Telugu cinema has evolved a lot from an industry with four pillars to an industry where the pillars keep changing every Friday. Just last week it was Nani’s turn. It does not matter who agrees but there is a never-ending race between heroes and Nani is leading that race among young heroes. His acting is his major asset.
The immediate next name I can think of is Nikhil. The way he bounced back with Swamy Ra Ra and not taking the name of looking back is unprecedented in Telugu cinema. It is like he found his Genie’s lamp that is granting him new age stories and talented filmmakers one after the other. Now when we look back, one can say that his Swamy Ra Ra was Siva of metroplex movies for this generation. The movies releasing now can easily be termed as post-Swamy Ra Ra era movies. Good thing is he is changing genres too, instead of sticking too what is working and they are working too. Let’s just hope that he never loses his Genie’s lamp.
He is not new in the industry but his story is similar to Nikhil except that his dry patch was a little bit longer. He is Nitin. For 8 years or so post-Sye, Nitin did not have any mention-worthy movies. Then Ishq happened which introduced a great film maker to Telugu cinema who is reaching greater heights every day. Post Ishq, Nitin had become very stringent in choosing subjects. He faltered here and there but A Aa changed everything for him and the industry is eagerly waiting for his next move.
Naga Chaitanya and Sai Dharam Tej had very shaky starts to their careers. But looking at where they have reached today, one can say that, they owe so much to picking the right scripts at right moments. Both had movies that faced release struggles and today they turned out to be bankable stars. Chay is experimenting with his scripts and genres while Dharam Tej is picking the right commercial subjects instead of silly potboilers. And both are succeeding in their own way.
Sharwanand is slowly emerging as the bankable actor with the right kind of movies. Then we have Sudheer Babu, Varun Tej, Ram, Raj Tarun, Naga Shaurya etc who look very promising but have a few hits and few misses till now. Nevertheless, it can be said that they are on the right track.
Two heroes, I would love to see back in form with these young heroes are Manoj and Allari Naresh. Allari Naresh though mostly made comedies, his off-beat movies like Gamyam, Shambo Shiva Shambo, Nenu, Praanam etc were all memorable roles. Manoj seems to have moved away from his experimenting days and focused more on commercial cinema but his movies Nenu Meeku Thelusa, Prayanam, Vedam, even Mr.Nookayya were all good experiments though did not end up with expected outcomes.
We never had so many bankable heroes in Telugu cinema all at once and all in form too at the same time. And we all can see how this is changing the face of Telugu cinema. Agree or not, heroes are the main driving force behind the changing trends and this new blood of heroes are surely raising hopes for the future of Telugu cinema. We can also talk about the huge list of new-age directors but I shall save that for another day and another column.
– Column by Rohit (Opinions expressed are his own)