2017 was a memorable year for the Telugu film industry, in terms of the box office collections. Well, it seems the record collection their films can make in the shortest span of time was the only thing that was on the minds of filmmakers. For many, the box office collection seems to be the ultimate barometer of good cinema and it seemed to have taken a toll on creative thinking to make films that truly move the audience.
Here is my list of Telugu films that managed to entertain us and had something interesting to offer within the spectrum of commercial films. The Telugu film industry is also showing the signs of changing aspirations of actors and filmmakers. Which we expect to translate onto the big screens next year.
Arjun Reddy: This one is an exception. The over 3-hour film follows the protagonist, who is on a mission of self-destruction after losing his love to family pride and collective honour. He is self-loathing by indulging in casual, emotional-less and to some extent revenge sex. Add to the list his chronic drinking problem, meet the modern day Devdas, effortlessly played by Vijay Deverakonda. Written and directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, Arjun Reddy is brilliant cinema.
Baahubali: The Conclusion: The second part of the epic franchise made waves across the world, thanks to the imaginative mind of director SS Rajamouli. Well, unlike Baahubali: The Beginning, Baahubali 2’s story gets predictable but the scale the film was made on, helped India flaunt its wealth and talent to the world.
Ami Thumi: I had no much expectations when I bought a ticket for this film. But, it had me in splits almost 90 percent of its run time. The screwball comedy was written and directed by Mohanakrishna Indraganti.
Fidaa: Written and directed by Shekhar Kammula, the romantic drama revolves around constantly changing power dynamics between a couple. The film has its drawbacks but Sai Pallavi’s power-packed performance makes up for the shortcomings.
Jai Lava Kusa: Filmmaker KS Ravindra wrote and helmed this film with a sole purpose of highlighting the acting talent of Jr NTR. And Jr NTR delivers.
Shatamanam Bhavati: Set in the background of Sankranti festival, it was a by-the-book drama that talks about the eroding values of families in the modern times. It is directed by Satish Vegesna.
PSV Garuda Vega: Actor Dr Rajasekhar made a comeback to the big screen and how. He sprung a surprise with this engaging thriller, which is written and directed by Praveen Sattaru.
Hello: This film was definitely a right step in the young career of Akhil Akkineni and it introduced to us the beautiful and talented Kalyani Priyadarshan. A fairy tale, with the shades of Serendipity, charms our hearts. It is written and directed by Vikram Kumar.
Spyder: An intelligence officer crosses paths with a serial killer and things get pretty interesting. SJ Suryah’s performance as a psycho killer, visibly inspired by Heath Ledger’s Joker, is the highlight of this thriller, written and directed by AR Mmurugadoss.
Gautamiputra Satakarni: This film is all about actor Balakrishna. He seems effortless in delivering lengthy punch dialogues in the film that boasts of some well-crafted set pieces. It is written and directed by Krish.