2016 was an absolute nightmare for big budget films and for our two top stars, Mahesh Babu and Pawan Kalyan. They both delivered the biggest flops of their career in Sardaar Gabbar Singh and Brahmotsavam respectively. But there were many films that made us laugh and were worthy to be contenders of the year end awards. *These are strictly my opinion and what I feel about the films this year.
1) Hero of the Year- Jr.NTR- It was a memorable year for the Young Tiger. The change of films that he's done this year I believe has earned him the hero of the year award and his performances in both Nannaku Prematho and Janatha Garage were both spectacular, even tho the former film in my opinion was a bit overrated. Just the contrasting films and the types of films he's picking is good to watch and is following the trend set by Mahesh Babu of big stars going for a makeover and doing films based on content and the script rather than something that suits their image and fanbases. Hope 2017 brings more success for Tarak but he should be very careful about Bobby who just delivered an epic flop in Sardaar. Also, Janatha Garage became the 3rd highest grosser of all time.
Special Mention: Allu Arjun- Allu Arjun is in the best form of his career and has delivered 3 straight 50+ crores share films. No other hero has ever done that and for the 2nd time in 3 years, he holds the title of having the highest grossing film of the year in Sarrainodu. Despite the film being average with content, the Stylish Star single handedly took the film to blockbuster status and made it the highest grosser of the year.
2) Heroine of the Year-Rakul Preet Singh: Remember just a year ago, Rakul was in 3 movies and they all flopped and we were wondering why people hyped her up so much? Well, Rakul seems to have learned from those movies and has delivered 3 straight hits this year with Nannaku Preamtho, Sarrainodu, and Dhruva. She dubbed for herself in NKP and it was nice to hear that she's picked up the language so quickly and speaks fluently. She has 4 big budget films in 2017 and here's hoping 2017 is even better for Rakul.
3)Best Film: Oopiri- The Intouchables is one of the best foreign films ever made and is the 2nd highest grossing film in French movie history. It was remade as Oopiri in Telugu and was amazing. Nagarjuna and Karthi's bromance and the adaptation was true to the original while being extremely entertaining at the same time. The film had many beautiful and touching moments and was beaitufully executed by Vamshi Paidipally. Kudos to the team for making a great movie. I was gonna go with Janatha Garage but the film's content was average for me. Two thumps up for Oopiri for film of the year.
4) Biggest Suprise: Pellichoopulu- This film is a Cinderella story. Produced on a budget of 1 cr and nobody believing in it, the film was released with minimal expectations and blew everyone's mind away. The film reaped in profits and brought hero Vijay Devarakonda, Ritu Verma, and Tharun Bhascker tons of offers as the film raced to the finish line. Priyadarshi hogged all the limelight with his flawless one liners as Kaushik and his performance will be remembered for a long time. I believe the film made a ton of money in the end and also created a miracle by making $1.2 million in USA, once again proving that content is the king in any film, no matter how big or small.
5) Director- Vamshi Paidipally: If you've seen Oopiri, then you'll understand why I gave it to this man. A natural talent known for making stylish films, Vamshi made a class film that will be remembered for a long time and is a milestone for him, Nagarjuna and Karthi. The way he adapted the original and incorporated entertainment through Karthi was brilliant and the paint thread he wrote was hilarious.
6) Producer: Chadalavada Srinivas(Bichagadu)- Find me a more ridiculous film then Bichagadu this year and I guarantee you can't. The sentimental action drama, about a billionaire who becomes a beggar for 48 days in hopes that mother will recover from an ailment, was released with a mere 70 lakhs. And owing to Brahmotsavam's failure, the films garnered strong talk and grossed 25 crores share in the final run and Srinivas hit the jackpot. The film was equally as good and is a rags to riches story like you've never seen before. Amazing story from a business standpoint.
7) Music Director: Thaman SS- Often critiziced for repeating his music, Thaman is still the top musician in the industry along with DSP. His albums this year consisted of Sarrainodu, Thikka, and Srirasthu Subhamastu and all the albums were very good and consisted of extremely catchy music as usual.. Sarrainodu deserves a special mention as it had a rocking album and Blockbuster was extremely catchy. Picks of the albums are Blockbuster, Telusaaa, Anu Anu, and Vellipoke.
8) Biggest Disaster: Brahmotsavam- If there's one film that made me so angry this year and made me want to chastise someone, then it was without a doubt Brahmotsavam. Starring Superstar Mahesh, every superfan was not only disappointed that the film wasn't a decent family entertainer, but the film was straight up borderline torture. Terrible execution by Srikanth Addala was the main culprit and I hope that he seriously takes a break before the industry decides to shun him. The film made on a budget of 75 crores, merely made 35 crores share in return and was easily the biggest disaster of the year. Hope that Mahesh23 is better than this torture of a film.
9) Star Power: Mahesh Babu and Pawan Kalyan are easily the two biggest stars in Telugu. It was terrible year for our favorite stars as both their films were disasters. But even tho the films flopped, they're stardom and popularity are in tact and bigger than ever. To just get a sense of how much box office stamina they have, in the top 10 USA grossers of the year, they single handedly pulled SGS and Brahmotsavam to gross $1 million despite them being disasters. Name me two other actors in TFI that could have done that. The answer is nobody. Hoping in 2017 both Mahesh and Pawan deliver all time blockbusters with Mahesh23 and Katamarayudu respectively.
10) Hit Machine: Nani- The Natural Star has not tasted a flop since Jenda Pai Kapiraju in 2015 and has delivered a 5 successful films since. Releasing 3 films this year, Gentleman was reality the best of the lot. Nani loves to work at a rapid pace and hope that his first all out mass character in Nenu Local works out and the film become a big hit.
11) Debut of the Year: Nivetha Thomas-Gentleman: Gentleman didn't work just because of Nani but because of the heroines too. Specifically Nivetha Thomas, the 20 year old Malayali beauty. She impressed the audience with her expressions and acting prowess as Catherine and did a phenomenal job. It's only a matter of time before she starts to get big offers and she has once again been paired up with Nani is his next film also starring Aadi Pinisetty of Sarrainodu fame.
12) What to look forward to: 2016 was a pretty good year for Telugu cinema. It was a nightmare for big budget films and our favorite stars Mahesh and Pawan's films tanked. Usually their films are a boon to the industry but it was the opposite this year. Many films were also rejected due to content, proving that the audience is slowly changing to accept good and better cinema. We've witnessed a lot in 2016 and seen many good films such as Janatha Garage, Nannaku Prematho, Oopiri, Pelli Choopulu, Bichagadu, and Soggade Chinni Nayana.
In 2017, films to look forward to are:
1) Mahesh23 (Mahesh Babu-AR Murugadass-Rakul Preet-SJ Suryah)
2) Katamarayudu (Pawan Kalyan-Shruthi Hassan- Dolly)
3) Mister (Varun Tej-Sreenu Vytla-Lavanya Tripathi-Hebah Patel)
4)Baahubali-The Conclusion (Prabhas-Rana-Anushkha-Tammanah)
5) Nenu Local (Nani-Dil Raju-Keethy Suresh)
6) Duvvada Jagganadham (Allu Arjun-Harish Shankar-Dil Raju)
7)Winner (Sai Dharam-Rakul Preet-Gopichand Malineli)
8)Gautimputra Satakarni (NBK 100-Krish)
And of course the return of the the Megastar, Khaidi No. 150 (Chiranjeevi-VV Vinayak-Ram Charan).