Director Krish says he made the Telugu period film Gautamiputra Satakarni because many people were unaware of the Satavahana ruler of the same name on whom the film is based. The film stars Hema Malini as Gautami Balasri and Shriya Saran as Vashishtha Devi and is scheduled to release on January 12.
Speaking at the audio launch of the film, Krish said, “It’s surprising how we don’t know our history. Not many of us know who Gautamiputra Satakarni is. In Maharashtra, they know him as the person Chatrapati Shivaji was asked to look up to by his mother. Even the Tamilians know him as the great Nootruvar Kannar. But we don’t know him!”
However, Krish says he got most of this historical information from 25-pages of Civil Service Examinations preparatory material. Presumably, the notes were compiled from historical research done by scholars of Indian history, but Krish could not find the latter. Given that the information is appearing in notes on the country’s most popular general examinations, Krish’s claim that people are unaware of the historical figure appears odd.
Krish further said he could find little information on the ruler and was eventually forced to look at Greek sources for material. He said, “There are writings about him by his mother Gautami Balasri, which helped with the basis of my story. I found BN Sastri’s writings on him and there is a lesson in a civil service preparation material where quite a few details are given about him in about 25 pages. I finally got all the information from Megasthenes’ book Indica. The information that Greeks have about us, we do not!”
Krish also said that only actor Balakrishna could bring the ruler to life on screen. He said, “My blood was boiling when I read about him, and I definitely wanted to make this story. We needed someone whose eyes spit fire, whose words could show royalty, and a walk that can draw attention. Well, there was only one name that I could think of — Basavaputra Nandamuri Balakrishna. And his dedication to the role was proof of why we got him on board.”