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Special column : The Torchbearers of Commercial Telugu cinema


A good movie industry is the one that contains all types of film makers, the eccentric, the intelligent, the artsy and most importantly the commercial ones. In this article I would like to focus only on the last type, the commercial ones.

From the likes of K.Raghavendra Rao and Dasari Narayana Rao to the current generation’s SS Rajamouli, Puri Jagannath, V V Vinayak, Trivikram etc, they are hugely popular, a bit more than their contemporaries because of the commercial packaging of their movies. Even an intelligent director like Sukumar joined their league only when he could marry his concepts with the commercial aspects.

The current generation have witnessed few more commercial directors who has it in them to make it big. First one in the list is Anil Ravipudi. If you have read my previous articles, I had nothing but praises for this young talent. His commercial cinema totally reminds you of the 90s perfect mass movies but without seeming routine. I am all eyes for his Raja the Great now. It would be a sure shot entertainer even with a hero who is blind.

Next is Bobby(KS Ravindra). I have added him to this list by considering only his first movie Power. He showed some good promise in that. Though the script was very similar to many Ravi Teja movies, the handling of it showed some promise. Hero elevation scenes are like walking on a tight thin rope and he tried balancing those pretty well. Hope his Jai LavaKusa will get him his due credit.

Next in line is Sampath Nandi. His first movie Yemaindhi Ee Vela did not do justice to his talent as commercial director. But Racha and Bengal Tiger showcased that pretty well. The beginning shot of Bengal Tiger speaks volumes about his talent. And most importantly his talent is picturizing songs is a huge plus for a commercial director. All the songs of Bengal Tiger and Racha are proof of this. The first look of his GauthamNanda is nothing short of awesome.

Then we have Harish Shankar. Coming from a RGV school of film making and becoming a proper Telugu commercial director is a very peculiar case. But his movies Gabbar Singh, Ramayya Vastavayya and Subramanyam for Sale proved he is here to stay. Though Ramayya Vastavayya was not received well, it surely was a very convincing first step in the make-over of NTR. Both Gabbar Singh and Subramanyam for Sale are movies made for fans which common audience appreciated too. That is a pretty mean feat. So his next one DJ is surely raising expectations.

Lastly, Gopichand Malineni. I do not have anything against him and I want him to succeed. His success streak is much better than the others in the list. But he is borderline over the top sometimes. Be it in Balupu or Pandaga Chesko. Don Seenu was alright. Hoping that his next one, Winner is that perfect commercial cinema that he has been waiting for.

In a generation, where commercial cinema is looked down upon as a fashion statement, I am confident that these torchbearers of Telugu Commercial cinema will bring back its glory. Keep your chin up guys and keep making awesome commercial cinemas. We still love the good ones.

Column by Rohit (Opinions expressed are his own)

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