The Big Picture
- South India continues to produce new original franchises after the success of Baahubali and KGF.
- The upcoming Telugu-language film Devara: Part 1, starring Jr. NTR, is highly anticipated, and the teaser sets a thrilling tone.
- The trend of cross-over stars from Hindi cinema appearing in South Indian films is continuing, with Janhvi Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan joining the cast of Devara.
South India’s fascination with creating new original franchises is continuing unabated after the success of the Baahubali films, the KGF series, director Lokesh Kanagaraj’s shared universe, and more recently, Salaar: Part 1 — Ceasefire. On Monday, the filmmakers behind the upcoming Telugu-language action-adventure Devara: Part 1 unveiled the film’s first teaser, drumming up excitement for one of 2024’s most highly anticipated Indian releases.
The movie stars Telugu cinema icon Jr. NTR, who became world-famous a couple of years ago after starring opposite Ram Charan in the crossover hit RRR. In Devara, he appears to be playing a swashbuckling hero. The teaser opens with a shot of an armada of boats in choppy nighttime waters. A group of marauders raids a large ship, which leads to a bloody action sequence on a beach. Under stark moonlight, NTR’s Deva hacks and slashes his way through several enemies, in a scene reminiscent of Zack Snyder’s 300. A song that sounds like a mid-aughts Evanescence hit plays in the background, as the sea turns red with blood. Deva takes a knee on the beach, surveys the violence, and says ominously, “This sea has seen more bloodshed than fish, no wonder they call it the Red Sea.”
The teaser doesn’t reveal a single detail about the film’s plot, although it does a solid job of setting the tone. Directed by Kortala Siva, Devara also stars Bollywood’s Janhvi Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, continuing the trend of movie stars from the Hindi-language industry crossing over to the south, and vice versa. India has multiple local film industries that operate independently of each other, but the pandemic era has blurred boundaries to a large extent, with crossover hits such as the Kannada-language KGF: Chapter 2, the Telugu-language Baahubali 2: The Beginning, and NTR’s own RRR leading the way.
Jr. NTR Was Already One of India’s Most Popular Stars Before ‘RRR’
Directed by S.S. Rajamouli, the period action film rode a wave of fan-driven success and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. NTR and Charan were staples on red carpets during the film’s awards run, and Devara was announced shortly before RRR’s worldwide release. This is NTR’s film since RRR, while Charan went on to star in the critical and commercial flop Acharya. Incidentally, that film was also directed by Siva.
Big-budget Indian films have exploded in recent years, as audience tastes have favored spectacle over substance. Salaar recently grossed over $80 million worldwide, while two films starring Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan — Pathaan and Jawan — both grossed over $130 million globally. NTR would hope to repeat RRR’s success with Devara, which debuts theatrically in April. You can watch the teaser below, and stream RRR on Netflix in the U.S.
A 2022 Indian action movie starring Jr NTR, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, and Shriya Saran.
- Release Date
- March 25, 2022
- S.S. Rajamouli
- Ram Charan , Ajay Devgn