If not for the recent surge in cases, January 2022 would already have been a blockbuster month of Telugu, and by extension, Indian cinema. With Rajamouli’s RRR and Radhe Shyam slotted for back-to-back weeks, how amazing would it have been to start a year with consecutive films that breach the 300 crore mark. Now that they’ve been pushed we need to wait a little longer for theatres to embrace films like they did with Pushpa. For now, let’s build on this excitement with a list of 15 films that could turn the tide for the industry after two rather quiet years.
Director: S. S. Rajamouli
There’s no amount of hype that’s extra for a film made by the director of India’s biggest ever hit. But RRR goes even further when you add to this the superstardom of Jr.NTR and Ram Charan in a grand period film that also stars Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn. The trailer matched sky-high expectations and the songs too have legit taken over Instagram. With a pan-Indian market and a huge production budget, the records are all ready to be destroyed. Will we get another 1000 crore film?
Director: Radha Krishna Kumar
The first look and trailer of this film presents a rather strange mix that’s part fantasy, part wild romance. Set in Italy, the story of a world-famous astrologer could lead to a lot of time travel and a whole lot of epicness. Given that it’s Prabhas’s second film after Bahubali, there’s no room for small. Add Pooja Hedge and the songs of Justin Prabhakaran and we have a mega-budget romance that’s taken years in the making.
Director: Koratala Siva
After delivering super-hits like Srimanthudu and Mirchi, director Koratala Siva is back with a big mass entertainer. He has roped in Megastar Chiranjeevi and son Ram Charan for Acharya. The visuals look great and the film promises enough room for both big action set pieces apart from powerful dialogue delivery.
Sarkaru Vaari Paata
Director: Parasuram Petla
It’s been a while since Mahesh Babu last appeared on screens. After Sarileru Nikkevvaru, his big return is with the director of Geetha Govindam, Parasuram Petla. With Keerthy Suresh, Vennela Kishore and Subbaraju in lead roles, there’s enough reason to cheer this summer.
Director: Saagar K Chandra
The Malayalam film Ayyappanum Koshiyum starring Prithviraj and Biju Menon revolves around the ego clash between an upright police officer and a retired havildar. Its Telugu remake, Bheemla Nayak, stars Power Star Pawan Kalyan and Rana Daggubati in major roles, with Nithya Menen, Samyuktha Menon and Samuthirakani in the other roles. With enough changes being made for the Telugu audience, this action-packed drama could be the perfect crossover.
Director: Puri Jagannadh
Vijay Deverakonda’s new film with celebrated mass director Puri Jagannadh may bring him closer to Pan-Indian stardom. A mix of “Lion” and “Tiger” the action film revolving around boxing also brings in Mike Tyson into an Indian film apart from stars like Ananya Pandey and Ramya Krishnan. Here’s the trailer:
Director: Prashanth Neel
Prashanth Neel changed the perception of Kannada cinema with KGF. After the release of its sequel, the director will move on to Salaar with Prabhas, which is likely to become an even bigger monster. Though not much is known about the film, it’s likely to be another gangster saga with a release in several Indian languages.
Director: Kalyan Krishna
Nagarjuna Akkineni and Naga Chaitanya Akkineni play lead roles in Bangarraju. The film is a sequel to Nagarjuna and Ramya Krishnan’s 2006 film Soggade Chinna Nayana. While these actors reprise their previous roles, Naga Chaitanya will play Chinna Bangarraju, paired up with Krithi Shetty.
Shaakantulam is a mythological tale retelling Kalidasa’s epic of Shaakantula and King Dushyanta, starring Samantha in the lead role. Directed by Gunasekhar and with music by Mani Sharma, this film is surely an welcome change from star vehicles.
Director: Anil Ravipudi
Three years after F2: Fun and Frustration, the makers are rolling out F3. In the previous film, we saw the hilarious comedy-drama about two couples and lots of fun banter. They are back again with the music of Devi Sri Prasad and Sai Sriram as the cinematographer, for the lone pure comedy in this list.
Director: Sashi Kiran Tikka
Based on the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Major will see Adivi Sesh play the role of martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan. He has also written the film which will be dubbed into Malayalam apart from direct versions in both Telugu and Hindi.
Director: Kiran Korrapati
Varun Tej plays the role of a boxer and he is said to have trained under Tony Jeffries, a former Olympian to bring authenticity to the fight scenes. The film also has an interesting line-up with Suniel Shetty and Upendra acting in it. It could be fascinating to see the Fida actor in a boxing ring.
Hari Hara Veera Mallu
Director: Krish Jagarlamudi
With Bheemla Nayak and Hari Hara Veera Malla slated for release this year, Pawan Kalyan fans have a lot going for them. Set in the 17th-century Mughal empire, this film narrates the life of legendary outlaw Veera Mallu played by Pawan.
Director: Meher Ramesh
The 2015 Tamil blockbuster Vedalam will get an official Telugu remake in Bhola Shankar. The brother-sister drama will have Chiranjeevi playing Ajith’s role with Keerthy Suresh playing his sister. Tamanaah and Raghu Babu will be seen in supporting roles.
Director: Venu Udugula
In the year of many period films, we will also be getting Viraata Parvam, a drama based on the Naxalite movement in Telangana during the 1990s. It stars Rana Daggubati and Sai Pallavi in the lead roles. A song from it titled ‘Kolu Kolu’ has already gone viral with millions of views.
Which films would you add to this list?