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Srimanthudu

Srimanthudu (English: The Wealthy Man) is a 2015 Indian Telugu-language drama film written and directed by Koratala Siva. It was produced by Y. Naveen, Y. Ravi Shankar and C. V. Mohan under their banner Mythri Movie Makers. Mahesh Babu co-produced the film under his banner G. Mahesh Babu Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and played the film’s protagonist, Harsha Vardhan, with Shruti Haasan as the female lead, Charuseela. Jagapati Babu, Rajendra Prasad, Sampath Raj, Mukesh Rishi, Sukanya and Harish Uthaman appear in supporting roles. It was distributed globally by Eros International.

The film tells the story of Harsha Vardhan, a young man who inherits a business empire from his father Ravikanth (played by Jagapati Babu). Urged by his friend Charuseela to learn about his and his father’s ancestral roots in a remote village named Devarakota, Harsha adopts the village and spends some time trying to improve the standard of living of the local people and the infrastructure of the village. His efforts anger the local crime boss Sashi (played by Sampath Raj) and his brother Venkata Ratnam, a politician (played by Mukesh Rishi).

Srimanthudu was initially going to be produced by UTV Motion Pictures, but the company backed out, citing differences with Siva. In addition to directing the film, Siva also wrote the screenplay. Devi Sri Prasad composed the score, and R. Madhi was the cinematographer. Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao edited the film. Production began on 11 August 2014 at Ramanaidu Studios in Hyderabad. Principal photography began on 7 November 2014 in Pune, and lasted till mid-June 2015. Though most of the film was shot in and around Hyderabad, a few portions were filmed in Tamil Nadu and Malaysia.

Srimanthudu and its Tamil dubbed version, titled Selvandhan, were released simultaneously worldwide on 7 August 2015 in around 2500 screens. It opened to positive critical reception and was a commercial success, grossing nearly ₹2.0 billion globally on a budget of ₹400—700 million and becoming the second highest grossing Telugu film of all time. After the film’s release, many actors, bureaucrats and politicians announced plans to develop the backward villages and encouraged the adoption of villages in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Harsha Vardhan is the sole heir of his father Ravikanth’s business empire worth ₹250 billion. After he meets Charuseela at his friend Apparao’s birthday party, he enrolls in a university course on rural development. Charuseela wants to use technology for the benefit of Devarakota, a remote village in Uttarandhra from which she hails. A friendship blossoms between them, and as time passes they become attracted to each other.

The natural resources of Devarakota are being exploited by Sashi, the brother of central minister Venkata Ratnam, whose tyranny has made many locals migrate to the city to seek a better life. Nevertheless, the village head Narayana Rao hopes that the standard of living will soon improve along with the general condition of the village. Meanwhile, Ratnam’s son Radha uses blackmail to threaten harm to Ravikanth’s family if he does not back out of a prestigious highway contract. Ravikanth’s nephew Karthik, who hopes to succeed Ravikanth in the business empire, leaks to Radha details about an upcoming bid for the contract, which comes to the notice of Harsha. After subtly warning Ratnam at his residence in Delhi, Harsha secretly makes a lower bid on behalf of his father’s company and wins the contract.

When Charuseela learns that Harsha is Ravikanth’s son, she starts avoiding him. When he asks the reason, she says that Ravikanth is a native of Devarakota who left for Hyderabad to earn wealth unlike her father Narayana Rao, and she bids farewell. After asking his father for a long holiday before joining the office, Harsha travels to Devarakota without his father’s knowledge. In Devarakota he meets Rao and introduces himself as a student pursuing a course in rural development who has come to study the village.

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