How Indian cinema fared this decade (2010-2019)

Five directors who stood out in Telugu cinema in the 2010s

S S Rajamouli

S S Rajamouli   | Photo Credit: K V S GIRI

more-in

SS Rajamouli is not a surprise on this coveted list, but who are the other filmmakers who made an impression this decade?

S S Rajamouli

He’s easily the most recognised Telugu film director across India, and internationally, post Baahubali. The scale and the success of the two Baahubali films (2015 and 2017) paved way for a slew of pan-Indian projects. Before that came Eega (2012), an entertaining story of a man being reincarnated as a housefly to have his revenge. Eega became Naan Ee in Tamil and Makkhi in Hindi and did get its audience, but Baahubali is the definitive pan-Indian film from Telugu in recent years. The decade belonged to Rajamouli. He started it with the immensely enjoyable Maryada Ramanna (2010), based on Buster Keaton’s 1923 silent film Our Hospitality. Comedian Sunil was the unlikely hero, caught in the fiery Rayalaseema region, trying to win his lady love.

Sukumar

Sukumar with his wife Tabitha on the sets of Rangasthalam

Sukumar with his wife Tabitha on the sets of Rangasthalam   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Former Mathematics and Physics lecturer Sukumar’s films are full of intriguing ideas and characters. The male protagonist (Naga Chaitanya) in 100% Love (2011) was a typical bookworm button-holed in the race to be number one. Sukumar’s experiment with the complex narrative in 1-Nenokkadine (2014) didn’t find takers when the film released, but the Mahesh Babu starrer witnessed a growing fan following eventually. Nannaku Prematho (2016) also had an interesting bunch of ideas thrown in and remarkable performances from NTR and Jagapathi Babu. Rangasthalam (2018) gave Sukumar a much-needed blockbuster and with it, Ram Charan morphed from being just a star to a performer. Samantha, usually cast in urbane roles, soaked in the rustic milieu and even bathed buffaloes!

Nag Ashwin

Nag Ashwin on the sets of Mahanati

Nag Ashwin on the sets of Mahanati   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

He’s directed only two films so far and both have been impressive. With Mahanati (2018), he and the team at Vyjayanthi Movies embarked on a tough journey of bringing to screen the life and times of Savitri, from the 1940s to the 80s. The film was an ode to her and through her, to other talented filmmakers and actors of yore. When Keerthy Suresh as Savitri steps into the studios of 1940s wide eyed, the audience too, revelled in the glimpses to the past this film offered. Nag Ashwin’s first film as a director, Yevade Subramanyam (2015) was a poignant tale about a search for identity, on a journey to the mythical Doodh Kashi, away from the numbing corporate work lives.

Koratala Siva

Mahesh Babu and Koratala Siva

Mahesh Babu and Koratala Siva   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Mirchi (2013), Srimanthudu (2015), Janatha Garage (2016) and Bharat Ane Nenu (2018). Director Koratala Siva scores high on consistently delivering hits headlined by A-list actors. The runaway hit Mirchi starring Prabhas was writer Koratala Siva’s first film as director. Srimanthudu had Mahesh Babu adopting a village, Janatha... had NTR talking about eco-consciousness and Mohanlal insisting on social welfare and ‘fixing’ things where it mattered. And Bharat Ane Nenu had Mahesh as the authoritarian young chief minister.

Nandini Reddy

Nandini Reddy

Nandini Reddy   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

For some reason, romantic comedies aren’t explored enough in Telugu cinema. Nandini Reddy’s first film Ala Modalaindi (2011) came as a breeze and sparked a trend of rom-coms. Her Jabardasth was an embarrassing misstep, a rehash of Band Baaja Baaraat. Nandini had to resurrect herself with the romantic family drama Kalyana Vaibhogame (2016). Her big moment under the sun, so far, has been the Samantha and Lakshmi starrer Oh! Baby (2019).

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:55:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/five-directors-who-stood-out-in-telugu-cinema-in-the-2010s/article30395135.ece

In This Package
The Hindu Cinema team’s favourite Tamil films of the decade
A definitive recap of Bollywood over the last decade
From ‘Attakathi’ and ‘Kabali’ to ‘Pariyerum Perumal’: How this decade changed caste representation in Kollywood
Bollywood music: A decade of highs and lows
The 25 best Malayalam films of the decade: ‘Premam’, ‘Maheshinte Prathikaram’, ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ and more
A R Rahman, Vivek Sagar, Devi Sri Prasad, Anirudh: music that enthralled us in Telugu cinema in the 2010s
'Village Rockstars', 'Aamis', 'Aruvi' and more: The decade of the indie movie
Tamil cinema's star of the decade: The Vijay Sethupathi interview
From 'Ye Maya Chesave' to 'Jersey': 20 films that defined Telugu cinema in the last decade
Decoding the decade’s top 10 trends in Tamil cinema
Watch | Top 10 female Bollywood stars of the decade
The rise of the female star: Women in Kollywood in the last decade
Slick CGI, strong female leads, stylish villains and more: top trends in Telugu cinema this decade
Kannada cinema in the last decade: The various highs and lows
Five horror-thrillers in the last decade that show how Kannada cinema has evolved
Baahubali 2’s Hindi version is the biggest Bollywood film of the decade
From ‘Elsamma Enna Aankutty’ to ‘Uyare’: the best women-centric Malayalam films of the decade
Watch | Top 10 Bollywood actors of the decade
‘Thuppakki’ to ‘Petta’: Tamil cinema’s 15 best masala movies of the decade
Ten Tamil films from the last decade with the best ‘mass’ music: 'Theri', 'Mankatha' and more
You are reading
Five directors who stood out in Telugu cinema in the 2010s
Kannada cinema in the last decade: An explosion of new voices, new avenues
Netflix & Co. have made a dent in the unchallenged supremacy of the feudal movie studios of the world
Next Story