Conquering all the odds, Tollywood industry sees 2022 with hope Chiranjeevi
The Telugu film industry is here to stay, despite Covid lockdowns and limitations, if the past year is any clue.
In 2021, no fewer than 182 Telugu films were released in theatres or on demand! Despite a Covid pandemic that has yet to be fully recognised or adequately controlled.
With a slew of big-budget films in various stages of production and set to hit theatres in 2022, Tollywood appears to be on track for even more centralization. Several films are planned to be released in 2022, with a number of well-known actors returning to the big screen after a brief break.
‘Acharya,’ starring Megastar Chiranjeevi, is one of the most anticipated Telugu films of the year. Following his most recent release, ‘Saira Narasimha Reddy,’ there is a lot of buzz surrounding ‘Acharya,’ which also stars Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan. The megastar will also be busy in 2022 with two additional productions, ‘Godfather’ and ‘Bhola Shankar.’
The Chiranjeevi family will also have a plethora of film releases this year. ‘Bheemla Nayak,’ directed by Pawan Kalyan, appears to be a stylized replica of the Malayalam smash ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum.’ Rana from the ‘Baahubali’ franchise also appears in the film. Then there’s Chiranjeevi’s nephew Varun Tej’s ‘Ghani’ and ‘F3’, all of which are set to hit theatres this year.
Not to mention that the sequel to ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ will begin filming in March. Allu Arjun, Chiranjeevi’s nephew, starred in the popular film that was released in December.
Other big releases in 2022 include actor Nagarjuna’s ‘Bangarraju’ and Mahesh Babu’s ‘Sarkaaru Vaari Paata.’
Prabhas, the star of ‘Baahubali,’ will return to the big screen in 2022 with ‘Radhe Shyam.’ The film will be released in multiple languages at the same time. Then, with his mixed martial arts film ‘Liger,’ star Vijay Devarakonda, the original Telugu version of ‘Kabir Singh,’ is expected to light up the silver screen. This film is also available in a variety of languages.
The enthusiasm with which movies were devoured by moviegoers in 2021 is welcome news for the film business. Despite doomsday forecasts and screening limitations, Telugu film releases over the last year have boosted industry confidence.
Sukumar, the director of ‘Pushpa,’ says, “It’s encouraging to see people going back to the movies. Movie watching is a social activity. In a country like the United States, movie theatres should have vanished by now. However, look at the lines for ‘Spiderman’ in theatres!”
Tollywood filmmakers are looking at these countries with fresh eyes, capitalising on the newfound interest in Telugu films and performers among consumers. They are no longer satisfied with the cash earned by the sale of dubbing rights to their films. Straight releases in a variety of languages are currently the priority.
The phenomenal success of Allu Arjun’s ‘Pushpa: The Rise,’ which was released in five languages – Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi – has highlighted the non-Telugu market potential for Tollywood films.
Meanwhile, ‘RRR’ was supposed to be released on January 7, but with Covid rearing its ugly head again in the shape of the Omicron variation, the makers of ‘RRR’ have opted to postpone it for the time being.
However, names like Ram Charan, Jr NTR, Allu Arjun, and Vijay Devarakonda are no longer unknown outside of the two Telugu states, indicating that good times are on the way. In fact, Bollywood appears to be keen to mingle with their filmy cousins from the Vindhyas south of the Vindhyas.
Faced with difficulties, the Tollywood industry appears to have discovered the answer to reviving and rebuilding its fortunes.