Romance is a genre that people love to watch, irrespective of the language. Right from old school romance to modern day love, films that portray emotion, passion and obsession always strike a chord with the audience. And the Telugu film industry is no exception to making some truly enjoyable romantic movies.
From Vijay Deverakonda’s Geetha Govindam to Naga Chaitanya’s Sailaja Reddy Alludu, Telugu audiences who love the genre are in for a feast, with a slew of rom-coms that are awaiting release this year. But before these releases hit the screens, let’s take a look at a few Telugu romantic dramas that took the audience by awe with their simplicity and new-age storytelling techniques.
Chi La Sow (2018)
Actor Rahul Ravindran’s debut directorial, the recently released film Chi La Sow is a simple sweet love story that narrates the tale of Arjun (Sushanth) and Anjali (Ruhani). Though at the outset, the movie that revolves around the marriage prospects of two youngsters, may appear to have faint similarities with Tharun Bhascker’s Pelli Choopulu, the backdrop in which the love story is set is unique and has not been tried before.
The circumstances in which the lead pair falls in love and how all of it is balanced is the best part of Chi La Sow. It is an important film, one which places much of its emotional core at the hands of its women characters. And as critics have pointed out, it leaves us wondering with one question: What does it take for you to say ‘yes’ to someone, whether it is love or marriage?
True to its name, Sammohanam has its magical moments that make the first-half of the movie lovable. Though its unpolished second-half is a let-down, award winning director Mohanakrishna Indraganti made the movie a pleasant experience with appealing characters who have a modern outlook on rejections and failures.
With Aditi Rao Hydari and Sudheer Babu playing the lead roles, Sammohanam is the story of a cartoonist, who absolutely loathes movies but falls in love with an actor who stays at his home for the shoot of a movie. Aditi and Sudheer strike an interesting chemistry - where her lack of fluency in Telugu is cleverly turned to the actor’s advantage, giving an exotic quality to her dialogues.
Though the movie comes with its own flaws in the second half, wonderful music, strong female characters and an interesting take on certain social issues made the movie win a thumbs-up from critics.
Fidaa is best remembered for Premam fame Sai Pallavi’s stellar entry into Tollywood. Striking an excellent chemistry with Varun Tej, Sai Pallavi did a great job as Bhanumathi, carrying the film on her shoulders.
Though the film didn’t have much to offer apart from a few a memorable scenes of the love-hate-love relationship between a US bred hero and a woman who grew up in a village, it scored points with its flawless cinematography and pleasant music that topped charts for weeks together.
Elaborately shot in Banswada of Telangana and in various parts of the US, Sekhar Kammula’s realistic frames brought life into the film.
Ninnu Kori (2017)
Ninnu Kori was a character-driven film and Shiva Nirvana invested plenty of time in developing each of the characters, who have to deal with their share of pain and turbulence in their lives. Nani is terrific in the role of a young man who nurses a broken heart and finds it hard to come to terms with his life. Although he has a funny side, there’s plenty of emotional weight that he carries throughout the film.
Nivetha Thomas adds edge to the conflict between the characters and it's a performance for which she won critical acclaim.
As many critics said, Ninnu Kori is a trip down memory lane, filled as it is with people we once loved (and probably still do) and what happens to us when life doesn’t turn out the way we want it to.
And this beautiful trip to the past is exactly what made the movie earn laurels.
Pelli Choopulu (2016)
Directed by newbie Tharun Bhascker, this ‘slice-of-life’ film was a breath of fresh air in the Telugu rom-com genre. A break from the usual rom-coms that had the hero falling in love with the woman at first sight, Pelli Choopulu tells us the story of Prashanth (Vijay Deverakonda), a dreamer, and Chitra (Ritu Varma), the practical one, who is willing to work with sharp business acumen. Poles apart in their outlook to life, they find a small connect - food.
What made Pelli Choopulu stand apart in the legion of other rom-coms is its realistic portrayal of characters and a woman lead, who carves a man out of her childish boyfriend. And she does this not with her wifely virtues but by being a practical businesswoman and holding the man responsible for his misdeeds.
The film also scored points for its soulful music and subtle humour.
Ala Modalaindi (2010)
Directed by the highly acclaimed director Nandini Reddy, the film brought Tollywood’s two finest actors together – Nani and Nithya Menen. Nani wowed the audiences and critics alike with his comic timing and acting. He plays the romantic lead opposite Nithya Menen and their chemistry charmed cine-goers all over.
The film garnered praise for its humour that is brought on screen by the hero, heroine and their families, unlike the usual band of comedians who fool around the lead characters. Action and romance add zest to the witty dialogues, which had Nani and Nithya at their natural best.
Another Sekhar Kammula hit, Godavari is about the dream of an idealistic guy who starts with nothing and grows to be everyone’s favourite. It is also the story of Seeta and the river cruise from Rajamundry to Bhadrachala
While Sumanth plays the role of the hero who leads an upright life, Kamalinee as Seeta is the soul of the film. After Anand, for the second time, Sekhar Kammula created a remarkable woman lead who swept the viewers’ off their feet with her fierce and independent character.
While KM Radhakrishnan canned some soulful music for the movie, cinematographer Vijay C Kumar’s capturing of river Godavari and Papi Kondalu at a gigantic scale were advantages for the film.