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Happy Rakshabandhan - A look at Telugu films where the brothers and sisters share a buddy-like rapport
Srivathsan Nadadhur
Aug 22, 2021

Gone are the days when only brothers are viewed as the protectors in the family! These are times when women have proven they're no less, be it financial independence, mental/physical strength, taking up choices that defy gender boundaries. The relevance of Rakshabandhan has undergone a drastic change over the recent days. In a current day scenario, Rakshabandhan needs to be seen as a festivity where the brother and sister make a promise to stand by each other in the hour of crisis, rather than viewing each other as protectors. The festival attains more significance when siblings remind they're here for one another come what may. On this day, we look at Telugu films where the brother and sister are friends more than siblings.

Tholi prema
8.4OTTplay Rating
One of the most memorable films in the early years of Pawan Kalyan's career, directed by Karunakaran, is remembered for portraying the warm rapport between an elder brother and a younger sister without sugarcoating it with heavy-duty drama. Here, Pawan Kalyan and Vasuki are cast as siblings, Balu and Priya. Priya and Balu know each other so well that they understand what the other person is going through with a mere glance. They poke fun at each other, have their share of quarrels but share a mutual love and care that not many know of. If not for the brother and sister equation in the film, it's easy to mistake them as good buddies who can discuss anything under the sun and not judge each other.
6.8OTTplay Rating
Gunasekhar gave an intriguing action-thriller spin to a regular brother-sister drama in this film, starring Mahesh Babu, Shriya Saran and Keerthi Reddy in pivotal roles. Mahesh Babu and Keerthi Reddy essay the roles of siblings, Arjun and Meenakshi, in this story that unfolds amidst the backdrop of Madurai. Interestingly, Arjun and Meenakshi are also non-identical twins, an aspect that adds more strength to their relationship. While the second half of Arjun has the protector brother in Mahesh Babu coming to the fore, it's the first half where the sibling bond is portrayed in a lighthearted vein. The sister has a voice of her own and openly discusses her innermost feelings with her brother sans any hesitation. Things take a turn for the worse once Meenakshi gets married though.
Ye Maaya Chesave
8OTTplay Rating
No one tells urban stories and portrays relationships set in a metropolis as well as Gautham Menon, at least among the current-day filmmakers. Ye Maya Chesave, even today, is remembered as a memorable romance, and less for the bond between the brother(s) and sister(s) in the movie. There are two sets of contrasting siblings in Ye Maya Chesave, Jessie-Jerry (Samantha and Sudheer Babu) and Karthik-Anupama (Naga Chaitanya and Trisha Alex). The Jessie-Jerry equation offers nothing new to audiences with Jerry always trying to overpower her sister and gets into unnecessary quarrels with Karthik and no prizes for guessing that the Karthik-Anupama equation is are more interesting sibling pair. They are very casual and easy-going in each other's company minus any overt effort to portray their love for each other. Anupama, in fact, helps Karthik when the latter's relationship with Jessie goes downhill.
8.4OTTplay Rating
Another film where the brother-sister bond is only a brief subplot, Okkadu, directed by Gunasekhar, needs no introduction. The action entertainer is so popular that actor Mahesh Babu's career trajectory is still divided into two phases - before and after Okkadu. Mahesh, as Ajay Varma, plays the elder brother to Niharika (cast as Asha) in the film. Ajay and Asha are friendly siblings who don't miss any opportunity to settle scores with each other. Be it their fight for pocket money, for some space in their house and even a plate of puris during dinners, they endlessly quarrel on the pettiest of matters. The most popular sequence between the siblings is the one where Mahesh Babu forcefully drives away his sister and his group of friends from his room.
8.3OTTplay Rating
One of the very few films in Mani Ratnam's career that focused on the brother-sister equation, Anjali, was simultaneously dubbed into Telugu and Hindi after its release in Tamil. Well-known actor Tarun is cast as Arjun, the doting brother to Anu (Shruti Vijaykumar) and Anjali (played by Shamili), who is suffering from a terminal illness). While Arjun and Anu come to know of their younger sister much later in the film, it's Anu who's always the aggressor in Anjali. Anu and Arjun are siblings who can neither stay away from each other nor stay with each other. Yet, if Arjun is involved in a mess, it's Anu who puts the best foot forward and comes to the rescue. They both take time to warm up to their younger sibling Anjali but eventually remain an inseparable tight-knit trio until Anjali's last breath.

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