Trends of Tollywood: 6 Six Trends of Tollywood in First-half of 2024.

Trends of Tollywood: 6 Six Trends of Tollywood in First-half of 2024.

We have come through the half-year of 2024, the cine-report card seems bland despite a couple of hits. The much anticipated movies are still in the second half of the year. 

Box Office Bangers

The biggest hits of Tollywood had been only three. They are, Obviously, Kalki 2898 AD, Hanu-Man and Tillu Square. These have been the most profitable films of Tollywood. The numbers were phenomenal. Kalki is still going strong with figures indicating an easy Rs. 1000 Cr mark. Hanu-Man had crossed more than 300 Crores. Tillu Square had been at more than 100 Crores. 

Experimental and Indie FIlms. 

This year we had a fair amount of good independent movies. We had all-praised Gaami as a landmark of an ambitious experimental film for the scale it had imagined it to be. Ofcouse, the film had its flaws. The film is imperfect in terms of pacing and a few CGI hiccups too. However, the landscapes were shot well. For an Indie film produced through crowdfunding with phenomenal pre-production, Gaami certainly deserves praise for Vidyadhar Kagita’s scale of dreams. 

Double Engine, made by duo Rohith and Sasi is an interesting film that has improved on its quality. The duo’s previous films were blatantly amateurish and influenced by French New Wave. But, with Double Engine the quality has improved a lot, especially the sync-sound. And, Vivek Saagar made absolute banger music for Double Engine. 

Aarambham, the futuristic sci-fi independent movie made by a fellow of film schools, is also a fresh movie for Tollywood. Koncham Hatke, an impressive independent movie made by youngsters also caught my interest. It was a quirky buddy-comedy. I missed it when it was released in limited theatres in mid-April. Unfortunately, this movie is available to stream anywhere. 

Impact of Dubbed  Malayalam Cinema. 

The Telugu cinema had been a safe-hub for dubbed movies. Telugu audiences welcomed Tamil cinema as it is our own. Of Course, the shared history of early TFI being in Tamil Nadu might also be a reason. However, Suriya, Karthi, Dhanush, Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, VIkram, and recently Arjun Das, all heartily welcomed the other industry cinemas if the cinemas were good. Recently, Vijay Sethupathi’s Maha Raja (2024) has been a highly successful dubbed movie in Telugu States. 

Therefore, not-so-surprisingly, this year saw Malayalam’s successful theatrical releases of Premalu and Manjummel Boys. These were theatrically successful too. Proving that the good content will be well received if the cinema connects the hearts of the audiences. 

Right-wing Cinema 

It is a no-brainer matter of fact to see the shift in political narratives of Indian cinema. Telugu cinema is not an exception. There were successful cinemas (like Karthikeya 2) which were lenient towards Right-wing nationalism mirroring the sentiments of Bharatiya Janata Party’s political beliefs. Hanu-Man, this year’s biggest blockbuster, is also in the lines of intertwining religious symbolism with nationalist sentiments. 

The movie that released which is daringly stood fiercely advocating the extreme political beliefs was Razakars: The Silent Genocide (2024) of Hyderabad. I admit that I haven’t watched this movie yet. But, the political statements that this movie is making are pretty much obvious. It was a flop at the box office. Almost no one took this movie seriously. However, it is a trend to be understood if not endorsed. 

Actor and politician, Deputy CM Pawan Kalyan’s next movie with celebrated-combination of Harish Shankar as writer-director titled ‘Ustaad Bhagath Singh’ also features a few glimpses of torturing of blood-vomiting Brahmins. The movie is situated in Patthar Gunj, old city of Hyderabad, which is known for the consolidated population of Muslim Community. The movie is supposed to release in the year-end of 2024. Now, Pawan Kalyan is honoured as Deputy CM with four ministerial portfolios. So, the release might get delayed. 

The Future Biggies 

Tollywood is never short of big movies. We are an industry of commercial cinema. A few filmmakers like S S Rajamouli had mastered this skill of commercial cinema and took our masala cinema to the international audience and made them taste out spice. The future masala biggies of Telugu Cinema are Puspa 2, Devara, Game Changer, They Call Him OG. 

Pushpa 2: The Rise has been pushed to December. It is most unlikely that They Call Him OG would hit the theatres anytime soon in this year and the remaining films of Pawan Kalyan (Hari Hara Veera Mallu and Ustaad Bhagath SIngh) might not be hitting the theatres anytime soon. He had clarified that he is currently focusing on his duties as Deputy CM. 

Appreciation for the Efforts over Quality. 

Kalki 2898 AD has been the biggest release of this year. What was the unanimous talk that you have heard? Kalki was accused of preferring spectacular visuals over the effective storytelling, especially the dialogues. The lack of having a well-written screenplay takes away the repeat value from the Kalki. This can be observed in Kalki’s weakest second Monday openings compared with RRR, Bahubali 2, KGF 2, Jawan. 

The efforts have been appreciated more than anything, especially the story, in movies Hanu-Man, Gaami too. Hanu-Man had a generic treatment that obviously felt short in front of the VFX filled with cinematic high moments with its incredible music. 

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