Who doesn’t like a sweet, relatable film that puts a smile on their face? When the film’s characters and milieu are relatable, the feeling is all the way more rewarding. Telugu cinema might be popular for larger-than-life films but look closely, there are some gems that paint a loveable picture of human values, relationships, and materialistic challenges. Exploring such relatable themes in a light-hearted tone can make way for incredibly uplifting storytelling, and we will be looking at some films that manage to elicit a positive response within us with their innate optimism and affability.
Seethamma Vaakitlo Srimalle Chettu (2013)
We’ll never stop raving about this film. On the surface, Srikanth Addala’s film is a simple family drama, but it’s filled with so many minute details about the loveable characters and their world that you are likely to find something new upon every revisit. The film might feature two massive stars—Venkatesh and Mahesh Babu—but its beauty is how it places them in an incredibly realistic set-up. They don’t have to hit hordes of men as they do usually. Their conflicts are far more simple and internal—stable careers and relationships. It’s hard to encapsulate the essence of this film in one paragraph because it’s rich in detail but the film is a sweet, joyous watch that celebrates family and humanity.
Ala Modhalaindhi (2011)
Nandini Reddy’s Ala Modhalaindhi is all things cute. The familiar boy-meets-girl romantic comedy is invigorated by beautifully written lead characters, portrayed with charm and gullibility by Nani and Nithya Menen, both of whom were in the early stages of their careers when the film came out. Ala Modhalaindhi is a fresh, urban drama that is both cinematic and relatable. For instance, Nani’s character being scared of hair loss is a recurring gag in the film and we are sure it’s a super relatable conundrum. Ala Modhalaindhi is packed with many hilarious elements although it becomes heavy at one point. The film is a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon watch and will surely put a smile on your face.
Pilla Zamindar (2011)
Another Nani starrer that finds a spot on this list is Pilla Zamindar, a comedy-drama with a heart of gold. Nani plays Praveen, a smug heir of a royal family who is compelled to let go of his opulent lifestyle in order to inherit his family’s fortune. What follows is a humbling, life-altering journey that teaches Praveen many lessons. Although the film uses comedy as a tool to pronounce Praveen’s spoilt-brat nature, it becomes heart-warming towards the end as he learns to place humans above money. Pilla Zamindar is one of those rare movies that is as good as its intentions.
Middle Class Melodies (2020)
Hands down, Vinod Anantoju’s Middle Class Melodies is one of the most enjoyable Telugu outings in the past 5 years. Like the title fittingly suggests, the film celebrates the beauty, mundanity, and simplicity of ordinary, middle-class life. Raghava (Anand Deverakonda) dreams of starting his own eatery in Guntur, despite resistance from his ever-agitated, loud-mouthed dad, Kondal Rao (Goparaju Ramana), who is straight out one of the most iconic fathers of Telugu cinema. But in order to fulfil his aspirations and get married to his sweetheart, Raghava has to overcome several challenges, from cunning relatives to his self-doubt. Middle Class Melodies will make you fall in love with its characters and you’ll be craving Bombay chutney by the end of it.
Mental Madhilo (2017)
There couldn’t have been a better title for Mental Madhilo, meaning ‘Inside the crazy heart’. The film’s protagonist, Aravind’s chronic indecisiveness keeps putting him in difficult situations and the story traces his struggles, mistakes and how he eventually comes of age and makes the biggest decision in his life. Mental Madhilo’s writing has a pleasing and pleasant quality to it which makes characters like Aravind and Swetcha (Nivetha Pethuraj) instantly likeable. Even their relationship is portrayed with so much warmth and sensibility lending the first half of the film a high repeat value.