When the world is in danger, some superheroes rise to save the world from all the hurdles. The world faced such a hazard in the form of the pandemic in 2020. The pandemic spread all across the world and India was not left out either. As a result, multiple industries suffered severe losses and were shut down. Telugu Film Industry was also a part of the industries which was severely impacted due to the pandemic ensued lockdown. Telugu cinema lost its glory and celebration during the pandemic. But as we know, the Superheroes raised up to the challenge once again and they saved Telugu Cinema.
9 films got released in critical times while the entire industry was reeling from the loss from the pandemic. The makers and the actors of those 9 films took the charge and responsibility of saving Telugu Cinema. They stepped forward and released their films.
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9 Telugu films which became the saviours of TFI after pandemic in 2021 were Krack, Uppena, Jathi Ratnalu, Vakeel Saab, Love Story, Most Eligible Bachelor, Akhanda, Pushpa: The Rise and Shyam Singha Roy. Let us look at these films in detail.
It was Mass Maharaja Ravi Teja who brought the audience back to the theatres with his film Krack. The film was directed by Gopichand Malineni and produced by Madhu under the banner of Saraswathi Films Division. The film did well at the box office collecting 70 crores. Ravi Teja having his character right up his acting alley lived upto the role so perfectly. The visuals from GK Vishnu and background score from SS Thaman are an added advantage to the film. Despite the predictable storyline, the director managed to have an interesting screenplay. On a final note, Krack has the mass flavours from Ravi Teja in a regular masala movie served to the audience at the right time.
With the huge response for the songs and heavy promotions by both Mega Family and Sukumar, the film Uppena hit the theatres with huge expectations and a grand welcome. Living up to them all, the film did great at the box office collecting nearly 100 crores. The film deals with a cute love story of two youngsters who have feelings for each other. The film also shows the true colours of caste discrimination and honor killings. The performances from Panja Vaishnav Tej and Krithi Shetty nowhere did not look like they are debutants. They look wonderful together as a pair on screen. The most talented actor and nationally acclaimed Vijay Sethupathi did not have a great scope for his character, but his presence on the screen alone drove the audience to the movie theatres. Though the predictable storyline and slow pace were the noticeable flaws, the honesty in writing by Buchi Babu Sana is projected both on screen and at box office.
The film Jathi Ratnalu, a full length complete comedy entertainer from the makers of Mahanati looked promising with the fun filled teasers and trailers itself. Matching to the expectations and even going ahead, the film provided a wholesome entertainment throughout the run time. The film shows the true innocence of three friends. The trio of Naveen Polishetty, Rahul Ramakrishna and Priyadarshi are impeccable with their comedy timing and facial expressions. The debutant Faria Abdullah performed well. The background score fits so well with the illogical activities of the lead actors on the screen to provide a fun ride. One-liners in the film are the best part. The film was made on a budget of 4 crores and collected 70 crores. So keep the logic aside and enjoy this fun ride.
The most awaited film of the year was Vakeel Saab. This was because of the re-entry of Pawan Kalyan into the films after a sabbatical of 3 years. The fans had huge expectations to watch their lovable power star back on the screen after a long gap. The film was an official remake of the Hindi film Pink. Instead of choosing a full length commercial entertainer for his comeback, Pawan Kalyan opted for a message oriented film. He was seen as a lawyer in his career for the first time. Accepting the challenge of playing a character that was portrayed by the great Amitabh Bachchan in the original, Pawan Kalyan justified the role so well, especially in the courtroom sequences. Nivetha Thomas and Anjali gave impeccable performances. Prakash Raj is exceptional as always. The music and background score from SS Thaman are apt for the theme of the film. Despite the over addition of commercial elements, the film delivers a perfect message and stood as the perfect comeback for Pawan Kalyan. The film collected 138 crores at the box office.
The most discussed film of 2021 was Love Story. The director Sekhar Kammula, pairing up with Naga Chaitanya for the first time, repeating Sai Pallavi for the second time and presenting some feel good love bytes in the trailer all together got the hype for the film around in the tollywood. Standing up to the buzz it got around, Love Story laid the path for the comeback of success for Telugu Cinema after the second wave. The film shows a simple and honest love story between two career aspirants. The film touches on the issues of insecurity of the woman and community differences in the society, which are the highlights of the film. The film was completely a top notch show from the lead actors. Naga Chaitanya gave his career best performance. Sai Pallavi totally excelled in her role. With an opportunity to tell a female driven story, Sai Pallavi took the charge of leading the film. The music director Pawan is the main pillar of the film. The film is a sensible romantic ride and is a soulful experience to the audience. The film collected 70 crores at the box office.
Most Eligible Bachelor
The songs from Gopi Sundar and the looks of Akkineni Akhil as a decent romantic guy created some interest in the audience for the film Most Eligible Bachelor. The film shows the journey of a professional NRI falling for the attitude and philosophy of a desi standup comedian. Akhil was a perfect fit to the character of Harsha. The romantic moments were written and pictured so well. The film provided enough entertainment to the audience and bagged 51 crores at the box office.
Boyapati Srinu and Balakrishna are the most successful duo in the Telugu film industry and they were back with an intense action drama Akhanda to bring back the glory to Telugu Cinema after the second wave of the pandemic. The film shows how a Sadhu named Akhanda saves a family from evil people. Intense roles were always a cakewalk for Balakrishna and he proved it once again with the film Akhanda. Srikanth was very good as an antagonist. Dialogues written by M Ratnam added a great weight to the film. Balakrishna delivering such dialogues with a roaring voice was terrific. The music from SS Thaman is the pulse and soul of the film. The film was a perfect mass outing and roared with authority at the box office with the collections of 125 crores.
Pushpa: The Rise
Pushpa: The Rise created an excitement in the audience right from the beginning of the release of the promotional looks. As the title refers, the film was completely about the rise of a labourer named Pushpa against all the odds. Allu Arjun gave his career best performance till date. His look, body transformation, dialect and attitude are completely at top notch. Sunil looked terrific as Mangalam Srinu. Fahadh Faasil, one of the most talented actors of India did not get enough screen time. He is expected to steal the show in the second part. Cinematographer Kuba was exceptional with his visuals. The production values are great. The film is a one man show from Allu Arjun and he managed to collect 300 crores at the box office.
Shyam Singha Roy
Shyam Singha Roy got a great attention with the title, teaser and the trailer. The film serves the audience a pure romantic drama with the infusion of the concept of rebirth. Nani gave an excellent performance in the dual role. His look, body language and Bengali dialect were all perfectly matched with the story. Sai Pallavi was the special attraction in the film. Krithi Shetty played her part. Cinematography is great. The art department needs to be totally credited for recreating Bengal of the 1970s. The film takes us to the world of Shyam Singha Roy and we root for him forever. The film collected 43 crores at the box office till date and is running successfully.
These 9 films were the saviours of Telugu Cinema in 2021. Kudos to makers of these films for their bravery.