Telugu Cinema 2018: A Story of Telugu Heroes

Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 10:00

In a year when Chiranjeevi and Prabhas had no releases, Pawan Kalyan and Allu Arjun had a flop each, and Nagarjuna had two flops, Telugu cinema also saw a range of actors present themselves in a new way.

The stars of the year have to be Ram Charan and Vijay Deverakonda.

Star of the Year.. Ram Charan

Mega Power Star announced the summer with 'Rangasthalam', delivering an acclaimed performance as Chitti Babu. As a bearded villager with partial hearing impairment, the actor emoted with eyes and spoke in a convincing Godavari slang.  Since it's the biggest non 'Baahubali' hit ever, Cherry has to be the big star of the year. Due credit to Sukumar for giving him the best film since 'Magadheera'

Star of the Year.. Vijay Deverakonda

Vijay Deverakonda delivered a blockbuster with 'Geetha Govindam'. It collected nearly Rs 70 Cr (worldwide share) and made the 'Arjun Reddy' star an even bigger hit with the family audience. As a lover boy, he delivered high TRPs twice when 'GG' was aired on TV. He ended it all by delivering a hit with 'Taxiwaala', which collected more than Rs 20 Cr (the film was sold for mere Rs 12 Cr).  

Although he had flops with ‘NOTA’ and ‘Ye Mantram Vesave’, he had also a had hit with ‘Mahanati’ in which he played a character role. He also appeared as a guest star in ‘Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi’. Altogether, he had six releases, no other major star has such number of releases this year.

Other stars who had hits

Mahesh Babu became onscreen 'Mukhya Mantri' in 'Bharat Ane Nenu'. He was a Mr. Perfectionist in the role, showing grace as a well-meaning leader and a kind brother of his step-brother. The BO performance was also successful, complete with Koratala Siva's ideal political vision. It crossed the collections of his past highest grossing movie and has become one of the all-time highest grossing movies in Tollywood.

NTR as Veera Raghava gave a very 'violent' performance without killing his opponents mindlessly. His studied style of delivering punch lines and Trivikram Srinivas' pearls of wisdom worked big time. The film became highest grossing movie in his career.

Varun Tej started the year with a bang. 'Tholi Prema' in February saw him as a lover boy, a college-goer, a coming of age man who has been through so much in a few years. He is also closing the year with 'Antariksham', in which the Mega hero is an astronaut. He had a decent hit with ‘Tholi Prema’ but the recent release bombed.

Balakrishna made an otherwise dull Sankranthi special for the mass audience. 'Jai Simha' worked despite its formulaic scenes. The Nandamuri actor was seen in two shades in the film, and as Nayanthara's misunderstood hero, he was mellowed.

'Naa Peru Surya' was a flop but Allu Arjun scored marks as an actor. As an angry soldier and a mistaken son, the Mega hero was superb in this action-drama. He aced it opposite the senior actors Arjun Sarja and Sarathkumar.

Naga Shaurya had a mixed year.  'Chalo' gifted him with momentum but he wasted it with 'Ammammagarillu' and 'Nartanasala'. Nevertheless, 2018 gave him a reason to smile since 'Chalo' was a big hit among small movies.  

Flop Stars

Ravi Teja's three films failed miserably, each worse than the other.  'Touch Chesi Chudu', 'Nela Ticket' and 'Amar Akbar Anthony' were hopeless. 

Sai Dharam Tej continued his flop streak in 2018 too with ‘Intelligent’ and ‘Tej I Love You’.

Nithin had two flops - 'Chal Mohan Ranga' and 'Srinivasa Kalyanam', both of which were nightmarish.  Even Nani had two flops ('Krishnarjuna Yuddham' and 'DevaDas'), while Nagarjuna delivered a dud ('Officer') and a damp squib ('DevaDas'). Naga Chaitanya couldn't be helped by 'Shailaja Reddy Alludu' and 'Savyasachi' was a big bore.