Tollywood’s Big Tickets, Crazies, Weirdos and Saviors

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Tollywood has always been an industry of opulence. Release of big ticket films is heavily recurrent. A question to ponder is whether this category of films is having a matching quality? Let’s get the meaning of the quality first.

Quality is not just about the foreign locations for the songs. Quality is also not about roping in A-list actors. Quality is rather about the content of the story and shall strictly revolve around it. Quality is about innovation and freshness.

Again, freshness is not bringing on-board a ‘fresh’ debutant milky-white model who says ‘An-der-ki Nam-ass-karam’ in the audio launch events.  Freshness can be in the form of a plot, story or a story-telling itself. Sadly, majority of the big-ticket films lack these.

The Weirdos

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The consistency in using the hackneyed plots has actually given rise to a new set of weird films recently. Inspired by Sam Anderson of Kollywood, an aspiring Telugu director came with a spoof-based film ‘Hrudaya Kaleyam’ with a really unique marketing strategy. Though we have seen a successful spoof in the form of Sudigadu, Hrudaya Kaleyam was special in its own way. It was special because of its writing.

Hrudaya Kaleyam, despite fundamentally being a spoof, was garden-fresh as it didn’t have any indirect references nor were the scenes a direct replica. Content indeed was the king here. And because of the innovation, it grabbed the attention of who’s who of Tollywood. This movie has a cult following. This has opened a new market of weird films indeed.

The recent release ‘Singham123’ written and produced by Manchu Vishnu, got an impressive opening because of the craze that Sampoornesh Babu  reaped from Hrudaya Kaleyam. However, from the day two when the public opinion was out, the film gradually lost attention. The reason here again is the writing. The makers lazily tried to ape the style of HK and eventually failed because they offered nothing new to amuse the audience.

The Big Tickets

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Apparently, this laid back attitude of repeating formulas struck like a deadly disease in our industry. The latest formula to be followed is from ‘Attarintiki Daaredi’. The outline of the films ‘Govindudu Andarivaade Le’ and ‘Chinnaadaana Nee kosam’ is so similar to the Trivikram’s grand fare.  Sadly, a stalwart like Trivikram also seemed to have become lethargic when he made ‘Son Of Satyamurthy’. It had a striking resemblance to his own Attaarintiki,  where a stinking rich businessman sacrifices his luxuries to achieve a goal, preceded with an introduction song shot abroad with the ‘hero’ walking in a suit on the roads of Spain. Phew!

Srinu Vytla also got heavily repetitive and the failure of Aagadu explains it all. Even the star writers of the big ticket films – Kona Venkat and Gopi Mohan who have laugh-riots like Ready, Adhurs and King to their credit are now delivering mundane movies like the recent Pandaga Chesko. The root cause again is lack of freshness. Their comedies have become too cliched and predictable. Their same old style of punch lines is getting on to the nerves.

Almost every big film seems to be made from a design template. Gravity-defying fights, unnecessary prose and a Brahmanandam being made a Bakra has become a norm. These big films have come to such a deplorable state that they are banking heavily on comedy when the actual plot might have nothing to do with comedy. With a plethora of movies like these hitting the theatres, even the audience started subconsciously expecting comedy in each and every film.

This dreadful situation has caused some movies that are sincere to their genre, perform poorly at the box office. Already there is a dearth of pure genre films in Telugu, and this formula virus is simply destroying the good cinema.

The Saviors

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We have a very few directors in the T-town who make the big-budget films really big in terms of quality. S S Rajamouli is one such example where he creates an output of 2 pennies for every penny spent on the movie. For the first time, an extremely reputed production house of Bollywood (Dharma Productions) came forward to present a regional film. This is not a joke! Rajamouli made this possible.

Wish the contemporaries of Rajamouli , especially the big directors work as diligently as him at the script level.  In fact filmmakers today have the privilege of the access of remarkable technology to enhance their story-telling and take it to a different level.  Otherwise, the streak of weird films will continue to poke fun of our otherwise high quality films.

In fact, every weird film being made is an alarm to our filmmakers that it’s high time to buckle up and get rid of the rotten scripts. Hope the day comes when our Deva Kattas continue delivering Prasthanams and not AutoNagar Suryas. Hope the day comes when the Reys and Shadows are scrapped even before they are put on paper.

Hope the day comes when the directors turn the deep pockets of our producers into distinguished films.

Long live Cinema!



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