This year, the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown hit several industries in different ways. The film industry is no exception. Theatres were shut down across the country in mid-March and reopened only in the month of December. In the meantime, movies which were scripted, planned and executed for a large scale release on the silver screen had to settle for Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms. And this decision was not a piece of cake for producers, as they had to mull over the pros and cons, what with the uncertainty of when normalcy would return on one side and the financial pressure on the other.
Several Telugu movies released across OTT platforms in this period, skipping a theatrical release. Many of them are small budget films but a few big budget ones too took the OTT route. Here's a list of such movies and where you can watch them.
Krishna and His Leela: This romcom directed by Ravikanth Parepu, stars Siddhu Jonnalagadda, Seerat Kapoor, Shalini Vadnikatti and Shraddha Srinath. The film had a surprise release on Netflix on June 25. The plot revolves around Krishna, played by Siddhu, and the women he falls in love with. The movie won mostly positive reviews and word of mouth.
Bhanumathi Ramakrishna: Another romcom, this film was directed by Srikanth Nagothi, and stars Naveen Chandra and Saloni Luthra. The movie was released on Aha on July 3. The plot revolves around Bhanumathi and Ramakrishna, two single people in their 30s, who are opposite each other in personality and get into a relationship.The movie was also noted for the assertive portrayal of Bhanumathi.
Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya: The Telugu remake of the Malayalam blockbuster Maheshinte Prathikaram, was directed by Venkatesh Maha, and stars Satyadev in the lead role. The movie was released on Netflix on July 30. The plot revolves around Mahesh, played by Satyadev, who gets dragged into a conflict and he ends up declaring an absurd challenge involving his slippers. The movie can be considered as one of the first hits, in terms of audience response, among the movies released in the lockdown. It was hailed as a faithful remake of the original.
V: The action thriller directed by Mohana Krishna Indraganti stars Nani, Sudheer Babu, Nivetha Thomas and Aditi Rao Hyadri in the lead roles. The movie was released on September 5 on Amazon Prime Video. The film revolves around Vikram, played by Nani, who goes on a killing spree and challenges a police officer, Vivek, played by Sudheer, to catch him. However, the movie was not up to the audience's expectations.
Nishabdham: The movie directed by Hemanth Madhukar stars Anushka Shetty, Madhavan and Anjali in the lead roles and was one of the few major Telugu movies to be released online. The crime thriller was bought over by Amazon Prime Video and was released on October 2. The movie revolves around Anushka’s character, Sakshi, an artist with hearing and speech disabilities, and what happens she becomes the only witness to a murder. You can check out TNM’s review of the movie here.
Orai Bujjiga: The movie, which was directed by Vijay Kumar Konda, stars Raj Tarun, Malavika Nair and Hebah Patel. The romcom was released on Aha on October 2. The plot revolves around two young people who leave their respective homes to avoid marriage for different reasons; however, it is assumed in their village that they eloped together. Despite the fun premise, the film failed to create an impact.
Colour Photo: Directed by Sandeep Raj, the film stars Suhas and Chandini Chowdary in the lead roles. The movie was released on Aha on October 24 and gave the platform notable visibility. The film, which is set in the '90s, revolves around a young couple and the conflicts in their relationship that arise due to colour and caste. The movie was appreciated by audiences and critics alike.
Gatham: This film directed by Kiran Reddy stars Rakesh Galebhe and Poojitha Kurapathi. The psychological thriller released on Amazon Prime Video on November 6. The plot revolves around Rishi, who wakes up in a hospital without any memory, and how he manages to unravel what happened to him without knowing his gatham (past). The movie was made by IT professionals and students from the United States and was considered as a decent attempt.
Middle Class Melodies: The comedy drama directed by Vinod Anantoju stars Anand Deverakonda and Varsha Bollamma in the lead roles. The movie was bagged by Amazon Prime Video and was released on November 20. The movie revolves around Raghava, played by Anand, who wants to set up a hotel in Guntur, with his favorite recipe ‘Bombay Chutney’ that he learned from his mother. The movie was received well by the audience online and gave Anand Deverakonda his first hit.
Miss India: The movie directed by Narendra Nath stars Keerthy Suresh in the lead role. The movie was released on Netflix on November 4. The plot revolves around Manasa Samyuktha, played by Keerthy, whose goal is to do ‘business’ and she chooses to set up a ‘chai’ brand. The movie was a huge disappointment to most.
Maa Vintha Gaadha Vinuma: The movie directed by Aditya Mandala has Siddhu Jonnalagadda and Seerat Kapoor in the lead roles. The movie was released on Aha on November 13, on the occasion of Deepavali. The romantic comedy revolves around a young couple, Siddhu and Vineetha. There's a twist in the tale when a video of theirs goes viral. The movie received a fair response.
It was previously speculated that Sai Dharam Tej’s Solo Brathuke So Better and Ram Pothineni’s Red would also have OTT releases. However, these films have waited for a theatrical release, and Solo Brathuke So Better will hit the screens on December 25.
Watch Middle Class melodies trailer here :