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A lot to look forward to, from period dramas, biopics to buddy flicks
2017 was a phenomenal year for Telugu cinema. We not only saw a huge shift in audiences’ acceptance of diverse and sensible cinema, but the filling up of coffers has given producers too great strength and confidence to experiment with directors from a short films background or absolute first timers. A few of these debut directors who suceeded in the recent years are gearing up for new projects in 2018. Biopics galore
Praveen Sattaru has never disappointed himself or the audience. He had always moved up a step or more with every project he undertook. The best part about Sattaru is he takes a risk and is not repetitive; he believes in his subject and characters; which is why he treated Dr Rajashekar as a mere character and revived his star status with PSV Garuda Vega. Sattaru’s next film, with Nithiin will be released in 2018. Another project that has the potential to get Sattaru a universal fan following, is a biopic on badminton coach Pullela Gopichand. It will showcase the player’s professional and personal life and has an emotional angle that can move and inspire people.
Another biopic is Mahanati helmed by Nag Ashwin a self assured director. Anyone who has seen Yevade Subramanyam and hoped that this auteur would not do something clichéd, was not surprised at this choice. Despite reservations on his casting (Keerthy Suresh plays the iconic Savitri), audience can only hope he executes it well.
Mahanati has an eclectic mix of actors from the southern states, including Dulquer Salman, Vijay Deverakonda and Samantha.There are bound to be both bouquets and brickbats as none will ignore this film on Telugu film industry’s beloved Mahanati. Teja, who got a new lease of life with Nene Raju Nene Mantri, has announced a biopic on NTR.
Director Sukumar’s Rangasthalam 1985 that is due for release in late March, will put the acting abilities of Ram Charan and Samanthato test as the subject, according to industry insiders, is the director’s best till date. Sukumar, we learn, has written the scenes in a different way. A story of siblings and romance, it has settings that recreates the 80s. Ratnavelu is the magician behind the camera. Meanwhile, who will want to miss a Trivikram film? Agnyathavasi has the sultry Anu Emmanuel and the pretty Keerthy Suresh romancing Pawan Kalyan. Trivikram understands the protagonist more than anyone else and will design dialogues that are bound to send his fans into a frenzy.
Then there is Koratala Siva’s Bharat Ane Nenu starring Mahesh Babu. Following the disaster of Spyder, this one has to work considering the success ratio of the director. All the three films by Sukumar, Trivikram and Koratala Siva, have a lot riding on them. Director Tharun Bhascker’s debut feature Pelli Choopulu (2016) brought cheer aplenty to the market. His forthcoming project is a buddy flick. Pelli Choopulu that was made with ₹1.41 crore including remunerations, went on to collect ₹11 crores. Meanwhile, Raj Kandukuri produced Mental Madhilo in 2017. Vivek Athreya who directed Mental Madhilo is now a name to reckon with.
We have had an overdose of queens, but you still got to see Anushka-starrer Bhaagamathie, a modern day trilingual thriller. Then the Queen is being remade in all four southern languages. Tamannaah Bhatia reprises Kangana’s role in Telugu while Kajal Aggarwal will play the part in the Tamil remake.
Rana Daggubati, who has been choosing projects sensibly and staying away from the typical commercial song and dance films, will be seen in the period war film 1945 (Madai Thiranthu in Tamil), directed by Sathyasiva. 1945 will see Rana as a soldier in the Indian National Army.
Director Krish will aim for a pan-Indian historical with Manikarnika starring Kangana Ranaut. He couldn’t have asked more or better after Gautamiputra Satakarni. Surender Reddy’s magnum-opus Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy starring Chiranjeevi, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi and Amitabh Bachchan presents the story of the popular Rayalaseema-based freedom fighter.
Other directors’ outings:
Boyapati Srinivas known for his formula flicks, will be directing Ram Charan next and Teja has announced a movie starring Venkatesh. All eyes will also be on Ram Gopal Varma to see what he has in store for Nagarjuna’s next. The other awaited films include Vakkantam Vamsi’s Naa Peru Surya starring Allu Arjun, Sujeeth’s Saaho with Prabhas, Chandoo Mondeti’s Savyasachi with Naga Chaitanya, Sharwanand’s films by Sudheer Verma and Hanu Raghavpudi (this with Sai Pallavi), Sriram Aditya (with Nagarjuna and Nani) and Merlapaka Gandhi’s Krishnarjuna Yuddham (with Nani in a double role), Maruthi’s Sailaja Reddy Alludu (with Naga Chaitanya, Anu Emmanuel and Ramya Krishna). Awe by director Prasanth Varma will see Nani turning a producer alongside stylist Prashanti Tipirneni. The film’s cast featuring Nithya Menen, Kajal Aggarwal, Regina Cassandra, Srinivas Avasarala and Murali Sharma has raised anticipations.
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