The Telugu film industry began 2020 on a positive note. The Sankranti releases lit up silver screens across south India and minted moolah at the box office. That bullish trend, however, was short-lived due to the outbreak of coronavirus. The Telugu film industry was brought to its knees like all its peers across the world. Some movies did not get released, and many movies did not get made. And as a result, we only have five movies that are worth considering for the “best of 2020” list.
Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo: The family drama marked the return of Allu Arjun to the box office after a gap of two years. The actor sort of took a sabbatical after his much-hyped Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India failed to fetch desired success in 2018. Trivikram Srinivas takes inspiration from Ramayana and turns in an energetic and engaging melodrama.
Sarileru Neekevvaru: All Mahesh Babu ever wanted out of this film was to sell enough tickets so that it gets declared “blockbuster”. And Anil Ravipudi does exactly that. The director weaves together a bunch of tried-and-tested heroic moments that he knows will send hardcore fans of Mahesh into a frenzy in theatres. He also manages to keep the audience entertained throughout the film’s run-time.
Extra points to Anil for handling the subject of patriotism with some care and awareness.
Disco Raja: 2020 gave us a watchable Ravi Teja film, with some ambition in terms of scale and imagination. And that alone qualifies this film to be on this list. The credit goes to director VI Anand, who effectively added a bit of sci-fi to a lively masala movie.
Krishna and His Leela: Director Ravikanth Perepu and co-writer Siddu Jonnalagadda make a favourable case for the hero Krishna who revels in dating two girls at the same time. It is one of those modern-day rom-coms that kinda says, “play the field while you still can.” Live, regret, learn and move on are the key emotions that drive the plot. Despite its flaws, it is still breezy. And that is a must-have quality for a rom-com.
Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya: Venkatesh Maha, who gave us C/o Kancharapalem, helmed Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya. And nobody could have done a better job of remaking Malayalam hit Maheshinte Prathikaaram. The story of a happy-go-lucky guy taking the path of vengeance while still retaining his innocence leaves you with a warm feeling.
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