Radhe Shyam, Pushpa 2 & Other Biggies To Take Tollywood A Step Higher

Overcoming Odds, Tollywood Eyes Aanand in 2022 (Photo Credits: Poster)

If the year ending is any indication, despite the Covid lockdown and restrictions, the Telugu film industry is here to stay.

Imagine, no less than 182 Telugu films had either theatrical or OTT releases in 2021! This is despite a COVID pandemic that is yet to be effectively understood or controlled.

And with a string of big-ticket titles in various stages of completion, and due for release in 2022, Tollywood certainly seems on course for further consolidation. 2022 is all set to see many releases and some established stars back on the silver screen after a short hiatus.

Megastar Chiranjeevi’s ‘Acharya’ is one of the most awaited Telugu films of the year. After his last release ‘Saira Narasimha Reddy’ in 2019, there is a lot of buzz about ‘Acharya’ which also has Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan giving him company on screen. In 2022, the megastar will also be busy with two more productions in the form of ‘Godfather’ and ‘Bhola Shankar’.

This year will also see many cinematic offerings from the Chiranjeevi family. This includes Pawan Kalyan’s ‘Bhimla Nayak’, which appears to be a stylized remake of the Malayalam hit ‘Ayyappanam Koshiyum’. The film also stars ‘Bahubali’ fame Rana. And then, Chiranjeevi’s nephew Varun Tej’s ‘Ghani’ and ‘F3’ are waiting to release this year.

Not to forget, the sequel to ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ will go on floors from March. The hit film, which released in December, stars Chiranjeevi’s nephew Allu Arjun.

Actor Nagarjuna, along with ‘Bangaaraju’ and Mahesh Babu’s ‘Sarkaru Vaari Pata’ are among other major releases expected in 2022.

In 2022, ‘Bahubali’ fame Prabhas will also return to theaters with ‘Radheshyam’. The film is also set for simultaneous release in multilingual versions. And then, the original Telugu version of ‘Kabir Singh’, actor Vijay Deverakonda is expected to set the silver screen on fire with his mixed martial arts film ‘Liger’. This film is also releasing in many languages.

The good news that has come for the film industry is the eagerness with which films were loved by the audience in 2021. Despite doomsday predictions and restrictions on theater screenings, Telugu film releases in the past year have boosted the confidence of the industry.

Sukumar, director of ‘Pushpa’ says, “It is heartening to see people return to theatres. Watching a movie is a communal experience. If not, cinemas should have disappeared in a country like America. But watch in theatres’. People queue to watch ‘Spiderman’!

In what seems to be a new trend, Tollywood has actively started looking beyond its traditional spheres of influence. Although South Indian films have had a favorable impact on Hindi-speaking audiences over the decades, they never quite turned into box-office magic. In a way, it was SS Rajamouli’s ‘Baahubali’ series that set the stage to introduce Telugu films to a pan-India audience.

After tasting the blood, Rajamouli went all guns blazing to make his next big screen project.RRR, Apart from billboarding the leads with Jr NTR and Ram Charan, Rajamouli roped in Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt for the film. The film has created panic across the country.

To capitalize on the nascent attraction among audiences for Telugu films and stars, Tollywood producers are also looking at these markets with fresh eyes. They are no longer satisfied with settling down for the revenue generated by selling the dubbing rights of their films. Now the focus is on direct release across the entire set of languages.

‘Great success’ of Allu Arjun-starrerPushpa: UdayReleased in five languages ​​- Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi – has underscored the possibility of a Tollywood release in non-Telugu markets.

Meanwhile, ‘RRR’ was scheduled to release on January 7, but as the Omicron version of Covid reared its ugly head once again, the makers of ‘RRR’ have decided to defer the release for now.

But in a sign of good times to come, names like Ram Charan, Jr NTR, Allu Arjun and Vijay Deverakonda are no longer unknown beyond the borders of the two Telugu states. In fact, Bollywood is eager to walk shoulder to shoulder with its film cousins ​​south of the Vindhyas.

Faced with adversity, the Tollywood industry has surely come upon the key to revive itself and make its fortunes.

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