Films On Amazon Prime Video
Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya
Director: Swaroop RSJ
A rare comedy thriller, Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya, is unlike any other whodunit you’re likely to discover. The titular Agent (Naveen Polishetty) wears a trench coat, drives an old Fiat and prays to Sherlock. But he’s also the clever detective running the FBI (Fathima Bureau Of Investigation).
Director: Bharat Kamma
Dear Comrade is a love story you cannot forget too easily but it’s also about a special friendship between Bobby (Vijay Deverakonda) and Lilly (Rashmika Mandanna) who are also…comrades to each other. With lovely music and great performances, the intensity of this film is hard to shake off.
Director: Sandeep Reddy Vanga
Arguably THE most controversial film in recent times (along with its North Indian twin Kabir Singh), Arjun Reddy was an all-consuming trailblazer you just couldn’t resist. Love it or you hate it, this film NEEDED to be seen and it also made Vijay Deverakonda the angriest young man for a whole new generation.
Director: Ritesh Rana
Mathu Vadalara is a zany thriller in which a minor con by a delivery guy to make a quick buck goes horribly wrong and turns into a serious crime involving drugs and murder. In the end, though, all the seemingly random loose ends are tied up rather cleverly.
Director: Shiva Nirvana
This mature love story takes off from where most other films end. Dealing with the kind of love that begins after marriage, Majili, starring real-life couple Samantha Akkineni and Naga Chaitanya, asks tough questions of us, especially when the husband has a past that’s not too easy to forget.
Director: Vikram Kumar
Gang Leader is a comedy driven by emotions. Five bereaved women who have lost their loved ones want revenge against the villain responsible for their grief. They plan to take the help of a crime writer, who they assume must be an expert in plotting murders. Little do they know that he is as hapless as the rest of them.
Among the best and blessedly unapologetically masala films in recent years, this Ram Charan starrer is about a hard-of-hearing ‘engineer’ who has a way of fixing things in his village. It’s a classic masala entertainer but also consistently unpredictable and has a killer ending.
Antariksham 9000 KMPH
Director: Sankalp Reddy
This Varun Tej-starrer might not be perfect but it’s still a film of great ambition. Antariksham 9000 KMPH, the first Telugu sci-fi film to be set in space has a lot going for it, especially the production design.
Director: Nag Ashwin
A heartbreaking biopic about the great actress Savithri is among the best Telugu films of recent times. Starring Keethi Suresh (who won the National Award for this performance) and Duqluer Salmaan, this real-life tragedy takes you back in time to an age of filmmaking like few other films do.
Director: Vivek Athreya
Brochevarevarura is a great mix of suspense and comedy. The story moves along two arcs. One of them is set in a school and focusses on a gang of good-for-nothings. The other is about a debut director and a female actor he is trying to cast. The simple, feel-good ending is satisfying even if it’s predictable.
Director: Sekhar Kammula
This charming love story made Sai Pallavi an instant celluloid sweetheart for the Telugu-speaking audience. You’ve probably already heard the monstrously viral ‘Vachinde’, and this romance between an NRI boy and the confident girl he meets during his brother’s wedding is one you can watch on loop.
Films On Hotstar
Khaithi No 150
Director: VV Vinayak
This remake of AR Murgadoss’ Vijay starrer Kaththi is proof that Megastar Chiranjeevi’s swag is still very much intact. He gets a group of pensioners to protest an injustice by shutting down the water supply to an entire city. It’s loads of fun.
Krishna Gadi Veera Prema Gaadha
Director: Hanu Raghavapudi
Krishna (Nani) and Mahalakshmi (Mehreen Pirzada) are childhood sweethearts who have managed to keep their romance secret from their families due to fear of opposition. At one level, it’s an age-old story of a coward becoming brave to fight for his love. But, Hanu Raghavapudi’s unique treatment makes the film interesting.
Director: Puri Jagannadh
Arguably the most successful ‘Mass’ film in Telugu is Mahesh Babu’s Pokiri, which became a legit blockbuster in both Tamil (Pokkiri) and Hindi (Wanted). You probably already know the tagline and the film’s superb climax, but now you can watch the original.
Director: Trivikram Srinivas
Attarintiki Daredi is a comedy drama with a strong emotional core. If you love masala entertainers, you can’t go wrong with this film. Pawan Kalyan is in great form.
Films On Netflix
Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi
Director: Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam
Starring Vishwak Sen (his latest was HIT) and directed by Tharun Bhasckar, Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi is a buddy comedy about three friends from college who dreamt of making a film together, but got busy with life after college. Circumstances force them to work on a short film, and this, eventually, helps get them a break in films.
Director: Prashanth Varma
Produced by Nani and starring Kajal Aggarwal, Nithya Menen and Regina Cassandra, Awe is a technically slick psychological thriller with an interesting subtext about conventional gender roles. Also, Nani plays a cute cameo in the film as a goldfish.
Director: Maha Venkatesh
C/O Kancharapalem is a slow-burn romance starring Subba Rao and Praveena Paruchuri. Director Venkatesh Maha defines ‘love’ in several poignant ways, by narrating several love stories that keep cutting between each other. Watch out for the superb twist that will make you re-watch the film!
Director: KVR Mahendra
In Dorasaani, the director makes the poor-boy-falls-for-rich-girl trope interesting by the way he defines these two characters, the world he creates around them, and the way he makes their struggle symbolic of the (maybe, now forgotten) fight against feudalism.
Director: BV Nandini Reddy
Everyone would like to go back to a time when they were younger. Oh! Baby is exactly that, a fun fantasy about reliving younger times. Just the antics of Baby (Lakshmi) as Swathi (Samantha Akkineni) are worth the time spent watching this film.
Director: Raj R
Mallesham is a biopic based on the life of Chintakindi Mallesham, who invented the ‘asu’ machine that reduced the hard work of hand-winding yarn for hours to a great extent. He was inspired to invent this, seeing the difficulty his mother went through. What’s refreshing is that the film doesn’t use typical heroic tropes. So, it becomes the universal story of common people trying to break free of systems that shackle them.
Director: Trivikram Srinivas
An in-form Allu Arjun and feel-good writing by Trivikram Srinivas make Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo a great watch with the family. The film is a combination of a solid emotional core about what family means to a person and a plot based on the classic rich vs poor conflict fused into a highly entertaining masala film.
Films On Zee 5
Director: Gowtam Tinnanuri
A father-son drama with solid writing, this film about a cricketer who makes it big “too” late in life, is sure to affect even the toughest of people. The bittersweet celebration scene at the railway station has already achieved cult status. Watch it for Nani’s heartbreaking performance, the charming innocence of the child and Shraddha Srinath’s stoic turn as the wife.
Director: Vamshi Paidipally
This story of an unlikely friendship is as moving as it is funny. A remake of the French comedy The Intouchables, it focusses on the unique relationship shared between a quadriplegic billionaire and his lovable assistant with a questionable past.
Director: Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam
One of the sweetest rom coms in recent years introduced us to two darlings in the form of Vijay Deverakonda and Ritu Varma. Who knew a door that needed repair and a hilarious mix-up would give us such an endearing film and a food truck craze.