Film Review: Gautamiputra Satakarni

Balakrishna gives his best performance in his 100th movie.  - Sakshi Post

Director: Krish

Producers: Saibabu Jagarlamudi, Y. Rajeev Reddy

Music Director: Chirantan Bhatt

Cast: Balakrishna, Shriya Saran, Hema Malini

After Chiranjeevi's Khaidi No. 150 created big euphoria on Wednesday, the entire focus of Sankranti releases has now shifted to Balakrishna’s Gautamiputra Satakarni which hit the screens on Thursday. The movie directed by Krish released all over the world to the jubilation of Balayya's fans as his 100th milestone.

Here are some snapshots...

The movie Gautamiputra Satakarni is based on the story of a Satavahana dynasty king who ruled a major part of India consisting of present-day Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana sometime during first and second centuries with his capital at Amaravati.

In the context of Amaravati once again becoming the capital of Andhra Pradesh after bifurcation, the movie seems to have hit some sentimental chords of Telugus; of both the states. And a part of the story being associated with Telangana, with prominence to Koti Lingala as Satakarni's capital for sometime, the Telugus of both the states developed a kind of love for the movie.

Though it is not projected as a period movie, Krish showcases how Gautamiputra Satakarni went on to win two crucial kingdoms ruled by Indian kings and also defeated the mighty Greeks who invaded India even in first century AD.

Some dramatization and entertainment elements apart, the movie has come up well and the overall audience response puts it above average.

What's Great in the Movie

No doubt Nandamuri Balakrishna is an excellent match for Satakarni’s role. Right from Balayya’s screen presence to his poise as the powerful emperor, everything is top notch. He looks great as Satakarni and works extremely hard in all the war scenes. Balayya’s dialogue delivery is in top form making the audience spellbound.

Shriya did her best as Vasistha Devi, wife of Satakarni. Shriya looks gorgeous as the princess and emotes supremely well throughout the film. The interval bang and the war scenes that come during the last part of the first half are very good. Hema Malini plays her role as royal mother and brings a lot of depth to the film.

Credit should go to Krish for bringing life into the story of an unsung king which many do not know today. Production values are top notch as Krish amazes everyone by opting for less CG and keeping things real. His story is very powerful and he as a director does not vary much in his narration.

More War, Less Entertainment

Though the short run time is a boon to the film, a historical story such as Satakarni should have been told more elaborately. The makers should have spent more time on establishing who Satakarni was. And the war scenes are too long and too many. No doubt they are well designed, but too much of time is spent on them as they eat away most of the run time.

Krish, who is known to have some strong drama in his film disappoints a bit with this almost straight narration. Except for Shriya and Balakrishnan’s track rest of the film has less drama. The supporting cast, except Hema Malini, is not powerful enough to add energy and depth to the movie. The movie was completed in 79 days with a view to release it for Sankranti and the hurry is clearly visible in some scenes; Balakrishna’s makeup in some scenes looks weird.

Technical Aspects

Gautamiputra Satakarni has some top class technical values, superb visuals and credit should completely go to the production design department for giving the film a fresh and grand look. Once again, Sai Madhav Burra shines as his dialogues will be remembered for a long time in Tollywood. The way he penned dialogues for Balakrishna which elevate the greatness about Telugu lineage is quite impressive. Music by Chittaranjan Bhatt is average but the background score is impressive.

The costumes, armory and all the various props used for the war sequences are realistic and show that a lot of detailing has gone into the film. Editing is slick but the war scenes could have been trimmed a bit. Screenplay by Krish is pretty neat. The way he has added crunch scenes like the importance of mother and the love for Telugu people in the narrative showcases his true talent.

Coming to Krish as a director, he has done a stupendous job and will go down in history for bringing life into a historical saga of Telugu kings which many did not know much in the present day. Krish showcased the film in a grand manner using his resources to the maximum extent. He has proved himself with each one of his films before and Satakarni will be on the top of his best works till date. Also, the way he has showcased Balayya will be loved by the hero’s fans to no extent.


With Kanche, Krish broke many paths and gave Telugu cinema a new direction. He continues his astonishing work by narrating a hard hitting and entertaining story of an unsung hero in a thumping manner. Films like these come very rarely and icing on the cake is the presence of Balakrishna who single-handedly dominates the film with his towering performance. Superb dialogues, well-executed war scenes, and grand visuals make this historical extravaganza a must watch for every Telugu film lover.

Sakshipost rates Satakarni 4/5.

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