For Telugu star Allu Arjun, Naa Peru Surya offers a shot at cracking the Tamil Nadu market

Sreedhar Pillai
Allu Arjun has previously worked with Trivikram Srinivas on two superhit films Julai and S/o Satyamurthy.

Can popular Telugu star Allu Arjun crack the difficult Tamil market? That seems to be the question as his latest release €" Naa Peru Surya Naa Illu India €" plays in Tamil Nadu theatres. The dubbed Tamil version of the film is called En Peru Surya En Veedu India, and it has released in the state simultaneously with the Telugu version, on 4 May 2018. This is a departure for Arjun, whose Telugu films are released in Tamil Nadu in their original form (although Malayalam dubbed versions are made available for Kerala, where the star enjoys a massive fan following).

Having a dubbed Tamil version for Naa Peru Surya indicates that Arjun is eyeing the Tamil Nadu market €" an objective that will no doubt receive a push thanks to the wide release this film is enjoying in the state (150+ screens, a number second only to Baahubali when it comes to dubbed movies in Tamil Nadu). The ambitious plans for En Peru Surya aren't unfounded: the producers €" perhaps rightly €" believe that its combination of a patriotic theme and action sequences will make it a hit with audiences. And for Arjun €" who, apart from his home state, has extended his dominion over Kerala and Karnataka €" this is the ideal moment to capture Tamil Nadu, hitherto a weak link.

Tamil Nadu has always been a very difficult market for Telugu heroes to penetrate, with dubbed releases. In 1980s, it was mostly the dubbed action fare featuring Chiranjeevi , Dr Rajasekhar, Nagarjuna and Vijayshanti that made any dent in the Tamil market, However, in recent times, none of the Telugu films dubbed into Tamil €" with the notable exception of Baahubali 1 and 2 €" have been able to make it to the 'hit' category. A point to be noted here is that Baahubali had Tamil actors in important roles and SS Rajamouli marketed it as a bi-lingual. Sure enough, Baahubali's phenomenal success in Tamil Nadu saw a series of bi-lingual films releasing €" all of which bombed.

Naa Peru Surya opening day box office collection at Rs 40 crore gross; career-best for Allu Arjun

In 2017, Mahesh Babu €" who grew up in Chennai and speaks Tamil fluently €" marketed the thriller Spyder as his first Tamil venture. Although the film was directed by a Tamilian €" AR Murgadoss €" and Mahesh dubbed in his own voice in Tamil, the film turned out to be a disaster. "In the early days, the Tamil dubbing rights were sold at a reasonable price but after Baahubali's success, Telugu producers wanted crores and many burnt their fingers. Another factor is that there is a lot of difference between Tamil and Telugu nativity and packaging," says Salim Mohammad, who was in the business of buying Telugu films for dubbing them into Tamil.

What has Telugu stars baffled is how successful Tamil films, dubbed into Telugu, have been in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan's dubbed films have had a huge market in Telugu-speaking regions since the 1980s, but today nearly all popular Tamil stars enjoy a share of the Telugu dubbing market.

Two recent Telugu films that were super-hits in Tamil Nadu (mostly in Chennai city and suburbs, and the border area with Andhra Pradesh) are Ram Charan's Rangasthalam and Mahesh Babu's Bharat Ane Nenu . Both these films did not have a Tamil dubbed version but were released with English sub titles. At the same time, Prabhas €" following Baahubali's success in Tamil Nadu €" already has buyers for his next home production, Saaho, which will also have a Tamil dubbed version. Meanwhile, all eyes are on Allu Arjun and En Peru Surya.

Also read €" Naa Peru Surya movie review: Allu Arjun's terrific performance outweighs the rest of this inconsistent film

Also See: Naa Peru Surya opening day box office collection at Rs 40 crore gross; career-best for Allu Arjun

Rajkummar Rao's Omerta, 102 Not Out, Naa Peru Surya, Iruttu Murattu Kuthu: Know Your releases

Allu Arjun's Naa Peru Surya should be as big a blockbuster as Rangasthalam: Ram Charan

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