Ten Telugu Romances Available On Netflix, Amazon Prime, AHA…

In an industry known for its big-budget action films or the other extreme of over-the-top family dramas, we often overlook the number of lovely romances that the Telugu film industry has given us in this millennium. In fact, newer stars of this period such as Nani and Arjun Deverakonda relied heavily on these ‘light’ films to reach where they are today. Outside of the Baahubalis, these are also perfect films to watch to get introduced to new-age Telugu cinema. Available on the various OTT platforms, here’s a list of 10 films to get started with.  

Anand (2004)

Available on: Hotstar

Anand is more about Roopa (Kamalini Mukherjee) than Anand (Raja). This is director Sekhar Kammula’s sophomore film after Dollar Dreams, and the way it was structured proved that he was a creator who is here to stay. The film is memorable for its writing, music and performances. Even now, you don’t get to see too many characters like Roopa on screen. If you do, it’s probably in another Kammula film! She’s self-assured, generous to a fault, and has the grace to move on. 

Ashta Chamma (2008)

Available on: YouTube

Long before he made a film like V, its director Mohana Krishna Ingraganti adapted Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest for the Telugu audience. The debut film of actor Nani, there’s much to love and rewatch in this rom com. With its quirky characters, including Lavanya (Swathi Reddy) who plays a heartbroken Mahesh Babu fan (because he didn’t marry her!), lovely voiceovers and music, the film remains hip to this day. 

Ala Modalaindi (2011)

Available on: Amazon Prime

Another Nani starrer, this film was the debut of both Nithya Menen (in Telugu) and its director Nandini Reddy. It’s a simple boy-meets-girl love story that stood apart then for its freshness in treatment, music and performances. Given that the meet-cute is between two people considered failures in love, things could have only gone up from there.  

Oohalu Gusagusalade (2014)

Available on: YouTube

This standard issue ‘love-hate-love’ film directed by actor Srinivas Avasarala and starring Naga Shourya and Raashi Khanna, had its fair share of twists with an ‘uninvited guest’ and an unusual screenplay. Perfect for an easy watch, there’s loads to laugh at and even more to smile about. 

Pelli Chupulu (2016)

Available on: MX Player 

The film that actually made Vijay Deverakonda a darling was this sweet rom-com that starts off with a hilarious mix-up. A groom lands up in the wrong house to meet his prospective bride. But when they get locked up in a room by accident, many truths are revealed to fast forward their relationship to a more evolved stage. Watch out for Ritu Varma’s lovely performance as a solid friend and an even more tough taskmaster.   

Fidaa (2017)

Available on: Amazon Prime

Another Sekhar Kammula film, Fidaa revolves around Bhanumathi (Sai Pallavi) who believes she’s one of a kind, and her love-hate-love relationship with Varun (Varun Tej), whose brother is married to her sister. She loves her land too much to think of moving abroad, and Varun seems rooted in the US, where he grows up. He’s clear about what he feels for her, but Bhanu holds herself back, till her father tells her to follow her heart. When was the last time you saw the heroine drive a tractor, not for effect, but because she is so connected to her land? Oh, the gloriously-choreographed songs are a good reason to watch the film too.

Mental Madhilo (2017)

Available on: Aha & Yupp TV

Mental Madhilo is about the kind of boy who struggles to make decisions when he’s given choices. So what if you put him in a spot where he has to choose between two women?  Though it didn’t get the response it deserved, this underrated urban romance directed by Vivek Athreya had good performances by Sri Vishnu, Amrutha Srinivasan and Nivetha Pethuraj.

Evvarikee Cheppoddu (2019)

Available on: Netflix

This is certainly not the first love story that placed caste as its central conflict, but it’s definitely among the first to treat the issue with quirks and humour. Watch this film directed by Basava Shankar Eeday for some good laughs and unique writing.

Krishna And His Leela (2020)

Available on: Netflix

Ravikanth Perepu’s film that released directly on OTT was trending for quite a while for its fresh premise and a mature depiction of romantic relationships. Jonnalagadda Siddu who played the male lead Krishna also co-wrote the film. Shraddha Srinath and Shalini Vadinikatti play the two loves of his life. The film took a classy look at new-age relationships and the women were very well-written characters, who had a mind of their own. 

Bhanumathi Ramakrishna (2020)

Available on: Aha

A rich urban girl meets a middle-class small towner in one of Hyderabad’s upscale office spaces. But what’s new about that? Instead of another “opposites attract” romcom, the makers tell us the story from the girl’s side as she struggles to find love again in her early 30s. Mature, perceptive and understated, this romance stands out for the way it seldom tries hard to impress its viewers. 

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