Hero… Heroine… Villain…
Tollywood films revolve around this formula and our filmmakers have added “THE GOOD & THE BAD” to it. So the war started stretching out between GOOD and BAD, ultimately GOOD outshines BAD and evolves as victorious. Right from Mayabazaar to recent Magadheera, Tollywood filmmakers have made films on the same formula and still it is at stake. ‘How a director handles this formula and what kind of characters he will create to attract the audience’, all these depend on his talent and skills of the script writer.
In 80’s, Jandhyala, Relangi Narasimha Rao and Kodi Ramakrishna came up with family-comedy genres and caught the attention of the audience. Nata Kiriti Rajendra Prasad, Senior hero Naresh and Chandra Mohan stepped-in with the same formula and scored few decent hits at the box office. So these kinds of genres proved to be a success too. When stars like Chiranjeevi, Venaktesh and Balakrishna were doing mass-masala entertainers, our Comedy heroes filled the gap with humor flicks and they never disappointed the movie buffs. Later in 90’s, Comedy heroes too started showing their heroism and applied quite-a-bit roughness to the character like Ravi Teja. Post 2000, we started witnessing the combination of mass-comedy and family-comedy, which can be shortly called as Srinu Vaitla’s principle.
Vaitla’s principle worked very well for films like Dhee, Ready, King and Dookudu and those films also rocked box office with thumping collections. In all his films, the antagonist looks very strong and our protagonist uses his brain to tackle him. This trend was started by director Veera Shankar with Gudumba Shankar. However that film did not impress the audience, it has left behind its impact on our film-makers. Later, Siddharth followed the same formula and came up with Aata, which couldn’t shine at box office. And then, Dhee and Ready has come up with tight screenplay and those two films were struck with gold which made our T-heroes to divert their minds to these kinds of genres.
Moreover, who will lose a chance of attracting both mass and family audience in a single shot?
Over the past couple of years, our heroes adopted this formula and few of them burnt their hands too. Writers Gopi Mohan and Kona Venkat are the only ones who have initiated such stories and now this formula is gradually getting faded out.
The one who is capable to come up with a fresh screenplay with the old formula are instantly receiving audience appreciation. Although, big heroes are making efforts to amaze the viewers, directors are failing to adopt the formula properly and so, duds are being delivered. Accumulating too many comedians, making the hero a dumb in the end and so the plot is lacking entertainment in these films. Manchu Vishnu’s Doosukeltha is the best example of it; the film appeared like a usual Srinu Vaitla film nevertheless a box office hit always matters.
Moreover, the success rate of big budget flicks has dropped drastically and strangely Bollywood film-makers are cashing this formula. They have successfully adopted this method and in the recent times quite-a-few Telugu films were remade in Hindi and they even turned as blockbusters. Whereas, Tollywood is keen on FUN elements rather than a proper story and so, we are producing duds.
The two reasons for all these failures - pure negligence and lack of proper story-telling. Our makers are not focusing on script; they just started adopting the formula of how to mix the script with slapstick comedy.
Take the case of Gabbar Singh’s Antyakshari scene: It is one of the best entertainment episodes in the recent times. Since then, every low budget films have started featuring an Antyakshari scene. If a movie said to be a blockbuster, there are several reasons behind it. Businessman and Attarinitiki Daredi were huge hits because of the stature of heroes and directors talent. If at all Attarinitiki Daredi and Businessman did not have Pawan and Mahesh respectively, they might have bombed at box office probably. But our Tollywood directors are not bothered about those things. After Ee Rojullo, many film makers tried the ‘Boothu’ formula but none of them could impress audience.
All in all, all such mishandling is declining the success ratio of Tollywood. To exemplify it with cuisine, it’s like mis-cooking chicken fry rather than chicken roast. We have to wait and see when our budding film-makers come out of Srinu Vaitla’s recipe (formula)!