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From Sreekaram to Republic: Here are Telugu films in 2021 that deserved more love

We take a look at Telugu films that deserved better reception at the theatres in 2021

  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

  • OTTplay

Last Updated: 04.16 PM, Dec 30, 2021

Films that deserved more love

The success and failure of a film are dependent on myriad factors, right from the release timing to theatre allocation to word of mouth and the taste of movie-going audiences. Neither commercial success nor failure can be an accurate measure of judging a film's worth. Yet, there are certain films where you wish did better at theatres and received more from audiences. We at take you through five such Telugu films in 2021 that didn't deserve a drubbing at the box office.

This Sharwanand and Priyanka Mohan starrer was a thought-provoking, entertaining film about a corporate employee taking to farming, a decision that's not met with approval from his family. How does he confront the challenges within his village, get people united and lend a digital edge to agriculture? Based on a short film of the same name directed by Kishore, Sreekaram had lots going for it - relevant story, strong performances, foot-tapping music and the film yet had to witness a moderate response at the box office.
Konda Polam
Based on a Telugu novel written by Sannapureddy Venkatarami Reddy, this film by Krish was a brave attempt to showcase the delicate balance between nature and human existence and how a life in the wild gives you the courage to face any conflict. Konda Polam didn't succumb to usual commercial diktats but was a testimony to filmmaker Krish's versatility. The terrific cast comprising Vaishhnav Tej, Rakul Preet and Sai Chand fit their roles perfectly while MM Keeravaani's music gave the film necessary emotional depth too. Yet it turned out to be a washout at the theatres.
This hard-hitting political drama marked filmmaker Deva Katta's return to form. The story portraying the conflicts in the journey of a newly appointed collector in the Telleru region highlights everything that's wrong in the country - from the common man to the politicians and the system. Sai Dharam Tej in a career-defining performance submitted himself to the role with great honesty and so did his co-stars Aishwarya Rajesh, Jagapathi Babu, Ramya Krishna and Rahul Ramakrishna. The film received immense love upon its OTT release, but more love from the theatre-going audiences would've given courage to a lot of filmmakers to take up such challenging, realistic subjects.
Pushpaka Vimanam
Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Damodaara, the film is a genre-bender of sorts with a perfect mix of suspense, thrills, emotions, sensitivity and humour. At the heart of it, Pushpaka Vimanam presents a nuanced take on arranged marriages and the many factors affecting modern-day relationships. Anand Deverakonda came of age as a performer in this wacky entertainer where Geeth Saini, Harshavardhan, Megghana Saanve and Kireeti also get adequate scope to shine. The audience didn't give this outing much of a chance owing to absence of high-profile stars, but this is an effort where the content is the hero.
Another film by a debutant, Vishvak Khanderao, Skylab didn't do itself much good by competing for attention in the same week as Balakrishna's Akhanda, but it's unfortunate that the novel film hardly got the time or the right opportunity to grow on audiences. An imaginative story of how the failure of a US-based satellite affects a remote village in Telangana, Skylab is all heart, made with good intent and also brings together fine performances from Satyadev, Rahul Ramakrishna, and Nithya Menen. This was an experiment for sure yet one where the heart was at the right place. Unfortunately, it's the number game that failed them.

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