|Directed by||Puri Jagannadh|
|Produced by||R. R. Venkat|
|Story by||Puri Jagannadh|
|Music by||S. Thaman|
|Cinematography||Shyam K. Naidu|
|Editing by||S. R. Shekhar|
|Studio||R. R. Movie Makers|
|Distributed by||R. R. Movie Makers
Hari Venkateswara Pictures
|Running time||132 minutes|
|Budget||25 crore (US$3.8 million)|
Businessman is a 2012 Telugu crime action film written and directed by Puri Jagannadh. It stars Mahesh Babu and Kajal Agarwal in the lead roles. Produced by R. R. Venkat and distributed by R. R. Movie Makers, the film was also dubbed into Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi languages. The film was released on January 13, 2012 and turned out to be a blockbuster. The film was dubbed and released in Tamil on December 7, 2012. The film was dubbed and released in Malayalam on December 28, 2012. The film was remade in Bengali as Boss and it was released on August 9, 2013.
At a time when Mumbai Police headed by Police Commissioner (Nassar) announce that the much dreaded Mafia Raj is completely wiped out in the city and there are no under world Bhai's in Mumbai, a rookie named Surya (Mahesh Babu) lands in the country’s commercial capital with an intention to become a Mafia Don. His friend (Brahmaji) receives him and brings to Dharavi. He offers him shelter and tells him that he would soon fetch him a job so that he can settle down in life. But Surya wants to carve an identity for himself, by reorganizing Mumbai's Mafia Raj and eventually rule Mumbai. He then mocks as a cop and gets his first bounty and then he forms a gang of his own. Surya meets up with a local politician Laalu (Sayaji Shinde) who is in trouble and offers him help. Surya begins recruiting criminals and gangsters in Mumbai and starts to Extort people for money. He slowly gains momentum and in the process becomes popular and feared among the people.
Meanwhile, he also knowingly tries to get romantically involved with Chitra (Kajal Aggarwal), daughter of the police commissioner. In the process, he actually falls for the girl and tries for her acceptance. In the course of the film, Surya become popular among Dharavi's locals. He comes across as an extortionist, a baron, a philanthropist and an entrepreneur. His friendship with Laalu gets stronger and so does his political connections. Surya sets up a company named Surya Exports & Imports which would act as a front for the organized crime that they indulge in. Surya reveals his plan to grow his network of organized crime all over India. He begins to set up branch offices for Surya Exports & Imports in all major cities, towns and villages all over India. He recruits local gangsters for staff and begins to forcefully collect two percent tax on every contract done in that area. Eventually Surya grows to be a billionaire and later reveals to the police commissioner that he never wanted money but only power. He claims that he believes in war but not morality and that the crime rate dropped significantly after he started to recruit all the gangsters. He also states that he wants to rid India of crime and help the needy.
Surya also helps Laalu to become the Mayor of Mumbai by defeating Arun Ghokle (Rajeev Mehta) who is backed up by Jai Dev (Prakash Raj), a powerful national politician. Eventually Arun Ghokle goes against Jai Dev and talks to the police about Jai Dev's illegal activities. Jai Dev kills the police commissioner and Chitra becomes devastated by it. Surya reveals to her that he was an American born Indian who loses his philanthropist Non-resident Indian father at an early age. His parents were the victims of Political corruption and were cheated and killed by Jai Dev. This incident and the attitude of people towards an orphan while growing up made him hate the society.
In his pursuit of power and achieving his goal of getting India rid of crime he shifts his attention towards the upcoming Indian parliament elections. He with the help of Laalu meets up with Guru Govind Patel (Raza Murad), head of the opposition party. He makes a deal with him and offers him 35000 crore (US$5.4 billion) for election campaigning and also promises him that he would make him the prime minister of India. Surya uses the money and starts to make an impact on the elections. He spends millions on every constituency in India and also makes Jai Dev unable to contest in the elections. After knowing that Jai dev has kidnapped Chitra to seek revenge on him, he fights of the Jai Dev's goons and eventually kills him and saves Chitra. It is shown at the end that he had successfully installed Guru Govind Patel as the Prime Minister of India and is seen with Chitra, who accepts his love.
- Mahesh Babu as Vijay Surya aka Surya Bhai
- Kajal Aggarwal as Chitra Bharadwaj
- Prakash Raj as Jaidev
- Nassar as Ajay Bharadwaj
- Sayaji Shinde as Laalu
- Dharmavarapu Subramanyam as Laalu's Assistant
- Raza Murad as Guru Govind Patel
- Bharath Reddy as Inspector Bharath
- Ayesha Shiva as Ayesha (Chitra's friend)
- Rajeev Mehta as Arun Ghokle
- Brahmaji as Surya's Friend
- Mahesh Balraj as Naseer
- Sanjay Swaroop as Surya's Father
- Aakash as Younger Surya
- Jahangir Khan
- Shivraj Walvekar as Police Inspector
- Shweta Bhardwaj in Item number
- Puri Jagannadh as Taxi Driver (cameo)
In December 2010, It was reported that R. R. Movie Makers signed Mahesh Babu for a film directed by Puri Jagannath which marks Puri Jagannath's second film after the 2006 Blockbuster film Pokiri and the film would be launched in May 2012. The film's title was revealed as "Businessman" with the caption "Guns Don't Need Agreements". The film was launched at the production house of R. R. Movie Makers in Hyderabad on August 15, 2011. It was reported by Puri Jagannath that he completed the script by July 2011 and Puri Jagannath stated that Ram Gopal Varma was the person who inspired me to write this story. In January 2012, before the release of the film, reports emerged that Mahesh and Kajal shared their first onscreen lip lock for this film. This was later confirmed by Puri Jagannath during the pre-release press meet of the film.
After Mahesh Babu was signed in to play the role of Surya, Shruti Haasan was selected as the Heroine of the film. However she was later replaced by Kajal Aggarwal. Initially, Hansika Motwani was reported to be roped in to dance for that item song. However after returning from the US, Hansika rubbished these reports. Finally Shweta Bhardwaj was roped in to perform the item number in the film. Canadian born, Mumbai Resident model Ayesha Shiv was selected to play the role of friend of the Heroine. Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam was said to play a hilarious role in the film.
The Principal photography started in August 2011 in Mumbai. The Regular shooting started at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad in Hyderabad. In October, after shooting some talkie part, the song "Aamchi Mumbai" was shot on Mahesh Babu and others at a specially erected set in Mumbai. Then the unit shifted to Goa where the shooting started from October 27 and in that schedule, climax fight scenes on Mahesh Babu and rest of the casting were shot. After shooting completed in Goa, the unit proceeded to Spain and Bangkok to shoot 3 songs. Later in December, the final schedule began in Ramoji Film City where some scenes and a song were canned on Mahesh and Kajal. The film completed its complete principal photography work in 74 Days on December 10, 2011. While Mahesh participated in filming for 65 Days, Kajal participated for 30 Days for their respective roles.
The film's first look poster featuring Mahesh Babu was launched on November 11, 2011 (11.11.11). The same day a small promo was officially released. The dialogue in the trailer "Ila roundup chesi nannu confuse cheyyoddu. Endukante confusion lo ekkuva kottestanu" (Dont roundup me like this. I'l confuse. If i confuse, i will end up beating all of you.) received viral response. On December 9, 2011 the theatrical trailer was posted by Puri Jagannath in his twitter. Later on December 19, 2011 the first look poster of Kajal was released. In that poster, Black saree clad Kajal sleeping in the lap of Yellow shirt clad Mahesh, who sat in a chair. This poster later received terrific response.
The release date was fixed as January 11, 2012 even before filming started. Later, the date was postponed to, and released on January 13, 2012. The film makers have released in 2000 theatres. Business Man was the first direct release in Paris and Japan, along with other overseas countries including USA, Canada, UK, Dubai, Singapore, Australia and South Africa. The film was also the first Telugu film to be released overseas with English subtitles. The overseas rights were bagged by Hari Venkateshwara Pictures, while RR Movie makers retained the domestic distribution rights. The overseas rights for the film were sold for 5.4 crore, making it the highest buy over for any Telugu film in the overseas. The movie was screened in nearly 120 theaters in USA. In Hyderabad, Business Man released in 92 screens, with Prasads IMAX having run 33 shows on the release day. It was speculated that the film makers had violated the Central Board of Film Certification rules pertaining to the film title. The satellite rights of the film were sold for 6.6 crores to Studio N.
The Hindu commented that the movie is a Wholesome package and Pure entertainer quoting "Puri Jagannath has proved that he's still the director with Midas touch with his latest release (Business Man)". The Times of India gave 3.5 stars out of 5, said "Businessman is an unpretentious entertainer that manages to strike the right balance. It might not be a cinematic wonder but sure has enough in it to keep you interested till the end". Another critic Sunita Chowdhary from The Hindu cited as "The Businessman has a mix of action, image, dialogue and montage but what makes it entertaining is that all the above quantities are inextricably bound and linked together at every level with an admirably tight script. It is a regular story but structurally, technically and content wise, the director makes no mistake. CNN-IBN rated 3/5 stars explains "Businessman is a film for Mahesh Babu's fans. Watch the film for the actor's sheer screen presence and Jagannath's punchy dialogues".
Oneindia.in gave a mixed review, adding "There is only one actor in the film who is everywhere – it is none other than prince Mahesh Babu. It is a serious film and hence its appeal is very limited. The film may be liked by the fans of Mahesh Babu but for the general audiences it is just an average film". Rediff which gave 2.5/5 says that "The film is in Puri's usual style – slick and stylish. It's filled with loads of entertainment but without the comedians. There's no doubt that Puri Jagan has played to the gallery and kept the masses and Mahesh's image in mind while conceiving this film.".
Sify expressed that the film was " Strictly for Mahesh Babu fans. Deccan Chronicle stated "Businessman is a typical Mahesh Babu film all the way, evoking laughs with comic one-liners and subtle expressions, and criticized the story of an orphan who takes to crime to avenge the death of his parents". Fullhyderabad.com rated the film 7.5/10, and said that "Businessman is a Puri Jagannadh movie that mostly gets it right... The writer-director deftly combines the several forces of dialogue, edgy camera work, background score and energetic acting..."
The film had the largest opening for a Telugu film till date, and collected a share of 13.78 crores, and a gross of 18.73 crores, on the first day of its release. The film has collected a share of 41.83 crores, and a gross of 62.93 crore in its first week. The film has collected the share of 44 crore (US$6.7 million). The film has completed 50 days in 350 centres. The film has completed 100 days in 3 centres.
The film was released by Universal Home Entertainment in the United States on a single disc HD DVD and Blu-ray on May 7, 2012 and in India on May 11, 2012 on a two disc VCD, a single disc Anamorphic widescreen DVD and also on a 1080p High Definition Blu-ray Disc.
Awards and nominations
The audio was released officially on December 22, 2011 by Aditya Music, who had acquired the rights. The audio launch event was held at Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad on the same day. The television broadcasting rights were acquired by Telugu channels NTV and Gemini TV for a disclosed price. The songs of the film were composed by music director S. Thaman, who had earlier worked with Mahesh Babu for Dookudu and it was his first collaboration with Puri Jagannadh. The singers of the album include Haricharan, Priya Hemesh, Geetha Madhuri, Rahul Nambiar and others. Lyrics for all the songs were penned by Bhaskarabhatla. As announced earlier, Mahesh Babu himself sang the theme song along with director Puri Jagannadh in all three languages — Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. The audio received positive response from both critics and audience alike. Musicperk.com, a famous music website rated Businessman as one of the best albums of the year 2012, rating it 9/10.
On multiple occasions, Puri stated that he wanted to do a sequel to Businessman with Mahesh Babu. He also stated that he would want to begin filming by late 2012. Mahesh Babu confirmed the intentions of a sequel and in an interview in January 2012 he commented "I am excited to be doing Businessman 2. We will start shooting this film by the year end". In another interview, Mahesh commented "I am eager and looking forward to Businessman 2 because of the characterization, which is terrific and the character got stuck into the people. Moreover I don’t want to lose the winning streak in this mania. With Businessman fever running around it’s the ideal time to embark on a sequel". In August 2012, in an interview with a newspaper, Puri Jagannath revealed that the plans to do a sequel were dropped. He also stated that instead of the sequel he would collaborate with Mahesh on a new script.
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