Solo Brathuke So Better, the Telugu romantic comedy film starring actors Sai Dharam Tej and Nabha Natesh that released in theatres on Friday, got an “overwhelming” response on the first day, the film’s director Subbu told Silverscreen India.
Solo Brathuke So Better is the first big-budget Telugu film to release in theatres since the Centre allowed cinema halls to reopen after the Covid-19-related lockdown was gradually lifted in the country.
Subbu, who watched his directorial debut in Hyderabad’s single-screen Sudharshan Theatre, said: “I felt ecstatic when I entered the theatres after months together, and moreover, this is my film, so I feel happier than ever.”
“I believe that whatever I wanted to deliver through the script has been successfully done. I had written a few scenes keeping the entertainment quotient in mind, and it got delivered exactly. I got an overwhelming response from the audience. Emotionally too, they connected with the characters,” Subbu said.
The film was earlier slated to release on May 1. Shooting began in November 2019 but had to be halted this year in March when the lockdown was implemented, which delayed the release. The shooting later resumed in September and was wrapped up in 10 days.
Solo Brathuke So Better is jointly produced by BVSN Prasad, under the banner of Sri Venkateshwara Cine Chitra, and Zee Studio Association. While cinematography has been handled by Venkat C Dilip, Naveen Nooli was in charge of editing. S Thaman has composed music.
While talking about how Solo Brathuke So Better became the first major film to be released in theatres during the pandemic, he said, “Today, I can understand why the film could not release on May 1, since December 25 was waiting to happen. I got great support from Sai Dharam Tej sir. He stood by my side like a brother and supported me throughout the process. He understood my tension and was very comfortable working with him. I could see the fruits of hard work today.”
Talking about the film’s release, Hyderabad-based film critic Jeevi, who saw the film at PVR Nxt of Galleria Mall in Hyderabad, said: “This is like a restart for Telugu films. I am used to watching films in theatres that has been deprived for nine months. It is nice to watch a commercial film in theatres with the crowd and the theatrical effects and sounds. In commercial films, the emotions of the co-audience are what contributes 50% of the film’s experience. When watching a commercial film or an entertainer, the experience is much better in theatres than at home.”
Talking about occupancy in theatres, he said: “It was 50% full, which is technically house full since that is the permitted capacity. It was a good experience since it is spacious due to social distancing and the seating was designed like a chessboard with alternative seating.”
The Telangana government announced its decision to reopen cinema halls that fall outside Covid-19 containment zones with 50% seating capacity from November 23. Announcing relief measures for the Telugu film industry, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had assured to waive off electricity charges in cinemas and theatres. Films made under a budget of Rs 10 crore would be exempted from the State Goods and Services Tax. In a similar measure, in December, the Andhra Pradesh government, headed by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, also announced a restart package and waived off fixed electricity charges for April, May, and June. The package also included working capital loans, a moratorium on EMIs, and interest subvention.
Apart from Solo Brathuke So Better, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma‘s Murder, which released on Thursday, is also running in theatres.