This year, the Telugu film industry gave us two of the most expensive films of 2019: Chiranjeevi’s Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and Prabhas’ Saaho. And yet, these films failed to make it to this list because big money can buy expensive jet-packs, but art that connects with the audience can’t be bought. It is time that filmmakers stop paying lip service to the evolving taste of the audience and start making movies that appreciate it.
I made this list by compiling the names of films that I thought were the result of the honesty of the creators. These films have that one quality which suggests they were not made to pander to the perceived likes and dislikes of the audience. These filmmakers wanted to tell a story, show off their talent, prove their calibre, or simply wanted to have fun making a movie.
(The list is in chronological order of film releases)
How difficult is it buy a jersey from a sports store? Well, it depends on the size of the baggage of your past. Director Gowtham Tinnanuri’s film called to my mind Ben Jonson’s The Nobel Nature. The protagonist has to choose between being an oak tree aka long life and a lily of a day, aka short lifespan but full of beauty and meaning. Nani has given his career-best performance in Jersey.
READ | Jersey movie review
Director Vivek Athreya knows how to work the crowd. With every twist, the film changes its form and assumes a new shape. Just when you think you know what is exactly going on, Vivek throws another surprise at you that tells you otherwise. I can imagine Vivek in his writing room and patting his back every time he came up with a plot twist that aids in unravelling this humble but delicious story.
3. Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya
Internet-famous Naveen Polishetty has co-written this film, which marked Swaroop RSJ ‘s directorial debut. The small-budget film address how superstition exploits a society rife with god-fearing minds. And the writer duo keeps you hooked by throwing in little surprises and devastating revelations.
4. Oh! Baby
Director B. V. Nandini Reddy’s film is the official remake of the hit South Korean film Miss Granny. It is a fantasy film that examines how popularity pampers young and deserts old. Samantha Akkineni thrives in the role that reflects the possibilities of youth, the burden of old age, and society’s indifference to the desires and complaints of old people.
READ | Oh! Baby review
5. Manmadhudu 2
This film proved that Nagarjuna is in the process of discovering his inner Saif Ali Khan. In other words, cashing in on his age-defying looks and playing romantically bold characters as he grows old. Directed by Rahul Ravindran, this is the remake of French rom-com I Do. And, it is easily one of the better choices that the 50-year-old actor has made of late.
READ | Manmadhudu 2 review
Another Telugu film which is a remake of an international film. The film is based on the Spanish film, The Invisible Guest. Venkat Ramji has reimagined the hit suspense thriller better than his Bollywood counterpart Sujoy Ghosh, who remade the Spanish film in Hindi as Badla.
READ | Evaru review
7. George Reddy
2019 was the year that saw a slew of biopics in Telugu that coincided with important elections of the country. All most all biopics that came out this year mythologised their subjects. But, Jeevan Reddy, who has also written the film, steers clear of making a mythical figure out of George Reddy. He only humanizes the character taking some creative liberties.
READ | George Reddy review
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines