emerged that Nandamuri Balakrishna was recruited to play the role of Surya.[22] However, Deva Katta dismissed those reports.[23] Later it was reported that Deva Katta approached Pawan Kalyan for playing the title role.[24] Finally after much speculation, Naga Chaitanya was signed to play the role of Surya in February 2011 and Samantha was apparently selected as the heroine with only the former was confirmed then.[25] The role of Surya played by Chaitanya in the film was said to be a skilled mechanic based in Vijayawada but the director claimed it to have no connection with Vijayawada.[26] Initially, Nithya Menen, Kajal Agarwal and Rakul Preet Singh were considered for the role of Heroine[27][28] but later Samantha was recruited.[29] She was reported to be playing a mass role with some shades of comedy.[30] Rakul Preet Singh was recruited to play another heroine marking her first collaboration with Naga Chaitanya,[31] which was later denied.

Veteran actor and voice artist Sai Kumar was recruited to play the role of Heroine's father.[32] Brahmanandam was recruited to play a hilarious role and later some morphed photos of Brahmanandam used in the film were officially released into the Internet which received positive response allover.[33] It was said that his role was named "Super Mechanic" Brahmi who is a rival to Surya's business and Venu Madhav would be his assistant. Apart from this, Madhu of "Chakravakam" fame was recruited to play the role of City Mayor and Jaya Prakash Reddy was recruited to play the role of corporator of the city. Popular actors Ravi Prakash and Surekha Vani were recruited to play the roles of Surya's parents who die in an unexpected train accident when Surya was of 4 years.[34] Mumbai dance based reality show contestant Kimaya was recruited for an item song in the movie after the film's team saw her in a special song in a Kannada film named Dakota Picture.[35]

FilmingEdit

The filming officially started from 14 October 2011 in Hyderabad.[36] After wrapping key portions, the film unit resumed its shooting in Hyderabad from 27 February 2012.[37] Two songs were canned on Chaitanya and Samantha at Ramoji Film City and Annapoorna Studios under the choreography of Raju Sundaram.[38][39] The Climax was shot at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad in which Chaitanya and others participated.[40] In December 2012, the opening sequence of the film was shot at a railway station set in Ramoji Film City by using an old steam engine train which was said to be used in the film in Night Effect.[34] However the film's shoot was halted due to financial turmoil and the news of its revival came in August 2013 by Deva Katta himself.[41] He further added that they are planning to start the shoot from 10 September 2013, finish a song and the patchwork in India and shift to Malaysia for the last song which would complete the photography work.[42]

The film then had a silent shoot and by November, Deva Katta revealed that 90% of the film's shoot was complete and Sai Kumar dubbed for his role underway and the remaining portions were informed to be wrapped up soon.[43] On 11 November 2013 it was reported that the last song was being shot on Naga Chaitanya and Samantha in Hyderabad for 3 days with which entire shooting of the film would be completed.[44] The song was wrapped up on 14 November 2013 with yet another song's shoot to be done.[45] Later it was announced that the last song's shoot would take place from 27 November 2013 whose completion would end the principal photography.[46] It was a flirtatious song titled Hyderabad Biriyani shot on the street where Surya resides in the film.[35] It was shot on Naga Chaitanya and Kimaya under Raju Sundaram choreography at Rock Castle in Hyderabad and the shooting completed on 30 November 2013.[47]

SoundtrackEdit

Autonagar Surya
Soundtrack album by
Released31 January 2014
Recorded2011–2012
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Length26:00
LanguageTelugu
LabelAditya Music
ProducerAnup Rubens
Anup Rubens chronology
Heart Attack
(2014)
Autonagar Surya
(2014)
Oka Laila Kosam
(2014)
External audio
  Official Audio Jukebox on YouTube

Anup Rubens composed the music and background score for this film which marks his first collaboration with both Naga Chaitanya and Deva Katta. The soundtrack was reported to be consisting of 7 songs with 2 rolling title numbers.[34] In the second week of December 2013, the re-recording activity was handled by Anup Rubens.[48] The audio was scheduled for a launch on 30 November 2013.[49] But however in the last week of December 2013 during the re-recording and sound mixing activities were happening, Deva Katta confirmed that the audio would release as a Sankranthi special, on 9 January 2014.[50] In early January 2014, after the post production activities came to an end, it was confirmed that the audio would release on 13 January 2014.[51] Later, in a press note released on 19 January 2014, producer Atchi Reddy confirmed that the film's audio would release on 31 January 2014, at Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad.[52] Confirming this, on 27 January 2014, two audio release posters were issued by the production team.[53] The rights for the soundtrack album were purchased and marketed by Aditya Music. The track list was released on 30 January 2014, through Aditya Music's social media page.[54] The audio launch was held on 31 January 2014. Apart from the film's cast and crew, the other members who attended the event were Sukumar and Sharwanand,[55] with Rana Daggubati as the chief guest.[56]

Track list

All lyrics are written by Ananta Sriram.

No.TitleArtist(s)Length
1."Time Entha Raa"Vijay Prakash, Chorus04:41
2."Mancheli"Anup Rubens04:18
3."Autonagar Brahmi"Brahmanandam, Venu Madhav, Anup Rubens, Sai Charan, Amurtha Varshini, Pranathi04:00
4."Sura Sura"Chaitra, Anup Rubens, Santhosh, Ramki04:20
5."Hyderabad Biryani"Ritu Pathak, Chorus04:08
6."Aayudham"Deva Katta, Siddharth, Raghu02:49
7."Theme Song"Anup Rubens01:41
Total length:26:00

Reception

Upon release, the album received positive response from the critics. IndiaGlitz gave a review stating "Autonagar Surya comes at a time when Anup Rubens is counted among the best musicians in the industry. Since it is directed by a director of mellowed taste, the album was awaited by the distinguished audiences from the beginning. With all songs written by Anantha Sreeram, this album has got some very good lines. The choice of singers lends the album a youthful and joyous feel."[57] Myfirstshow.com gave a review stating "Anup Rubens attracts youth with his tracks in Autonagar Surya. He makes stunning impression with western touch. One gets a feeling that he is getting too predictable though all the songs are quite impressive" and rated the album 3 out of 5.[58] Cinekorn.com gave a mixed review, with a rating of 2.5 out of 5, stating that "In the end, two decent melody numbers save the album from being a complete let down. Much more was expected from Anup Rubens but we give it a pass considering it has been a long delayed project and is missing freshness ‘as a whole’ due to it."[59]

ReleaseEdit

Autonagar Surya is one of the most delayed films in the history of Telugu cinema. During the film's launch in mid October 2011, it was said that the film would release in summer 2012.[20] After few failed estimates, Finally in early October 2012, it was confirmed that the film would release in the month of November 2012 as a Diwali release.[60] Later, Deva Katta posted in his Twitter that the film would release on 2 December 2012.[61] In mid January 2013, Deva Katta announced that the film would release as a summer special.[62] In the end of January 2013, Deva Katta posted controversial tweets of producers because of the film's delay and after posting a series of controversial tweets, he tweeted that the film would release in Summer 2013.[63] In the end of August 2013, Deva Katta announced that the film would release in the month of September 2013.[64] But, the producers said that shooting would continue in September 2013 and the film would release on the occasion of Diwali by conducting a press meet.[65] In early November 2013, it was reported that the film would release in December 2013.[66]

In early December 2013, it was reported that the film would release in the end of January 2014 because of lack of theaters during the Sankranthi season i.e. mid January 2014 because of release of Mahesh Babu's 1: Nenokkadine and Ram Charan's Yevadu.[67] In the end of December 2013, the makers declared the release date as 31 January 2014 by conducting a press meet.[68] It was also said that the film would release before Krishna Vamsi's Paisa, both being produced by R. R. Movie Makers.[69] In early February 2014, it was reported that the film would release on either 14 February 2014 or 21 February 2014.[70] In mid February 2014, the release date was declared as 27 February 2014 on the occasion of Maha Sivarathri by conducting a press meet.[71][72] In the end of March 2014, it was reported that the film may release after the release of Naga Chaitanya's Manam as the film's producers became bankrupt.[73]

At the same time, it was said that the film's release has been postponed because of a case filed by the financiers on the producers for non payment of certain sum of money payable.[74] It was also said that the film may release after the elections i.e. after May 2014.[75] In mid May 2014, it was reported that Deva Katta is working on his next script and has lost hopes on this project.[76] On 14 June 2014 the film's producer K. Atchi Reddy said that the film's post production work is undergoing and is scheduled for a release on 27 June 2014.[77] On 17 June 2014, CineGalaxy, Inc. issued a press release which stated that they acquired the overseas theatrical screening rights of the film and are distributing there in association with Dil Raju and Hari Pictures. They also confirmed the release date as 27 June 2014 with grand premiere shows on 26 June 2014.[78] On 19 June 2014 Dil Raju, Deva Katta and K. Atchi Reddy attended the press meet confirming the release date as 27 June.

Dil Raju who secured the Nizam area rights thanked Alankar Prasad and Usha Pictures Balakrishna Rao for helping the film's release.[79] In a statement to the IANS, Dil Raju said "All films go through hurdles and Autonagar Surya was no exception. I’m not worried about the film’s delayed release because I’m confident about its success. The hero of a film nowadays is the content and this film has very good content. Many have been saying that I’m releasing ‘Autonagar Surya’ now because I want to capitalize on the success of ‘Manam’. However, both the films are different and they belong to different genres. And as I said before, it's the content that matters the most."[80] On 20 June 2014 the film's copy was sent to Central Board of Film Certification for censor.[81]

But on 21 June 2014 Shaik Abdul Mohammad, a businessman from Guntur, filed a case on the producers of the film in Guntur court, claiming that the producers have taken an amount of 2 crores from him and failed to pay it. He also said that in addition to not paying the amount, the producers have also not given him the distribution rights of the film in Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts after collecting the amounts from him. The IV Additional Chief District Judge issued notices to the producers to not release the film till 10 July 2014.[82] On 23 June 2014 the film was awarded a U/A certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification.[83][84][85] On the same day, Cinegalaxy, Inc. issued the first list of 65 screens in overseas where the film would be screened.[86] It was re-censored on 24 June 2014 and was awarded an A certificate with no cuts and a duration of 157 minutes including rolling titles as the makers opted to retain the cuts suggested earlier.[87]

On 25 June 2014 CineGalaxy Inc., issued a press note regarding the status of the film's US release. In that press note, they said that Hard Drives are shipped already from India in two sets with one set of hard drives reaching USA on 24 June and another set on 25 June.[88][89] They added that the film would release in English subtitles and a complete list of theaters would be released soon. It was later revealed that K. Atchi Reddy filed a case in the High Court at Hyderabad challenging the stay granted by a lower court in Guntur on release of the film. He contended that he had nothing to do with the dealing as it was between R. R. Movie makers and the complainant and R. R. Movie Makers have no way connected with the film.[6]

MarketingEdit

The first look posters and stills depicting the lead pair were released on 23 November 2012 on the occasion of Naga Chaitanya's birthday.[90] On the same day, a teaser of 43 seconds with a dialogue spelled by Chaitanya was released which gained viral response over the Internet, raising much expectations on the film.[91] After releasing a set of stills after the film's revival, the first visual trailer of the film was reported to be launched on 23 November 2013 again on the occasion of Naga Chaitanya's birthday.[92] It was also informed later that the trailer would be screened in Theaters along with Selvaraghavan's directorial Varna, the Telugu back to back shot version of Irandaam Ulagam, which was released on 22 November 2013 across the world.[93] A set of 6 stills, 3 poster designs and the Theatrical trailer of 96 Seconds were released officially into the Web Media on 22 November 2013, a day before Naga Chaitanya's birthday as his birthday gifts by the team.[94][95][96]

DistributionEdit

Auto Nagar surya worldwide distribution rights were sold for 18 crore (US$2.5 million) to Dil Raju.Satellite Rights were sold for 4.6 crore (US$640,000) to Geminitv. However the film has recovered twice the amount of its "actual" Production cost of 25 crore (US$3.5 million).

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

The film received mixed to positive response from critics and audiences. Jeevi of idlebrain.com gave a rating of 3/5 stating "Auto Nagar Surya has good premise and good intention. But should have been edited better. Plus points of the film are dialogues, ideology and performances. First half of the film is nice and with good elevation of protagonist character in pre-interval scenes. Second half of the film should have been better with better screenplay. This film too needs trimming in terms of comedy episodes and songs just like Deva Katta’s earlier movie Prasthanam". The Hindu gave a review stating "Art director Ravindra’s massive set representing a mini automobile factory, Srikanth Naroj’s cinematography and background score by Anoop Rubens add to the intensity. Autonagar Surya makes for a reasonably good watch and yet, we can’t help feeling that Deva Katta is capable of delivering a more hard-hitting film, going by his previous work, Prasthanam."[97] Zee News gave a review stating "In the history of cinema, oft has the subject of political thriller been told and retold. But this Deva Katta directed film Autonagar Surya makes you sit and take notice of the narrative unfold itself in a peculiar yet interesting way. It does look like a film made with precision and mastery of craft."[98]

Deccan Chronicle gave a review stating " The setting for the story looks very natural. The cinematography is good and of Chaitanya and Samantha’s scenes have come out very well. On the whole, a predictable and long story, Autonagar Surya may not go down well with many. Deva Katta fails this time and falls short of the expectations."[99] The New Indian Express gave a review stating "Overall, Autonagar Surya is meant for die-hard fans of Naga Chaitanya. The film entertains with its action sequences, dialogues and music. Watch it if you’re a Naga Chaitanya fan."[100]Onenindia Entertainment gave a review stating "Overall, Autonagar Surya has a simple and routine story, but it is the director's treatment of the subject that makes the film a good entertainer. Naga Chaitanya rocks the viewers with his heroism. The movie is good treat for all Akkineni family fans" and rated the film 3/5.[101]

Box officeEdit

The movie has collected approximately Rs 6.85 crores nett at the global Box Office in the first weekend. Its breakup is Rs 2.2 cr on Fri, Rs 2 cr on Sat and Rs 2.65 cr on Sun.[102]

Awards and nominationsEdit

SIIMA Awards

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit