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The unlikely success story of Pelli SandaD, the Dussehra release that's setting the box office on fire

Starring Roshann, Sree Leela, the film directed by Gowri Ronanki had an excellent weekend at the theatres despite the not-so-kind reception from critics

  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 05.42 AM, Oct 18, 2021

The unlikely success story of Pelli SandaD, the Dussehra release that's setting the box office on fire

The unpredictability of the box office can humble anyone and also has the potential to create overnight stars. It takes great skill to gauge the tastes of audiences, market the film smartly and time your release well. It's just what happened with Pelli SandaD, one of the three major Telugu films to release for this festive season, setting the box office on fire across the Telugu states. 

Not many rooted for Pelli SandaD leading to the previous weekend, especially while competing for attention amid two other biggies like Most Eligible Bachelor and Maha Samudram. Starring rank newcomers Roshann and Sree Leela in the lead, the Gowri Ronanki-directed film solely relied on the credibility associated with the director (now actor) K Raghavendra Rao and composer MM Keeravani to draw audiences to theatres. And guess what? The trick did pay off.

Pelli SandaD didn't impress the critics much who labelled it an outdated fare and found nothing in it to root for. However, it must be said that the Telugu film was one of the first family entertainers to have released after the second wave of COVID-19, whose appeal as a genre can't be ignored. Despite the redundant plot, the film is a safe package of emotions, romance, good music, dances, humour and a mild dose of action. 

Not always does one need a super-intelligent plot to impress crowds. Pelli SandaD stayed loyal to its formula and was helped by the release timing too. With Most Eligible Bachelor being an urban-centric plot and Maha Samudram dealing with a serious, intense plot, Pelli SandaD worked as a breather and might have also served as a fond throwback to the films made in the previous era.

Cinematographer Sunil Kumar Nama, MM Keeravani deserve a huge chunk of the credit for the film's 'surprise' success. The songs, especially numbers like Gandharva Lokala, Madhura Nagarilo and Premante Yenti, are beautifully choreographed and shot, warranting repeated viewing. Roshann's dance moves and Sree Leela's confident performance have contributed to the film's advantage.

K Raghavendra Rao, who's given a firm launchpad to the biggest stars in the industry today, right from Venkatesh to Mahesh Babu to Khushbu to Sridevi, Jr NTR to name a few, has now provided a strong foundation to the careers of Roshann and Sree Leela. The fact that he has managed to do this at the age of 78 and still understands the varying tastes of audiences reestablishes his credentials as the most successful director in the history of Telugu cinema.

Also read: Pelli SandaD movie review