Tollywood has been treated as an Industry that survives on stars and thrives on a success formula making it a trend and following it for years.
But Tollywood did show that it can surprise a Nation with Shiva and make entire World notice it with Baahubali series. But such highs have been very rare and audience have gotten accustomed to routine commercial mass films after one or two rare path breakers.
The new generation and their exposure to World Cinema is changing even the thinking of bigwigs of TFI. From an Industry that is ridiculed as a formula based filmmakers, we got variety this year.
We saw blockbusters like Rangasthalam, Bharat Ane Nenu, RX100, Chalo, Geetha Govindam, Goodachari and Mahanati, all in the span of 8 months.
Rangasthalam proved that new generation is ready to accept the revenge dish served with a difference and cold. The hero cannot listen, heroine doesn't wear make-up and there are no lavish sets. Still, movie shocked Box Office pundits with Rs. 125 crores collections becoming Top hit after Baahubali films.
Bharat Ane Nenu, even though did not have so much difference to many star vehicles, it did not go in the routine way. It was handled in a different way completely to other films and that made it the biggest hit in Mahesh's career. Siva Koratala balanced image with content really well.
Mahanati, is the real example of how new generation of viewers have changed. All they need is an interesting story said with great love and passion towards it. While biopic of Savitri is the attracting point, the efforts of the team behind Mahanati to bring out the story behind such popular actress in an engaging way made it a huge blockbuster.
RX100 proved that you can be erotic and erratic in your story telling but if you give a gripping twist to love story films and make the lady, a villain, then also you can score a hit.
Goodachari showed that you don't need Mahesh Babu and flashy photography or VFX to make a good spy thriller and in Rs. 5 crores budget made a big film that attracted audience towards soy genre and the team is hoping to make it a franchise.
Chalo proved that entertainment in the form of comedy is still good selling point but it needs to be fresh and Geeta Govindam proved that if you have a star with you all you need is an engaging screenplay and crackling chemistry between leads to make huge bugs.
Tholiprema and Bhagamathie showcased that slight differences to clichÃ©s will also be well appreciated when things are well-served with fresh van and nuanced writing.
At the same time debacles like Agnyathavasi, Naa Peru Surya proved that either you be different from the pack or bring in freshness to the clichÃ©s but don't be lazy and take it for granted.
Srinivasa Kalyanam, Chal Mohan Ranga showed that well-mannered films should have the support of good content and just good marketing campaigns won't help.
KrishnArjuna Yuddham proved that difference doesn't mean saying two routine stories in one film.
On the whole, 2018 proved that new generation Tollywood viewer is ready to give different and good films all the attention they deserve, no matter who is the hero and if you can't respect that, you will have to face big troubles no matter how charismatic and big star you are. Winds are changing fast and big names should embrace it sooner than later! A big welcome change for audiences indeed!