By Vishnu Shankar
A film like Bhale Bhale Magadivoy raked it big, both in India and overseas. That is despite the absence of the so called ‘star heroes’. Even before this, films like Gopala Gopala, Malli Malli Idi Raani Roju and Yevade Subramanyam did decent business.
Films like Bahubali and Sreemanthudu rewrote box-office records because they offered something different from the usual stuff. Rudramadevi continues to do well despite not being hailed as well made. Films like Temper and S/O Satyamurthy started well but quickly descended into poor collections. Now Kick-2 and Bruce Lee could not even start well. What does all this mean ? Telugu audience have woken up and are not willing to gulp all the nonsense that is being dished out. Don’t mind if so called star heroes and star directors are at the helm.
On 11th January this year, on the eve of release of Gopala Gopala, we wrote the following in Andhra Nation ( Read it HERE).
“” For almost a year now, Telugu audience have been rejecting loud, violent action movies. It does not matter who the hero is. Remember the last few films of super stars like Mahesh Babu, Jr NTR, Ramcharan etc. They were carefully crafted “masala action films’ on whose success the heroes and their directors were very confident about. Except for the fact that the heroes and directors failed to understand that audience have moved away and do not want to see larger than life heroes anymore. Probably they need to read the book -Who moved my cheese – on how trends change. Many so-called ” family stories’ have become successful in the last year. This is indeed a welcome trend. Ever since “Samarasimha Reddy” released on that fateful Sankranti day of 1999, Telugu films have been caught by this virus of violent villains and equally violent, loud , larger than life heroes. After a good 15 years, we can now celebrate the end of this horrible trend. Gopala Gopala is one of the few “big hero” films of recent times, which could get a “U” certificate from the censors. And this announces loud and clear that “U” certificate films can be blockbusters too !!””
It is time directors and so called heroes realise that this larger than life nonsense does not work any more. Stop making films like Bruce Lee, Sher and Bengal Tiger !! No one is interested in them anymore.
PS: As an aside, we might also be witness to the collateral damage to careers of some others. Take for example, Brahmanandam, one of Telugu cinema’s all time greats. Unfortunately, he has been boxed into such a tight narrow corner by the likes of Srinu Vaitla that Brahmanandam may now face the herculean task of re-inventing himself or risk being relegated to the pages of history.