Telugu film Chanakya has only collected INR 2.25 crore over two days, since it’s release on Saturday, 5th October. The film marks Tamil director Thiru’s debut in Telugu cinema. However, tough competition from Chiranjeevi’s Sye Raa, lack of pre-release hype and poor reviews meant that the film did not even earn INR 1 crore on its opening day. The action thriller film stars Gopichand as RAW agent Arjun, who is leading a mission to combat terrorism and ends up fighting against mafia don Mehmood Qureshi (Rajesh Khattar). It seems that the movie will turn out to be another big flop for Gopichand, who is currently going through a low phase in his career following a series of flop films.
Produced by AK Entertainments, the film also stars Zareen Khan (marking her debut in Telugu films) and Mehreen Pirzada in lead roles. It was leaked by film piracy website Tamilrockers, on the day of its release, which may have further impacted its box office performance.
Film reviewers have praised the cinematography but called the performances in Chanakya “routine” and “boring”, and the storyline similar to many previous spy thriller films. Neeshita Nyayapati from the Times of India gave the film a 2-star rating and asked viewers to watch it at their own risk. She wrote in her review, “Chanakya is a meandering drama that seems confused about whether it wants to be a spy-thriller that takes itself way too seriously or a commercial drama that has a little bit of everything. It falls somewhere in between, neither keeping you on the edge-of-the-seat, nor entertaining you.” Telugucinema.com criticised the first half of the film and said that though the second half provided “some tense moments and some interesting sequences” it was “predictable to the core.”