The way Nandamuri Balakrishna-starrer Legend bagged as many as nine Nandi awards, including the best actor award, from the Andhra Pradesh government for the year 2014 has drawn a lot of sharp criticism from several quarters.
Critics said Legend was an out and out commercial film with focus only on Balakrishna’s histrionics and doesn’t deserve so many awards.
For that matter, other commercial films like Race Gurram with a message of bonding between siblings fared much better at the box office and was more entertaining than Legend.
However, jury member and producer Prasanna Kumar gave a surprising explanation for selecting Legend for the best film, best actor and best director awards.
“It is a commercial film no doubt, but it has a social message as an undercurrent. It highlights the issue of fighting against foeticide (killing girl foetuses within mother’s womb). What is more important is that it also attacks purchasing of other party MLAs with big money,” he said.
If what Prasanna Kumar said is right, Legend is a straight rebuke, albeit indirectly, on Balakrishna’s brother-in-law and AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu himself.
During the year of film making itself, Naidu lured several of YSR Congress party MLAs into his ruling Telugu Desam Party. And there are allegations that he had spent crores of rupees in purchasing MLAs from the opposition party.
If Naidu comes to know about Prasanna Kumar’s comments, who knows, he might even cancel all the awards given to Legend!