Waltair Veerayya (transl. Veerayya from Waltair) is a 2023 Indian Telugu-language action film directed by Bobby Kolli and produced by Mythri Movie Makers. The film stars Chiranjeevi as the title character alongside Ravi Teja, Shruti Haasan and Catherine Tresa. The film was announced in August 2021, principal photography commenced in December 2021 with filming taking place in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Malaysia. The soundtrack was composed by Devi Sri Prasad with cinematography by Arthur A. Wilson.
|Directed by||Bobby Kolli|
|Written by||Bobby Kolli|
K. Chakravarthy Reddy
|Produced by||Naveen Yerneni|
Yalamanchili Ravi Shankar
|Cinematography||Arthur A. Wilson|
|Edited by||Niranjan Devaramane|
|Music by||Devi Sri Prasad|
|Box office||₹236.15 Crore|
Waltair Veerayya was released on 13 January 2023, and received positive reviews from critics. The film became commercially successful at the box office, thus becoming one of the highest grossing Telugu film of 2023.
Waltair Veerayya, a notorious fisherman and smuggler from Vizag, needs money to fight a court case. He is approached by CI Seethapathi, who tells him about Solomon Caesar, a notorious drug lord who escaped from RAW's custody after killing multiple police officers. Seethapathi, who was responsible for Solomon's custody, gets suspended from service. He asks Veerayya to extradite Solomon from Malaysia to India, in exchange for providing money. Veerayya accepts the deal and travels to Malaysia with his friends and Seethapathi's brother-in-law. They check in at a hotel owned by Solomon and devise a plot to kidnap him.
However, Veerayya misses the opportunity as he gets stunned by seeing Dr. Nithya and her daughter Vaishnavi, where Nithya angrily takes Vaishnavi away from Veerayya. Seethapathi's brother-in-law gets impatient and prompts Seethapathi to follow Solomon on their own without Veerayya's knowledge, only to get caught by Solomon. Veerayya arrives at the place and tricks Solomon into believing that they want to cut a drug deal with him, therefore saving the day. Later, Veerayya gets invited by Solomon to his private party where a group of masked assassins attempt to nab Solomon, but their plans are foiled by Veerayya, who later realizes that they are the hotel staff.
They reveal themselves as RAW agents, led by Athidhi. Solomon expresses his admiration for Veerayya and offers to ask him anything in return for saving his life. Veerayya asks him to come back to India, and Solomon agrees, but soon finds out about their ploy and they get busted. As Solomon assaults Athidhi for information with his elder brother Michael Caesar on video conference, Veerayya retaliates and reveals that Michael was his ultimate target. Veerayya kills Solomon at the public fair in the Batu Caves, where a helpless Michael witnesses everything.
Past: Four years ago, Michael, in disguise as a fisherman named Kaala, acts as Veerayya's friend and confidant. Without Veerayya's knowledge, Michael supplies drugs from the former's ice factory. The newly appointed ACP Vikram Sagar, who is also Veerayya's half-brother, arrives in Vizag and begins a crackdown on the drug syndicate. During their childhood, Veerayya, who suffered from vertigo, accidentally let Sagar fall from a tree. Ever since, the brothers grew up separately. Though Sagar developed hatred towards Veerayya, Veerayya always loved him. Sagar is also happily married to Nithya, and they have a daughter Vaishnavi.
Sagar tracks down the origin of drugs in Veerayya's locality, but Michael manages to keep his cover. One day, the ice factory accidentally supplies cocaine, wrapped in ice to a school, which resulted in the deaths of 25 children. Michael subsequently frames Veerayya and plans to escape to Malaysia. Veerayya gets arrested by the police, who decides to kill him in an encounter to calm the public rage. Sagar, who believes that Veerayya is innocent, loots the seized drugs to lure Michael. He secretly arrives at the planned encounter shooting, in place of Veerayya to nab Michael.
However, the JCP, who is also Sagar's senior officer, is in cahoots with Michael, and Michael's men fatally stab Sagar. Michael manages to escape as Veerayya arrives, but not before he shows his true face to him. Veerayya tries to take a heavily injured Sagar to the hospital, but Sagar succumbs to his injuries on the way, revealing that he always had affection for him but could not express it publicly due to his crackdown on the drug syndicate. Veerayya is stopped by the police and taken away. Sagar is deprived of state honors and labelled as a traitor by the police. Heartbroken, Veerayya decides on extraditing Michael to India for his testimony in court, before Seethapati shows him the way.
Present: Veerayya sets up Michael against his drug partner by blowing up his base of operations. The rival gang attempts to kill Michael, where he agrees to come to India with Veerayya and testify in court, in exchange for his life. With the help of Athithi, Veerayya brings Michael back to India. Following Michael's testimony, the court recognises Sagar's valour and grants him state honours, whilst also acquitting Veerayya of his charges. To fulfill Sagar's last wish of avenging the children's deaths, Veerayya decapitates Michael in the courtroom and is sentenced to prison.
- Chiranjeevi as Waltair Veerayya
- Ravi Teja as ACP Vikram Sagar IPS
- Shruti Haasan as RAW Agent Athidhi, Veerayya's love interest
- Catherine Tresa as Dr. Nithya, Vikram’s wife
- Bobby Simha as Solomon Caesar, Michael’s younger brother
- Prakash Raj as Michael Caesar alias Kaala, Solomon's elder brother
- Rajendra Prasad as CI Seethapati
- Nassar as Constable Koteswara Rao
- Sathyaraj as Satyamurthy
- Baby Shreshta as Vaishnavi, Vikram and Nithya’s daughter; Veerayya's niece
- Subbaraju as Edukondalu
- Vennela Kishore as Seethapati’s brother-in-law
- Srinivasa Reddy as Dollar Babu, Veerayya’s friend
- Saptagiri as Lekka Giri, Veerayya’s friend
- Shakalaka Shankar as Samba, Veerayya’s friend
- Pradeep Rawat as David, Veerayya’s friend
- Rajendran as Gundu Mani
- Jayaprakash as High Court Judge
- Manobala as K. Murthy, a judge
- Jhansi as Lawyer
- Raghu Babu as Defense Lawyer
- Kalyani Natarajan as Vikram’s mother
- Mime Gopi as Das, a goon
- John Vijay as Abdullah, Michael’s assistant
- Prabhas Sreenu as Bujji
- B. S. Avinash as Velappan Karuppan, Michael’s business partner
- Surya as Retired officer Murthy, Seethapati’s colleague
- Kedar Shankar as Nithya’s father
- Pramodini as Seethapati’s wife
- Praveen as Police Officer
- Anish Kuruvilla as Navy Officer
- Vinay Varma as Police SP
- Vasu Inturi as Priest
- Chammak Chandra as a Goon
- Vettai Muthukumar as Goon
- Mathew Varghese as Joint Commissioner
- Kalpalatha as Protestor
- Urvashi Rautela in a special appearance in the song "Boss Party"
- Sekhar as himself in the song "Poonakaalu Loading"
- Nabin luhagun
In August 2021, it was announced that Chiranjeevi and K. S. Ravindra (also known as Bobby) would team up for a film tentatively titled Mega154 (intended to be Chiranjeevi's 154th film) under the production of Mythri Movie Makers. The film was formally launched in November 2021. In April 2022, Chiranjeevi unintentionally revealed the film is titled Waltair Veerayya. The title was officially confirmed in October 2022. Ravindra wrote the story and dialogues, which were scripted by Kona Venkat and K. Chakravarthy Reddy. Arthur A. Wilson was signed on as the cinematographer, marking his third collaboration with Bobby, after Power and Sardaar Gabbar Singh. Niranjan Devaramane was the film's editor. In March 2022, Ravi Teja joined the cast, reuniting with Chiranjeevi after 22 years since Annayya (2000). Teja reportedly plays his brother, a police officer disguised as a mafia don. Shruti Haasan was paired opposite Chiranjeevi, while Catherine Tresa is playing Teja's wife. Nawazuddin Siddiqui was approached to play the antagonist, but due to scheduling conflicts, was replaced by Bobby Simha. Malayalam actor Biju Menon was also offered a role in the film, however, was replaced by Prakash Raj. In the early November 2022, Urvashi Rautela was roped in for doing special appearance in a song. Principal photography commenced in December 2021 in Hyderabad. In April 2022, the second schedule commenced with Haasan joining the sets in Vishakapatnam. In July 2022, the third schedule commenced with Teja joining the sets. A schedule was also held in Malaysia.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||11 January 2023|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sony Music India|
|Devi Sri Prasad chronology|
|Singles from Waltair Veerayya|
The film score and soundtrack is composed by Devi Sri Prasad. The audio rights were acquired by Sony Music India. The first single titled "Boss Party" was released on 23 November 2022. The second single titled "Sridevi Chiranjeevi" was released on 19 December 2022. The third single titled "Veerayya Title Song" was released on 26 December 2022. The fourth single titled "Poonakaalu Loading" was released on 30 December 2022. The fifth single titled "Neekemo Andamekkuva" was released on 11 January 2023.
|1.||"Boss Party"||Devi Sri Prasad||Devi Sri Prasad, Nakash Aziz, Haripriya||3:20|
|2.||"Sridevi Chiranjeevi"||Devi Sri Prasad||Jaspreet Jasz, Sameera Bharadwaj||2:58|
|3.||"Veerayya Title Song"||Chandrabose||Anurag Kulkarni, Pavithra Chari||4:00|
|4.||"Poonakaalu Loading"||Roll Rida||Ram Miriyala, Roll Rida||3:18|
|5.||"Neekemo Andamekkuva"||Ramajogayya Sastry||Mika Singh, Geetha Madhuri, Velmurugan||3:32|
Waltair Veerayya along with the Hindi dubbed version, was released in theaters on 13 January 2023 coinciding with the festival of Sankranti. The worldwide theatrical rights of the film were sold at a cost of ₹94 crore.
Home media edit
The digital and satellite rights of the film were acquired by Netflix and Gemini TV respectively. The film premiered on Netflix on 27 February 2023. The hindi dubbed version of the movie was premiered on Sony Max on 13 August 2023.
Critical response edit
Waltair Veerayya received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics.
Neeshita Nyayapati of The Times of India gave 3 out of 5 stars and wrote "Waltair Veerayya might not leave you feeling poonakalu as promised, but it’s decent enough, especially if you’re a Chiranjeevi fan or Ravi Teja’s for that matter. Just don't expect something out-of-the-box." Latha Srinivasan of India Today gave 3 out of 5 stars and wrote "Chiranjeevi's role in the film is reminiscent of his earlier films - massy, stylish, comical and full of action. Waltair Veerayya also stars Ravi Teja and Shruti Haasan, and is directed by Bobby Kolli. Chiru's fans are in for a treat." Haricharan Pudipeddi of Hindustan Times wrote "Bobby’s intention of delivering an out-and-out enjoyable commercial film with Waltair Veerayya works to a large extent, even when the predictability factor creeps in when you’re least expecting. The action sequences really serve as the film’s high moments and they deliver the thrills in a big way. These scenes do go overboard on multiple occasions but still work given the film’s massive scale."
Manoj Kumar R of The Indian Express rated the film 2 out of 5 stars and wrote "The filmmakers don't want the audience to respond to the character Waltair Veerayya, but they want us to venerate before the star playing Waltair Veerayya". Balakrishna Ganeshan of The News Minute gave the film a rating of 1.5 out of 5 and termed the film as "absolute mess", criticised the story and inconsistency tone of the film. Arvind V of Pinkvilla rated the film 2.5 out of 5 stars and praised the performances but criticised the writing and termed comedy as "insipid" & score as "bleak". Ram Venkat Srikar of Cinema Express rated the film 2.5 out of 5 stars and wrote "Films like Waltair Veerayya are reminders that masala cinema, when done neatly, will always be a treat". Soundarya Athimuthu of The Quint gave the film’s rating 3 out of 5 and wrote "Waltair Veerayya celebrates Chiranjeevi’s four-decade-long legacy with enjoyable characterization. It creates moments of intrigue and brilliant closures near the end".
Box office edit
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Waltair Veerayya is said to have been made with a whopping budget of Rs 140 crores, therefore Visual grandeur and Lavish sets are guaranteed besides quality VFX work and performances.
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- "Chiranjeevi : వాల్తేరు వీరయ్య క్లోజింగ్ కలెక్షన్స్.. ఎన్ని కోట్ల లాభాలో తెలుసా.. ఊహించి ఉండరు." News18 Telugu (in Telugu). 2 March 2023. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
- "Waltair Veerayya success meet: Chiranjeevi says he cried without glycerine because of Ravi Teja's moving performance. Watch". The Indian Express. 14 January 2023. Archived from the original on 15 January 2023.
However, the film has only received mixed reviews from critics.
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