Any film industry thrives when there is a seamless connect between what people want to see and what makers make. Telugu film industry has been suffering from this disconnect for several years now. Makers who were focusing on excessive macho-ism and the resultant brutal violence have been passing off their inability of judgement as ” this is what people want to see”.
Movie goers in Telugu states put up with this torture for a long time. Why not ? There is too much of hero worship in the land. And to top it, there is too much diplomacy too. No one dare call a film a flop, even if it collected next to trash. Even break-even films of big heroes were usually hailed as big hits.
The first winds of change were visible in early 2014. Mahesh Babu and Venkatesh’s multi starrer Seethamma vaakitlo sirimalle chettu was very well received though it did not play to the usual galleries. But what clinched the issue was the utter rejection faced by Mahesh Babu’s Agadu. In a similar vein Gopala Gopala was well received and films like Rabhasa and Ramayya Vastavvaya were summarily rejected.
We at Andhra Nation promptly caught the changing trend and reported on the success of Gopala Gopala. In our article “Three cheers !! Success of Gopala Gopala augurs very well for the Telugu film industry” ( Click here to read it) we wrote the following
“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 the 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.”
We followed it up with the another trend catching write-up when Ram Charan Teja’s Bruce Lee flopped. In our article on the 20th Oct 2015 titled “Telugu audience are sending a strong message and Tollywood is feeling the heat !!” ( Click Here to read it) , we wrote as below.
It is time directors and the so called heroes realise that this larger than life nonsense does not work. Stop making films like Bruce Lee, Sher and Bengal Tiger !! No one is interested in them anymore.
As we get into 2016, we at Andhra Nation have been proved to be spot-on in our assessment of changing audience tastes in the Telugu land. Some one like Jr NTR who always swore by mass masala and was happy doing Rabhasa kind of nonsense did a movie like Nannaku Prematho. 4 movies released this Sankranthi and the one to be least appreciated is Balakrishna’s Dictator as he still seems stuck in the old mould. Other 3 namely Nannaku Prematho, Soggade Chinni Naayanaa and Express Raja are being well received both locally and overseas.
The final stamp of approval for the changing trend comes from Ram Charan Teja. Dead scared of his lackluster performance at the box-office, he is now busy remaking a Tamil film Thani Oruvan which is anything but a masala film.
Indeed, Telugu audience are sending a strong message and Tollywood is feeling the heat, as we said 3 months back !!