2017 has certainly been a game-changing year for Telugu Cinema. Despite stiff competition from digital content in the form of video-sharing platforms and subscription channels, Tollywood firmly withstood the onslaught and has subsequently thrived during the 365-day period.
Flagging off with “Khaidi No. 150”, “Gautamiputra Satakarni” and “Sathamanam Bhavathi”, followed with the highest grossing film of all-time “Baahubali”, India’s first underwater war film “Ghazi”, Sekhar Kammula’s “Fidaa” and the new-age dramatic drama “Arjun Reddy”, Telugu Film Industry has undergone a remarkable shift in terms of storytelling, technicalities, promotions and the tastes of modern audience.
It’s 2018 and cinephiles have a long list of intriguing Telugu films to really look forward to. Let’s peep into the upcoming 8.
a) Ram Charan’s “RANGASTHALAM”
Probably, this is Mega Power Star’s debut attempt to portray something different on the silver screen. Highly successful over the years with typical commercial films, the 32-year-old actor has joined hands with creative filmmaker Sukumar to showcase a 1980s story set in the hinterlands of Andhra Pradesh.
While Samantha, the female lead of “Rangasthalam” will be seen in a rustic avatar, Charan will play the role of a hearing-impaired man. Set to release in March, the revenge drama features a peppy item number starring the gorgeous Pooja Hegde.
b) Prabhas’s “SAAHO”
With the humongous success of “Baahubali” behind his back, Prabhas is presently working on the super mysterious action-thriller “Saaho” and the massive buzz surrounding this Telugu-Tamil-Hindi trilingual film is palpable. Directed by one-film-old Sujeeth, the action thriller has loads of high-octane action sequences supervised by acclaimed stunt choreographer Kenny Bates.
Starring Shraddha Kapoor as the heroine along with Neil Nitin Mukesh, Arun Vijay, Mandira Bedi and Jackie Shroff in pivotal roles, “Saaho” might release during the second half of 2018. Surely, it’s worth waiting solely for the 38-year-old ‘Rebel Star’.
c) Allu Arjun’s “NAA PERU SURYA NAA ILWU INDIA”
After the moderate success of “Duvvada Jagannadham”, Allu Arjun is back to set the screen on fire in 2018 with “Naa Peru Surya Naa Illu India”. The action thriller set in a military backdrop will showcase the Stylish Star as an army officer with extreme anger issues.
Directed by writer-turned-director Vakkantham Vamsi with music from Bollywood duo Vishal & Shekhar, this most awaited flick stars veteran actors like Arjun Sarja and R. Sarath Kumar in vital roles. It is set for an April last week release.
d) Mahesh Babu’s “BHARAT ANE NENU”
The might combo of the blockbuster “Srimanthudu” is back, but this time with an intense political drama which portrays Mahesh Babu as the Chief Minister of the State. With pressure both on director Koratala Siva and the Ghattamaneni Super Star to deliver a sure-shot blockbuster, especially after the debacle of the latter’s “Spyder”, “Bharat Ane Nenu” is all set to clash with Allu Arjun’s “Naa Peru Surya” at the box-office.
While Bollywood hottie Kiara Advani is making her Telugu debut as the female lead, Devi Sri Prasad is scoring the music. The movie is scheduled to release on April 26th.
e) Keerthy Suresh’s “MAHANATI”
Ever since the biopic on legendary actress Salieri was announced, there was an immense curiosity among the people of South India over the bilingual (Tamil, Telugu) project. “Yevade Subramanyam” director Nag Ashwin is bringing alive the story of this great yesteryear thespian and Keerthy Suresh is playing the lead role.
The first look of the “Nenu Sailaja” actress in “Mahanati” was highly appreciated for her stark resemblance to the evergreen Savitri. While Dulquer Salmaan and Samantha Akkineni are essaying the roles of Sivaji Ganesan and Jamuna; Vijay Devarakonda, Shalini Pandey and Prakash Raj will be seen in prominent roles.
f) mandamus Balakrishna’s “NTR”
Though there are a handful of biopics to be liberated in 2018, no other film has garnered as much attention as “NTR”. While Teja is directing this biopic on the late legendary actor-cum-politician Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, Balakrishna is stepping into the colossal shoes of his father and is leaving no stone unturned to make his dream film an epic & memorable one.
With Nandamuri Natasimham himself bankrolling the movie and MM Keeravani composing the music, there are massive expectations on “NTR”, especially amid the politically charged climate in both the Telugu States. Expected for a year-end release, “NTR” will surely be a treat for all die-hard fans of this most influential person on the Telugu soil.
g) Rajinikanth’s “2.O” & “KAALA”
Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth has recently confirmed his foray into politics and ended the everlasting speculation over it. The 67-year-old has finished shooting for two of the most anticipated flicks in recent times; the gangster saga “Kaala” and Shankar’s sci-fi action drama “2.O”.
While the Thalaivar of South India has reprised his ‘Chitti’ role in “2.O” (the sequel to 2010 “Robo”), Akshay Kumar has locked horns with Rajni as the main antagonist. Constantly postponing due to delay in VFX & post-production, the 400-crore budgeted film is expected to release at the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, “Kaala” is Rajinikanth’s second movie with Pa. Ranjith after “Kabali” and the flick features a strong cast like Nana Patekar, Huma Qureshi, Anjali Patil and Samuthirakani with music from Santosh Narayanan. The producer of “Kaala” Dhanush confirmed the release date on twitter as April 27th. Get ready for the ‘Don of Dons’.
Jam-packed with a big queue of thrilling flicks all through the year, 2018 is sure to make us feel ‘filmy’.