I am a Malayali (Keralite), but I LOVE Telugu movies. I can now understand Telugu well and can speak reasonably. I have spent a lot of time defending the Telugu film industry - often I had arguments even with Telugus. So, I thought I should write down my arguments once and for all, so as to make it easier for me in future.
Like every industry, there are bad films in Telugu too. In fact, I believe that 90% of the movies in any industry is bad. One can just choose to ignore them. So you should not judge an industry bad just because it has bad films. If there are a handful of good movies each year, then the industry should be called good. And Telugu industry certainly qualifies.
Another point is that, the high budget films try to play it safe - as the risk is higher. So, if you really want to see something different you should see the low budget films. If a certain type of low budget film makes it big, then someone might make a similar high budget film.
Now let me answer the question. There are many things that Telugu films do really well and often better than the other industries. I will list some of the things I have noticed and appreciated.
- Fights - Telugu films contain really good fights. Better than any other industry in India. The following fight from the movie Iddarammayilatho is one of my favourites:
- They showcase really good dances. Be it Junior NTR or Allu Arjun or Ramcharan, they are all good dancers. I like the dance sequences in Telugu more than any other industry in India. In fact, when I started watching Telugu, what surprised me the most is that, often the hero gets more screen-time during a song than the heroine or any other woman - because their dance is the main attraction. This was new to me.
- Their sense of humour appeals to me a lot as well. In my opinion they are second only to Malayali humour. The old Rajendra Prasad movies are really good. Brahamanandam is another great person, but, his roles were degrading lately - It was all about him getting beaten. His role in Race gurram - Kill bill pandey - was an air of freshness. I also enjoy the new wave comedy by Srinivas Avasarala, Nani, Swathi Reddy et al. Ashta Chamma, Swamy Ra Ra, Oohalu gusagusalade, Bale Bale Magadivoy are some of the movies I enjoyed. Another great comedy in recent times is Second hand. The character Subba Rao is just hilariously thought provoking.
- There are also some really nice romance stories too. My favourite is Godavari - it is a love story with a female lead. I feel many so called love stories actually portray limerence - too much idolization and fantasizing involved. This is a simple love story between equals.
- And yes, Telugu industry does experiment. Sometimes even in mainstream movies. If Arya 2 is not an experiment, what is it? To name a few experiments I enjoyed -
- Katha screenplay darsakatvam appalaraju
- Maryada ramanna
- Anthaku mundu aa thravatha - the best movie about living together among Indian films. Much better than the famous OK Kanmani!
- Second hand
- Kalavaramaye madilo
- Apart from experimental films there are many films which start out boldly and has something new and interesting to offer. But, towards the end or sometimes even the second half of the movie they shy away and shift back to routine. The movie Temper is a very good example. If the movie ended at the point where Junior NTR sacrifices himself it would have been a really bold film. Unfortunately they chose an unrealistic happy ending. So, if you choose to close your eyes towards some small flaws or see a movie and edit it to make your own movie, Telugu industry is a great source. Don't miss it.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully, I will be writing more about the things I love in the Telugu film industry.