Movie-watching…in a Bus!

During my recent sojourn to Bengaluru, I happened to watch two Telugu movies on the bus ride. I prefer taking the Volvo buses and they put on some decent movies during the journey. Why I’m explicitly penning down the experiences with these two movies is because whereas the first one kinda rekindled my belief/interest/faith/hope in Telugu movies, the second one nullified it all over! The first one was:

AMAV

Starring Venkatesh and Trisha, this one is a feel-good wholesome entertainer movie which was quite good. Ignore the whole system-crash-in-DOS sequence and turn a deaf ear to the farty-comedy scenes and its golden! Though there were no chartbuster songs, the music was quite good. Venkatesh carries the film on his shoulders throughout and his effortless portrayal of a myriad of emotions – anger, comic, cheeky, romantic, preachy, sentimental – is a treat to watch. Trisha looks good throughout. My fav part was the one where Trisha’s younger sister (played by cutie Colours Swathi) develops a crush on Venkatesh…the sequences were too good! Watching this movie made me realize Tollywood wasn’t too bad after all…and that feeling was intact till the return journey, when I happened to watch this:

Hare Ram

Starring NTR-clan-boy Kalyan Ram (in a double role that too!), Priyamani (National Award winner) & Sindhu Tolani, this movie is as lame as it can get! Based on a wierd premise – twins, one having a dysfunctional Medulla Oblongata who kills anyone who calls him ‘dumb’, older brother included – it endlessly meanders through sibling separation, sincerity in police duty, serial killings, corrupt politicos, health mafia (!), kiss-ass media, misplaced romanticism and brotherly love before ending bizarrely in courtroom drama! Having more twists than a corkscrew and a pea-brained apology of a script, this one is what defines TRIPE! And it was not as if I could stop watching…I had seat #5, right in front of the TV👿

Now I shall have to wait for another good flick to reaffirm my faith in Telugu flicks. Any recommendations?

17 thoughts on “Movie-watching…in a Bus!

  1. AMAV was directed by the Tamil director, Selvaraghavan (brother of Dhanush). That’s why it was better than any tripe produced by the Telugu film industry.

    The telugu film industry sucks. Even young directors like Puri, Rajamouli, Vinayak etc…all are pathetic.

  2. oh. I didn’t realize that…thot it was from someone like Trivikram Srinivas, Vijay Bhasker, Seenu Vaitla etc.

    It was ‘remade’ in Tamil with Dhanush in the lead IIRC.

  3. and ya, you can add the 3 guys you mentioned to the pathetic directors list. Honestly, the telugu film industry is probably the worst in India.

  4. Whoa! They’re few of those who make good movies yaar!

    Gems such as ‘Nuvvu Naaku Nachchav’, ‘Nuvve Kaavali’, ‘Anandam’ came from these directors

  5. Those are nothing but masala movies. You hardly see an offbeat, meaningful movie in Telugu. The only one that comes off hand is probably Gamyam.

    Look at the kind of Tamil movies like Subramanyapuram, Paruthiveeran etc or even Hindi movies like the ones Abhay Deol does or the ones made by Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap, Sriram Raghavan, Onir…. I see no future for the telugu movie industry. The piracy will soon kill the industry and unfortunately i have no sympathy for it.

  6. Masala movies? All three were wholesome entertainers.

    And Gamyam? Isn’t it a rip-off of ‘The Departed’😐

    But I agree that the future is bleak for the industry…once the ‘big four’ fade away, I don’t see anyone capable enough to be a ‘Star attraction’! Mahesh will go the Aamir Khan way – one film a year and others will prolly make fast buck and the movie quality will go down the drain👿

  7. @Liju Philip – You have hurt the sentiments of a hard core Tollywood fan boy!

    Puri Jagannadh – Pokiri remains to be a case study for film makers in the years to come. It’s a cult movie by itself. Puri is one of the best film makers that Tollywood saw. He is not pathetic!

    Rajamouli – Watch Chatrpati before you comment. It’s a movie liked by a lot of folks in AP and gave a new lease of life to Prabhas. His Yamadonga is also well made and appreciated. He definitely doesn’t deserve to be called pathetic!

    VV Vinayak – He may not be the best. But certainly gave some memorable hits like Tagore & Lakshmi. He is not pathetic.

    And how can you brand all the Telugu movies as cheap mass masala flicks?

    There are gems coming from directors like Sekhar Kammula, Mohanakrishna Indraganti, Anish Kuruvilla, Krish, Sai Kiran Adavi, Sekhar Suri and Thulasi Ram (Mantra).

    Please choose the right words before you make a blanket statement.

  8. @YC, that’s what they were just wholesome entertainers, not meaningful or intelligent cinema. Gamyam was a road movie. The departed’s ripoff was a movie made by JD. Equally pathetic.

    @Janakiram, if Pokiri and Chatrapati are great movies, then the fact that Telugu movies are pathetic are confirmed. Every Sekhar Kammula movie except Anand is lousy. Mohankrishna has made just one good movie Grahanam. Anish Kuruvilla has made 2 turkeys (one in which he heaped scorn on the whole telugu industry and the other Avakayi Biryani was lousy too). Mantra was just a hollywood movie wannabe.

    What works in Telugu movies is Annayya, vamsham, mogudu, pellam, vulgar songs, gore and blood, rayalaseema, telengana bidda etc. Its just a masala industry churning out masala stuff.

  9. Why would Tollywood churn out meaningful or intelligent cinema? The instant they do that, the audience will leave😛

    My bad! The JD movie was ‘Homam’, not ‘Gamyam’! Haven’t seen either…so am safe.

    And pray, which industry gives us intelligent movies regularly? Bollywood has 1-2 such movies for every 50 duds and ditto Tamil industry. Dunno abt Kannada and Malayalam industries though the latter has a reputation of coming out with the odd good movie. Maybe the Bengali industry comes close, with directors such as Rituparno Ghosh et al.

    Coming to Janakiram’s comments, though Puri Jagannath gave us the likes of Itlu Sravani, Idiot, Sivamani and Pokiri, only the first-mentioned can be called as a ‘good’ movie…the rest are mass-y entertainers which worked due to the actors in them. And yeah, most telugu flicks are wannabe-Hollywood in style and execution – Mantra, Anasuya, Visakha Express included.

    IMO, Shekhar Kammula is one overrated director. I hate Happy Days kind of movies which attempt to cash-in on college memories without having any concrete story/script👿

  10. Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and heck even Kannada makes at least 2-3 intelligent or truly hatke movies per 50 odd movies. Telugu doesnt even make one per year. That’s my beef with the industry.

  11. I guess movies are like food. It depends on individual’s taste. You cannot say Chinese food sucks while there are many people who relish it.

    I would agree with one point – The directors and stars in Tollywood are afraid of experimenting. Many films will follow a pattern based on one recent success formula.

    But for whatever it is worth, for me it is roti, kapada, makan and a movie🙂

    I make best use of my presence in Hyderabad by watching a Telugu movie every week.

    Long live Tollywood!

  12. @YC: There are better movies than those mentioned above YC. If u like movies that run on simple comedy, entertainment and family drama but not boring, suggest you watch ‘Ready’ directed by Srinu Vaitla. Srinu directed Vishnu for ‘Dhee’, one of the biggest hits last year. ‘Asta chamma’ a recent flick is not a great entertainer but is fun to watch. Tell me wht kind of movies u like watching. I’ll definitely add a few more names later.

    @Liju Philip: Watched Gamyam a week ago; it is indeed a good film but I’ve no idea if that is based on ‘The Dearted’. But I think you’ve developed hatred towards Telugu films. No wonder you call ‘Nuvvu Naku Nachav’ a masala movie and call the industry ”pathetic’.

    You might be aware that film industry, irrespective of language/region, doesn’t bank on a few ‘different’ movies. Not every telugu film is good but the industry does n’t produce movies worse than those from Tamil/Kannada/Hindi.

  13. @Janakiram: Even I have been in Hyd for the past five years…during which I’ve seen hardly 7-8 Telugu movies (compared to over a hundred Hindi and English ones) and the reason for that is the lack of quality in those movies!

    I admit that I can’t make myself to watch movies which are touted as ‘good’ but with mediocre artistes in them…thats the reason for not watching a Ready or a Dhee or an Avakai Biryani!

    @rksadhu: The last 3 movies I’ve seen in the theatre are Pokiri, Shankardada Zindabad, Chintakayala Ravi….hardly what you call enjoyable movies!

    And ‘Gamyam’ is not a remake of ‘The Departed’….’Homam’ is😈

  14. WTF happened to my Gravatar👿

  15. Liju

    Forget all this…tons of telugu movies get remade into
    other languages

    pokiri, NVNV, Bommarillu,Amma Nana Oka tamila ammayi and many more made it into Tamil as blockbusters

    Obviously, movie industry wants to make money and they stick to mainstream entertainers.

    Experimental cinema hardly cashes out.
    Many movies from telugu are dubbed into Malayalam (doyen of experimental cinema) and they do tremendously well. Keralites happily watch Tamil and Hindi for their entertainment.

    Most Hindi cinema are Hollywood remakes (partner etc ) but nobody questions that or from south indian films but cleverly clamouflaged.

    Kamalahasan has tried tons of different experiments and most of them failed.

    Rajnikanth movies are all blockbuster messaging mass masala – could not find anything new in Shivaji apart from crass comments about fair and dark skinned. (which are supposed to be educational) and yet he hangs out with a fair skinned heroine

    Anniyan stands out and the corruption scandal is again brought out in Shivaji

    One word about Directors – many leading ones produce duds often as it is hard to produce hits all the time (Mani ratnam – boyz an eg).

    I will take Bommarillu, Ashta Chemma, Ready or Pokiri (for one of a kind) for happy viewing . Mr Medhavi was worth watching (check out fullhyderabad.com)…in fact check this website for all the good ones as they write pretty critical reviews.

    Continuing the discussion…Why are all these being remade in Hindi and Tamil …take a wild guess Liju and I think you have other reasons to hate tollywood

    Strangely this is one south indian language whose movies seem to make it deep into Karnataka, tamil nadu and orissa
    and dubbed in malayalam..And the producers very well know this….

    Movie goers most of the time want to escape their day to day hardships and experience a virtual world – even hollywood realises this. Realistic movies are very much needed to keep the art alive but not in overdose🙂

  16. On another note…let us stop being parochial abt a director of a good film being a non native…If the rest of the crew and rather the Producer did not approve director’s efforts are no where.

    Varma shone in the Hindi industry – Shriya/Sada pretty much were a tollywood product.

    music directors like Vidyasagar and Radhakrishna have andhra origins but they are popular only in tamil

    Vishal and sneha are telugu by birth but they are famous in kollywood

    siddharth is tamil but he is successful only in Telugu and he likes tollywood so much that he concentrates only in tollywood and bollywood. (refused to act in tamil on his remakes)

    Bollywood has tons of maharashrians, southies, gujaratis and bengalis dont know where to stop which make it successfull.

    Stop being narrow — linguistic states have to lean on other talent to make it more versatile. I think they are putting up a brave effort already.

    Check out the kannada industry and how much they have to borrow talent to keep themselves in the run

    There is spice in variety and fusion and parochialism leads to nothing but regression

  17. Looks like you encountered Yin and Yang in one single journey.

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