Top 10 Telugu films of 2017.

Top 10 Telugu films of 2017.

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Johnson Cherian.
A mammoth spectacle, a non-conformist and immersive narrative of an enfant terrible, a romantic musical, star-driven action entertainers, family dramas, comedies and even a submarine war film — Telugu cinema had it all this year. Here are 10 picks (in random order) from the year.
Refreshing narrative, not box office figures, is the yardstick for this list.
Baahubali – The Conclusion
Baahubali – The Conclusion is a game changer. Years from now, filmmakers who dream big but shy away from taking that leap of faith will probably draw strength from the work of this team. With part one, this team broke the barriers of what otherwise gets boxed into a ‘regional film’ and took it to a pan-Indian audience, ending with a cliff hanger and the raging question ‘why Kattappa killed Baahubali?’
Read our review here.
Arjun Reddy
Hours after watching Arjun Reddy, it’s hard to shake off its effect. It’s like a hangover, albeit in a good way. It’s been years since Telugu cinema witnessed something this radical, maybe after Ram Gopal Varma’s Shiva.
Read our review here.
Fidaa
Romantic musicals are becoming a rare breed. Tougher to come by are on-screen romances that seem so real. Watching Fidaa is like taking a stroll on the countryside in a drizzle. It’s beautiful, dreamy and yet not escapist. Nothing is overtly romanticised. At the heart of this drama are powerful characters drawn to each other and find that their own misgivings are standing in the way of taking their relationship forward.
Read our review here.
PSV Garuda Vega
Half way through PSV Garuda Vega, I felt like double checking if the high of watching a big budget, well-knit thriller, in Telugu is indeed true. Dhruva that came last year was a remake of a Tamil film. Barring the shoestring-budgeted Kshanam, we haven’t had any good thrillers in the recent past.
Read our review here.
Gautamiputra Satakarni
Director Krish Jagarlamudi couldn’t have envisaged a firmer foundation than this to establish Gautamiputra Satakarni’s part in the historical feature. The filmmaker humanises historical characters to ring in contemporary relevance in a dialogue-fest that’s crisply packaged for Balakrishna’s 100th film.
Read our review here.
Shatamanam Bhavati
An idyllic Atreyapuram, a grandfather who says farming isn’t a job but a way of life, a large joint family, estranged sons and daughters returning to their native town where Sankranti is around the corner, you can only marvel at the timing of Shatamanam Bhavati’s release for the festive season. A rather saccharine and fragile conflict aside, the film’s heart lies in its rural setting dosed with flavour. The storyline is not of the material to tug our heart strings, yet the mood the director Satish Vegesna and cinematographer Sameer create and how they pepper it to appeal this generation makes it an ideal family watch.
Read our review here.
The Ghazi Attack
Debut director Sankalp Reddy’s film is pitched as India’s first war-at-sea, underwater film. A large part of it unfolds within a submarine. That is its USP and risk. If there isn’t a convincing story to tell within the confines of those compact cabins, it could get really boring. The hydraulic set looks authentic and the actors befit their parts. There’s also some good storytelling, even if it follows a somewhat predictable arc.
Read our review here.
Hello
Some premises are hard to believe and harder to execute; but this is a trait that has ensured the exclusivity of a director like Vikram Kumar, be it 13B, Manam, 24 or his latest outing Hello. His ability to intertwine intelligence and soul within the mainstream format comes to the fore in the Akhil-Kalyani Priyadarshan starrer, a tale of childhood bonhomie, longing and romance spanning over a 15-year timeline.
Read our review here.
Ninnu Kori
Ninnu Kori is helped by Karthik Ghattamaneni’s cinematography and Gopi Sundar’s music; Adiga Adiga by Sid Sriram and Unnattundi Gundey are melodious earworms. Aadhi’s is a restrained, mature performance. Of the three, this is a character that could have been explored a little more.
Read our review here.
Mental Madhilo
A good one hour into Mental Madhilo, amid hearty chuckles and smiles, one wonders how writers Vivek Athreya and Jonathan Cristillo fleshed out a thin storyline into a slice-of-life story and eventually a coming-of-age romance. The everydayness of life is told beautifully by sharply observing people.

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