Tollywood made a strong comeback after the pandemic hit the industry with back-to-back destroying COVID waves. Even though very few films were released in theatres at the start of the year, that is January, Tollywood picked up slowly later and started delivering blockbusters. The film Bheemla Nayak laid the foundation for celebrating films at theatres. Later, Radhe Shyam and RRR proved the strength of Telugu cinema across the nation by standing as the best Pan-Indian films. The film Sarkaru Vaari Paata got mass appeal. The films F3 and Ante Sundaraniki brought families back to the theatres. The film Major is loved by everyone. And this list goes on. Tollywood bounced back in the first half of 2022 after going through tough times.
Here are the best movies of 2022 (First Half).
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Rowdy Boys, DJ Tillu, Bheemla Nayak, Radhe Shyam, RRR, Jayamma Panchayathi, Ashoka Vanamlo, Arjuna Kalyanam, Sarkaru Vaari Paata, F3, Major, Ante Sundaraniki, and Virata Parvam are the best movies of 2022 that were released in the first half, from January to June.
This year’s Pongal winner was Rowdy Boys. Those were the days when many actors and filmmakers were frightened to release their films because of completely unoccupied theatres. But Ashish Reddy made his debut in such times with the film Rowdy Boys and impressed everyone. The film stood as a youthful entertainer and became a blockbuster. Dil Raju, the producer of the film, had put in all his experience and came up with a perfect promotional strategy to make it reach the audience. It worked out, and the audience welcomed the film with a great response.
DJ Tillu is undoubtedly the biggest superhit film from the group of small budget movies released this year. The Telugu audience hilariously enjoyed the words and actions of DJ Tillu. Siddhu Jonnalagadda, who played the titular role, gave his career-best performance in the film. Siddhu alone carried the entire film on his shoulders. The music from Sri Charan Pakala and the background score from Thaman are the additional highlights of the film. The film was made with a budget of 8 crores and collected more than 30 crores in return. What a huge hit Siddhu bagged with this film.
Bheemla Nayak might be a remake of the Malayalam original Ayyappanum Koshiyum, but the real beauty of the film in Telugu lies in the acting of Pawan Kalyan and Rana Daggubati. The characters Bheemla Nayak and Daniel Shekar were portrayed in such a mesmerising way by the two lead actors, Pawan and Rana. Their swag, attitude, and screen presence were loved by the Telugu audience. Trivikram Srinivas, who worked as the screenplay and dialogue writer for the film, penned some powerful dialogues for both the characters. The conversations between the leads are an absolute delight. Thaman S took the audience into some trance with his massive and heavy background score. Bheemla Nayak is a perfect and well-made remake in recent times without affecting the beauty of the original.
Radhe Shyam is one of the best love stories in Indian cinema. Presenting the war between love and destiny by keeping the lead characters, Vikramaditya and Prerana, in the frontline is purely the writing brilliance of Radha Krishna Kumar, the creator of the film. Setting up the film in the 1970s Italy is another brilliant move by the director. The makers of the film chose such beautiful locations to present a beautiful romantic story. The lead actors, Prabhas and Pooja Hegde, lived in their roles. Thaman’s music lifted the film to the next level.
SS Rajamouli’s RRR is a masterpiece. One cannot talk about Indian cinema without discussing Rajamouli and his films. RRR is the best in every category of filmmaking. Three film lovers, Rajamouli, Ramarao, and Ram Charan, sweated and bled every day for about three years to create this masterpiece, and the result is enormous love from film fans all over the world and unimaginable box office collections. RRR just might be an Indian film, but the craze and response to the film crossed the border and it is internationally acclaimed. If you want to watch the best movies of 2022, then add RRR to your list on top priority.
One such cool film which takes you back to the roots of your village is Jayamma Panchayathi. The film focuses on the village culture and clearly presents the innocent minds of the rural people. Vijay Kumar’s writing is the asset of the film. Suma Kanakala makes us believe that she is Jayamma in real life too. Such a convincing performance is given by Suma. Right from the body language to the dialogue dialect, every aspect of Suma’s acting is very much incorporated into the story and the world of the film.
Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam offers us a completely different Vishwak Sen that we haven’t seen to date. Vishwak Sen faces a significant challenge in playing Arjun Kumar Allam, and he rises to the occasion. Vishwak is the showrunner of the film. He nailed the role of Arjun Kumar Allam at an exceptional level. Ravi Kiran’s writing is the core strength of the film. The writer chose a simple line but dealt with it with perfect entertainment and emotions. Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam is undoubtedly one of the best romantic entertainers on a low budget in recent times.
Sarkaru Vaari Paata is a one-man show by the superstar Mahesh Babu. Credits to the writer and director, Parasuram Petla, for presenting Mahesh in such a super-massive avatar. Mahesh’s characterization in the film reminds us of Pandugadu from the Pokiri movie, but in fact, Mahesh from Sarkaru Vaari Paata is beyond that. Mahesh’s dialogue dialect and body language are the highlights of the film. Keerthy Suresh did equally well with Mahesh. Thaman is the off-screen hero of the film. His background score is just killing. Mahesh continued his success streak with the blockbuster success of the film.
F3: Fun And Frustration, which came as a sequel to the film F2: Fun And Frustration, repeated the same success at the box office. It is difficult and challenging for a director and his team to deliver the same output and success with the sequels, but the F3 movie team broke that by providing a triple dosage of fun and entertainment when compared to the first part. Anil Ravipudi, the director of the film, scored a double hat-trick with the success of F3. From the beginning to the end, Venkatesh, Varun Tej and his gang engaged the Telugu audience with their great comedy timing. F3 is the best family entertainer of 2022 to date.
Major is not only a tribute to Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, the superhero of India in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008, but it is also a gift to every Indian. The film is truly inspiring and emotional too. Every patriot should watch this film. Not only patriotism, but the film also offers the ideology of a brave man. It is inspirational in such a way. Adivi Sesh needs all the appreciation for dreaming to make this project. From the producer Mahesh Babu and the director Sashi Kiran Tikka to the last member of the entire cast and crew of the film, they should be applauded for their selfless efforts. Major is a must-watch movie, not only for Indians but for every human.
Ante Sundaraniki is one such film you can go see with your family and enjoy for 3 hours of runtime. The film is purely a family entertainer. The audience will fall in love with Sundar and Leela. Nani and Nazriya gave such involving performances. Ante Sundaraniki is the magical presentation of Vivek Athreya’s writing. The story is simple, but as you go through the deeper layers, you find a lot more. Many dialogues in the film can be implied in our lives. The characters Sundar and Leela will stay with us for a very long time. Vivek Sagar’s music is a complimentary dish to the film.
Tollywood’s best love story in recent times is Virata Parvam. The film has very honest writing, honest making, and honest acting. Every member of the entire team gave their best, and it showed in the output of the film. Sai Pallavi gave her career’s best performance in the film. The Telugu audience will deeply connect with the character Vennela, and the emotional connection will stay for so long. Venu Udugula and Suresh Bobbili are the off-screen heroes of the film. Venu’s writing and Suresh’s music are the heart and soul of the film. Rana Daggubati, the producer and actor of the film, needs to be appreciated for taking the entire responsibility of the film. Virata Parvam will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most heartfelt and moving love stories in Telugu.
Tollywood has some masterpieces, some commercial hits, and some memorable films in its bag for the first half of the year 2022. It is a great sign for the growth of Telugu cinema. I hope many other good films come in the second half. Till then, if you haven’t watched any of the above mentioned films, go watch them, enjoy them, and keep supporting Telugu cinema and Telugu Filmnagar.