Telugu cinema: 2010 onwards

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Information regarding the previous decades is awaited

Contents

An overview

India Today, December 30, 2015

Suhani Singh

Regional cinema takes on the Bollywood behemoth, carves a niche for itself.

Before July 2015, Prabhas was a Telugu film actor who not many beyond south India would have recognised. But the 36-year-old actor became a star as the dhoti-clad, bare-chested Baahubali who transports a giant shivling on his muscular shoulder in one of the most popular images of 2015. Prabhas devoted three years to filmmaker SS Rajamouli's fantasy epic. His co-star Rana Daggubati put on more than 25 kg to be the beefy evil ruler, Bhallala Deva. Over 20,000 weapons were designed and a hundred acres of land in Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad were used to shoot the hour-long battle sequence which is reminiscent of the ones seen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. "Baahubali was the most momentous milestone not just for the Telugu industry but perhaps all of Indian cinema this year," says Daggubati. It's not an overstatement. The technical marvel was made largely by an all-Indian crew, proof of how Indian cinema isn't short on grand vision and execution. Baahubali the Hindi version made Rs 110 crore, which is unprecedented for a dubbed film. With overall collections of Rs 600 crore, it was second only to Bajrangi Bhaijaan this year and third in all-time highest earners. "Baahubali is an outlier," said Kamal Gianchandani, President of PVR Pictures, "Its positioning is like that of Avatar in Hollywood. A movie like that comes once in five years." Rajamouli's fantastical superheroes may have taken Telugu cinema by storm but there was also a spate of small, independent films which stood out for not adhering to the formulaic and treating audiences to imperfect but relatable protagonists. They included Bhale Bhale Magadivoy, a comedy centred on a hero with an attention span problem and Size Zero about a girl with weight issues. They didn't make the kind of impression that Baahubali did but it's a sign that regional independent cinema is also growing.

Unusual themes

If Bollywood has Shah Rukh Khan, then Tollywood, the Bengali film industry, has Abir Chatterjee, the rising star who can carry off a white dhoti (as famous sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi in Har Har Byomkesh) as well as denims (a martial arts suspect in Ebar Shabor, the first hit of 2015). "This year has definitely been outstanding if not just for the hits or the profits but for the quality of stories," says Chatterjee. A fine embodiment of the above was Bela Seshe, which released in May, and is still running in a few cinemas in West Bengal. In fact, its premise-a patriarch announces that he will leave his wife of 49 years-resonated even with non-Bengalis. "Imagine a hall full of Gujarati, 800 of them to be exact, coming to watch a Bengali film in the city that doesn't even have subtitles," says co-director Shibhprosad Mukherjee talking about a show at Priya Cinema in Kolkata. Reuniting Soumitra Chattopadhyay with Swatilekha Sengupta, last seen together in Satyajit Ray's Ghare Baire, after 30 years, the film's impact was such that Gujarati magazine Hulchul put the film on its cover and Eros International stepped in to distribute the film outside West Bengal. With 13 hits in 15 months (September 2014 to December 2015), Rajkahini director Srijit Mukherji calls it "a purple patch" for Tollywood. It indeed is as evidenced by the super showing of the industry at the 2015 National Awards where it won Best First Feature (Aditya Vikram Sengupta's Asha Jaoar Majhe), Best Director and Screenplay (Mukherji for Chotushkone) and Best Audiography (Churni Ganguly's Nirbashito). No boundaries Audiences are now more willing to watch a good regional film even if it means focusing on subtitles throughout the film. The regional film industries are also keen to extend their reach with stories that resonate. The Mahesh Babu-starrer, Sreemanthudu, was one such film; its philanthropic hero was a lot like Shah Rukh Khan in Swades as he tries to improve the infrastructure of a village. The Telugu film made Rs 200 crore, indicating a reach beyond native Telegu speakers. In Kollywood, the Tamil film industry, apart from Baahubali there were 25 films which fared well even as the number of releases came down from 214 to 205 in 2014. G Dhananjayan, chief-South Business, Studios of Disney-UTV Motion Pictures sees it as an emphasis on quality over quantity and calls it a "good thing". The hits included Ajith-starrer Vedhalam, Shankar's Beauty and the Beast-inspired I, Kanchana 2 and director Ravi Arasu's Eetti.

The cash registers went ka-ching even in Kerala, where Malayalam cinema saw two of its contemporary leading stars in Prithviraj and Nivin Pauly do content-driven films such as Premam, Ennu Ninte Moideen, Amar Akbar Anthony and Oru Vadakkan Selfie which also won audiences approval. That all were films belonging to different genres-a romantic comedy, a tragic love story, a buddy comedy and a thriller-is proof of how audiences approve of filmmakers who go beyond conventional storytelling. The most encouraging sign is how multiplexes now have a spread of regional films to choose from every week. In 2015, PVR Pictures released films in 15 languages. They included Tulu film Charlie Polulu which is enjoying a run of 400 days in PVR cinemas in Mangalore. For an industry that doesn't make more than 10 films a year "that's not a small achievement", says Gianchandani. The Kannada industry had two hits in RangiTaranga and Mr and Mrs Ramachari, both of which enjoyed a theatrical run of over 150 days. Gujjubhai The Great and Chhello Devas made a strong case for Gujarati cinema by going beyond Gujarat and drawing audiences in Delhi and Mumbai. Bollywood beware Now more than ever regional films are no longer wary of clashing with the might of Bollywood which for long has enjoyed supreme status. Besh Korechi Prem Korechi, starring Jeet and Koel Mallick, took on Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and managed to hold its own. Meanwhile in Maharashtra, two films -Mumbai Pune Mumbai 2 and Katyar Kaljat Ghusli - released alongside Salman Khan-starrer Prem Ratan Dhan Payo on another sought-after festive date -Diwali. Both films were declared hits along with Timepass 2, Ravi Jadhav-directed sequel which became the second highest-grossing Marathi film with a collection of Rs 40 crore. With the period Indian classical musical Katyar Kaljat Ghusli, starring Shankar Mahadevan and Sachin Pilgaonkar, popular actor Subodh Bhave won over more fans demonstrating that he can direct too. Not all Marathi films are dependent on stars to headline their films. Many have gone beyond India to make their mark in international festivals abroad. Avinash Arun's children's film Killa won the Crystal Bear in Berlin and charmed even adults, while Chaitanya Tamhane's Court, a more realistic courtroom drama, was India's official entry to the Oscars. This capped another great year for the Marathi film industry which over the last few years has seen a creative resurgence as well as an increase in box office collections and number of productions. Whether regional cinema can repeat the splendid run of 2015 remains to be seen but one can be certain that audiences will be queueing up to watch the sequel Baahubali: The Conclusion. After all the nation wants to know: why did Katappa kill Baahubali?

The Telugu hits of the year

2010

Way2 Movies

Telugu Film Industry produced 115 Telugu films and another 40-odd dubbed films) in 2010. However, 2010 was one of the worst years that Tollywood ever saw.

The biggest disasters

Nagarjuna starrer Kedi

Allu Arjun starrer Varudu

Dil Raju-Varun Sandesh starrer Maro Charitra

Siddharth starrer Bava

Mahesh starrer Khaleja

Ram Charan’s Orange

Low Budget Winners

Actor Allari Naresh's Betting Bangarraju and Katti Kanta Rao

The Tamil remake, Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu turned out as unexpected success.

Critically-Acclaimed Films

Deva Katta- Sharwanand’s Prasthanam

Sharwanand starrer Andhari Bhandhuvaya

multi-starrer Vedam.

Sekhar kammula's Leader which showed the dark reality of modern day politics.

These critically praised films had decent run at B-O.

Dubbed Hits

The Telugu Film Industry faced heavy competition from Tamil films dubbed into Telugu

Rajini Kanth’s Robo,

Kamal’s Manmadha Banam,

Karthi’s Awara,

Suriya’s Yamudu

The fate of the major films of 2010

Super Hit

Simha Bala Krishna, Nayantara, Sneha Ullal, Namitha

Hits

Adhurs Jr.NTR, Sheela, Nayantara

Darling Prabhas, Kajal Agarwal

Maryada Ramanna Sunil, Saloni

Brindavanam Jr.NTR, Kajal Agarwal, Samantha

Above Average

Bindaas Manchu Manoj, Sheena Shahabadi

Leader Daggubati Rana, Richa Gangopadhyay, Priya Anand

Ye Maya Chesave Naga Chaitanya, Samantha

Betting Bangarraju Allari Naresh, Nidhi

Vedam Allu Arjun, Manchu Manoj, Deeksha Seth,Anushka

Jhummandi Nadam Manchu Manoj, Tapsee

Katti Kanta Rao Allari Naresh, Kamna Jethmalani

Ragada Nagarjuna, Priyamani, Anushka

Average

Namo Venkatesa Venkatesh, Trisha

Prasthanam Sharwanad, Sai Kumar, Ruby Parihar

Andari Bhanduvayya Sharwanand, Padma Priya

Rama Rama Krishna Krishna Ram, Priya Anand, Bindu Madhavi

Golimaar Gopichand, Priyamani

Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu Nani, Saranya Mohan

Snehagheetam Sandeep Kishan,Venky,Chaitanya,Suhani,

Don Seenu Ravi Teja, Shriya Saran, Anjana Sukhani

Yemaindi Ee Vela Varun Sandesh, Nisha Agarwal

Nagavalli Venkatesh, Richa, Shraddha Das, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Anushka

Below Average

Shambo Shiva Shambo Ravi Teja, Siva Balaji, Allari Naresh, Priyamani

Seetha Ramula Kalyanam Nitin, Hansika

Kalavar King Nikhil, Swetha Basu Prasad

Sadhyam Jagapathi Babu, Priyamani, Keerti Chawla

Buridi Aryan Rajesh, Aishwarya

Panchakshari Anushka, Vijay Samrat

Subhapradam Allari Naresh, Manjari

Brahmalokam to Yamalokam Via Bhulokam Rajendra Prasad, Sivaji, Kalyani

Happy Happyga Varun Sandesh, Saranya Mohan, Vega

Gaayam 2 Jagapathi Babu, Vimala Raman

Takita Takita Harsh Vardhan Rane, Haripriya, Vijay Samrat

Saradaga Kasepu Allari Naresh, Madhurima, Srinivas Avasarala

Khaleja Mahesh Babu', Anushka

Kalyanram Katti Kalyan Ram, Saranya Mohan, Sana Khan

Karma Shesh Adavi, Jade Tailor

Orange Ram Charan Tej, Genelia, Shazahn Padamsee

Alasyam Amrutham Nikhil, Madalasa Sharma

Super flops

Om Shanti Kajal Agarwal, Navdeep, Nikhil, Bindu Madhavi, Aditi Sharma

Kedi Nagarjuna, Mamta Mohandas

Taj Mahal Sivaji, Shruti

Yagam Navdeep, Bhumika Chawla

Maro Charitra Varun Sandesh, Anitha

Varudu Allu Arjun, Bhanu Sree Mehra

Young India Dasari Narayan Rao, `

Sye Aata Charmi, Ajay

Chapter 6 Kalyani, Bala, Sonia Suri

Komaram Puli Pawan Kalyan, Nikeesh Patel

Bava Siddharth, Rajendra Prasad, Pranitha

2011

Way2 Movies

Blockbusters

Mr.Perfect Prabhas, Kajal Agarwal, Tapsee

Dookudu Mahesh Babu, Samantha

Hits

Mirapakaay Ravi Teja, Richa Gangopadhyay, Deeksha Seth

Ala Modalaindi Nani, Nithya Menon

100% Love Naga Chaitanya, Tamanna

Kandireega Ram, Hansika, Aksha, Sonu Sood


Above Average

Prema Kavali Aadi, Isha Chawla

Aha Naa Pellanta Allari Naresh, Ritu Barmecha

Pilla Zamindar Nani, Hari priya, Bindu Madhavi

Oh My Friend Siddharth, Shruti Haasan, Navadeep, Hansika

Sri Rama Rajyam Bala Krishna, Nayanatara

Solo Nara Rohith, Nisha Agarwal

Average

Jai Bolo Telangana Jagapathi Babu,

Gaganam Nagarjuna, Prakash Raj

Seema Tapakai Allari Naresh, Poorna

Veera Ravi Teja, Kajal Agarwal, Tapsee

Badrinath Allu Arjun, Tamanna

Madatha Kaja Allari Naresh, Sneha Ullal

Nuvvila Ajay, Havish, Prasad, Yaami, Sarayu

Rajanna Nagarjuna, Baby Annie, Sneha

Below Average

Golconda High School Sumanth, Swathi

Kudirithe Kappu Coffee Varun Sandesh, Suma Bhattacharya

Dongala Mutha Ravi Teja, Charmi, Lakshmi Prasanna

Mangala Charmi, Pradeep Rawat, Chitram Sreenu

Teenmaar Pawan Kalyan, Trisha

Vykuntapali Krishnudu, Tashu Kaushik

180 Siddharth, Priya Anand, Nithya Menon

Virodhi Srikanth, Kamal Kamaraju, Ajay, Kamalinee Mukherjee

Brahmi Gadi Katha Varun Sandesh, Asmita Sood

Mugguru Navdeep, Rahul, Srinivas Avasarala, Shradda Das, Sanjjana, Soumya

Daggaraga Dooramga Sumanth, Vedika

Akasame Haddu Navadeep, Rajeev & Panchi Bora

Vankay Fry Sumit Arora, Anu Smriti

Oosaravelli Jr.NTR, Tamanna

Its My Love Story Aravind Krishna, Nikitha Narayan

Veedu Theda Nikhil, Pooja Bose

Panjaa Pawan Kalyan, Sarah Jane Dias, Anajali Lavania


Super flops

Parama Veera Charkra Bala Krishna, Ameesha Patel

Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu Siddharth, Shruti Haasan

Wanted Gopichand, Deeksha Seth

Vasthadu Naa Raju Manchu Vishnu, Tapsee

KSD Appalraju Sunil, Swathi, Sakshi Gulati

Raaj Sumanth, Priyamani

Chattam Jagapathi Babu, Vimala Raman

Nithya Pelli Koduku Posani krishna murali, Gowri pandit

Shakti Jr.NTR, Ileana

Nenu Naa Rakshasi Rana, Ileana

Manchivadu Tanish, Bhama

Lokame Kothaga Sivaji, Aditi Agarwal

Dussasana Srikanth, Posani Krishna Murali

Maaro Nithin, Meera Chopra

Nagaram Nidrapothuna Vela Jagapathi Babu, Charmi

Babloo Manotej, Aditi Sharma,

Key Jagapathi Babu, Swapna et al

Kodipunju Tanish, Anchal

Maayagadu Venu, Charmi

Sanchalanam Kamalakra, Sai Kumar, Supreet

Amayakudu Krishnudu, Poonam Singar, Ananya

Dhada Naga Chaitanya, Kajal Agarwal

Money Money More Money JD Chakravarthi, Bramanandam,Gajala,Tasha

Naku O Loverundi Krishnudu, Ritika

Varaprasad Potti Prasad Srinivas Avasarala, Vijay Sai, Karina Shah, Priya Ahuja

Telugammai Saloni Aswani, Shafi

Mogudu Gopichand, Tapsee

Bejawada Naga Chaitanya, Amala Paul

2012

According to CineJosh

CineJosh

1. Gabbar Singh Pawan, Shruthi Haasan

2. Rachcha Ram Charan, Tamannah

3. Eega Nani, Samantha

4. Julayi Allu Arjun, Ileana

5. Sudigadu Allari Naresh, Monal Gajjar

6. Eerojullo Srinivas, Reshma

7. Businessman Mahesh Babu, Kajal

8. Ishq Nitin, Nitya Menon

9. Bus Stop Prince, Sridivya

10. Poola Rangadu Sunil, Isha Chawla

11. Denikaina Ready Vishnu, Hansika

12. Lovely Aadi, Shanvi

13. Cgr/ Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu Pawan Kalyan, Tamannah

14. Kvj/ Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum Rana, Nayantara

15. Avunu Harshavardhan, Poorna

16. Dammu Jr.Ntr, Trisha, Karthika

17. Love Failure Siddharth, Amala Paul


According to Way2 Movies

Way2 Movies

Super Hits

Businessman Mahesh Babu, Kajal

Ee Rojullo Srinivas, Reshma

Rachcha Ram Charan, Tamannah

Gabbar Singh Pawan Kalyan, Shruti Haasan

Eega Nani, Samantha

Julayi Allu Arjun, Ileana

Sudigadu Allari Naresh, Monal Gajjar

Hits

Poolarangadu Sunil, Isha Chawla

Ishq Nithin, Nithya Menon

Oka Romantic Crime Katha Nandam, Sai Anil, Gayatri, Divya Swapna

Avunu Ravi Babu, Poorna

Dhenikaina Ready Vishnu Manchu, Hansika

Bus Stop Prince, Sri Divya

Bodyguard Venkatesh, Trisha

Love Failure Siddharth, Amala Paul

Lovely Aadi, Shanvi

Dammu Jr.NTR, Trisha, Karthika

Adhinayakudu Bala Krishna, Lakshmi Rai

Shiridi Sai Nagarjuna

Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu Pawan Kalyan, Tamannah

Routine Love Story Sundeep Kishan, Regina

Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum Rana Daggubati, Nayanatara

Yeto Vellipoindi Manasu Nani, Samantha

Midhunam SP Balasubrahmanyam, Lakshmi

Average

SMS Sudheer Babu, Regina

Mr.Nookayya Manchu Manoj, Sana Khan, Kriti Kharbanda

Mem Vayasaku Vacham Tanish, Neethi Taylor

Onamalu Rajendra Prasad, Kalyani

Life Is Beautiful Abhijeet, Sudhakar, Kaushik, Zara, Rashmi, Kavya, Shriya Saran, Anjala Zaveri, Amala Akkineni

Rebel Prabhas, Tamannah

Dhamarukam Nagarjuna, Anushka

Below Average

Dhoni Prakash Raj

Daruvu Ravi Teja, Tapsee

UKUP Manchu Manoj, Deeksha Seth

Andhala Rakshasi Lavanya Tripathi, Naveen, Chandra, Rahul

Srimannarayana Bala Krishna, Parvati Melton, Isha Chawla

Devaraya Srikanth, Vidisha, Meenaxi Dixit

Sarocharu Ravi Teja, Kajal, Richa

Super flops

Nandeeswarudu Tarakaratna, Sheena Shahabadi

Nippu Ravi Teja, Deeksha Seth

Nuvva Nena Allari Naresh, Sharwanand, Shriya Saran

Naa Ishtam Rana Daggubati, Genelia

Neeku Naaku Prince, Nanditha

Disco Nikhil, Pooja Bose

Endhukante Premanta Ram, Tamannah

All The Best Srikanth, JD Chakravarthy,

Tuneega Tuneega Sumantha Ashwin, Rhea Chakraborthy

Devudu Chesina Manushulu Ravi Teja, Ileana

Vennela 1½ Chaitanya Krishna,Monal Gajjar

Yamaho Yama Sai Ram Shankar, Parvati Melton

See also

Telugu cinemaTelugu cinema: 2010 onwardsTelugu cinema: heroines Telugu cinema: list of all-time hits Telugu Filmfare Awards

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