Oftentimes, Telugu action films come across as mundane and trite. This is the result of a handful of writers cooking the same dish in the same pot for far too long. But things are not dreary in reel-and-real-life all the time. There’s always hope and a chest-thumping entertainer around the corner. Here’s a list of seven action films, one for a day each, to get you through the last week of January, 2021.
Director: Boyapati Srinu
Balakrishna has the uncanny ability to use punch dialogues to send chills across the room. His voice is powerful. It’s sad that he stars in too many frivolous films these days, but when he does get a meaty role, he aces it. Simha is a case in point. In this movie, all the whistle-worthy lines are underlined by his characteristic screech. Of course, at the heart of the narrative, there’s also a revenge story that involves a son, his dead parents, and the people responsible for the murders.
Attarintiki Daredi (2013)
The 1990s were full of family-reunion dramas. Though the permutations and combinations were different for each movie, the heroes would somehow bring the members of the warring family together, with their wits or naivety. Here, Pawan Kalyan plays a character whose sole purpose in life is to make his aunt speak to his grandfather. There’s actually no room for action in Attarintiki Daredi, but since it features an A-list actor in the lead, the director force-fits some combat-sequences into the tale and makes it seem cohesive.
Director: Vamshi Paidipally
Face/Off (1997) appears to have inspired a lot of filmmakers. While Paidipally borrowed the central theme of changing a person’s face via transplant for this particular action venture, director Siddharth Anand also used the trick for his Bollywood blockbuster War (2019). But, unlike the Hindi movie, Yevadu takes off differently, as there are several antagonists here. And all the action episodes are embedded into the movie since it’s designed as a blood-thirsty game where the protagonist goes on a killing spree.
Director: Koratala Siva
Srimanthudu is, perhaps, the first of many Telugu films in which the hero believes in giving back to society. It doesn’t happen with a quick flash though, and that’s the USP of Siva’s world. Firstly, Harsha (Mahesh Babu) learns about the village his father hails from through his girlfriend and then goes there to adopt it. It’s not a unique concept wherein everything falls into place, but the movie certainly has numerous hair-raising moments.
Baahubali: The Beginning & Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2015, 2017)
Director: SS Rajamouli
Is there another filmmaker in Indian cinema that can pull off another Baahubali? The question is not about the budget alone. It’s also about the spirit of awe the director infuses into the art of storytelling. Baahubali isn’t perfect in every sense and it doesn’t try to be either. However, it has made the world look up to Telugu cinema and the action choreography in both the parts will be spoken about for decades.
Arjun Reddy (2017)
Director: Sandeep Vanga
Arjun Reddy is, in no way, an action film, like the other titles on this list. It’s after all the story of a man who’s obsessively in love with a woman. But here’s the thing — the protagonist (played by Vijay Deverakonda) is a violent man who can’t control his anger. On the one hand, he doesn’t get a grip on his life, and, on the other, he refuses to pick up the pieces from his previous relationship and move on. This inner turmoil makes him behave like a wild animal, sometimes.
Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo (2020)
Director: Trivikram Srinivas
Again, like Attarintiki Daredi, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo has no space for action scenes. But Trivikram Srinivas swims against the current by making each stunt sequence appear stylish and fresh.
Whenever Bantu (Allu Arjun) beats up people, it’s a treat to watch as his antics are captured in slow motion. Maybe, they wouldn’t have been as fun as they are, had they been depicted through the lens of traditional filmmaking.