November 22, 2020No Comments

The Relation Between Telugu Film Industry and Commercial Success

So usually you find a lot of people saying "yenti raa idhi, yentha sepu theesina cinemalu teesutune vuntaru (What is this man, how long as they gonna keep making the same movie over and over again)? As the saying goes if it ain't broke don't fix it. It's a known fact that the Telugu film industry or Telugu cinema is the most commercial film industry in India. We make the best commercial movies and they make a ton of money. So you're probably confused. What is a commercial movie and what is commercial success?

A commercial movie by definition is a movie made for the purpose of making money and nothing else. They don't want Oscars, Golden Globe, Bascar Awards or CineMAA awards. They just want to make money for their producers. Commercial in the broadest tense means "to profit off of".

So how exactly does this process work? We will break it down in this article.

There are basically 5 parts to making a film and the commercial success is the last one. But to udnerstand why it happens, first we need to understand the process.

1) Getting a producer and pre production: You can't make a commercially viable movie without money. After all everything in this world needs money. A producer provides funds based on the content or script narrated to them which is basically the budget allocation.

In cinema terms, the formula is usually your Budget x2 = profit. Now Hollywood movies usually use the gross but Telugu movies use the "share" amount for some reason which we will talk about later.

So after the producer is convinced, he allocates the necessary funds and greenlights the movie because he feels whatever story he's funding will be a "commercially successful" or profitable venture.

It's basically simple finance: Your Return on Investment (ROI) should be greater than your investment. If the math doesn't add up then your movie is probably a flop.

2) Casting: The casting process is extremely important and this is perhaps the biggest thing associated with the movie. Now we all know that India is just another level when it comes to actors and worship specifically Telugu and Tamil cinema which is just insane. Basically the producer wants to cast a commercially viable actor or a "star" or superstar to spearhead their movie and grab the audience's attention beforehand.

In Telugu Cinema, our biggest superstars are Prabhas, Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun, Jr. NTR, Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan and Pawan Kalyan. A producer is more likely to invest or cast them in their projects because they know they are "bankable" stars who will automatically get some of their money back. Think of the money like a product in the market. You create it, market it or "promote" it to the target audience, and hope it's a success in it's given market.

Family movies have unlimited range because they appeal to everyone whereas action movies are geared towards the masses and drama movies are geared towards women and people who look for something serious. But films can be a combination of both.

Long story short, the producer tries to cast a star because he knows he can profit off of him with the story.

3) Production: Making the movie itself is an arduous task because according to the logic producers Anil Sunkara and Dil Raju used, Telugu movies tend to film their songs overseas to avoid their stars getting mobbed in a village or city like Hyderabad and they have a certain comfort level filming overseas with White background dancers who are paid. But this is basically where most of the budget goes towards and when the producer can actually see the progress of his project.

The problem with Indian cinema unlike Hollywood is that you can make a movie without a script. Which results in a movie like Brahmotsavam where producer PVP openly admitted he sent Srikanth Addala an email about the movie as they're gambling with tons of crores and everybody knows the result.

On the other hand director Anil Ravipudi best known for 2020 Sankranthi release Sarileru Neekevvaru starting Mahesh Babu admitted that he directed his first movie Pataas WITHOUT A SCRIPT and knew each and every dialogue in his head. Well he's lucky because the movie was a blockbuster because that's literally the one time it worked from my memory.

4) Post Production: This is basically when you put the movie together like editing, sound mixing, VFX. Another problem is that TFI (Telugu Film Industry) lacks planning so all of this happens in the span of 10-14 days and the movie is rushed out and released.

5) Pre Release Business: This is the meat of the article right here. So in Telugu Cinema which is relegated mainly to the twin Telugu states and there are 10 main areas:

1) Nizam- This is mainland Hyderabad and surrounding areas.

2) Ceded - Rayalaseema region. Mass faction and action movies make the most money here.

3) Vizag - Vizag and surrounding areas.

4) East Godavari

5) West Godavari

6) Krishna District - Vijayawada, Machilipatnam, Eluru and surrounding areas.

7) Nellore

8) Guntur

9) Rest of India - Karnataka, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kerala, and all other states.

10) Overseas - Mainly USA and then Gulf, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe

So basically what this does is that there's a distributor and exhibitors. The producer sells the rights to the distributor who are usually people associated with releasing the film to certain centers which are the exhibitors in this case single screens and multiplexes. The producer sets the rate for the distributor and it's a big movie the rates are usually exorbitant and they often fall victim if the movie doesn't live upto the hype.

For a big star hero Telugu movie, each region is sold for a certain price and everything added together makes up what is called the Pre Release Business. This means the movie has to make or recover this much money to turn a profit. And the difference here is Telugu cinema uses the share amount to determine hit or flop, not the gross amount like Hollywood movies.

The big thing here is that unlike Hollywood once again, Telugu movies and just Indian cinema in general doesn't let you watch the movie before the release to see if you're acquiring a good movie or not. So you basically take a leap of faith and place your money on what could be the worst movie ever and you're gonna be left with some serious holes in your pockets should the movie be a disaster. Unbelievable right?

So basically the share is about 40% of the first reported gross. So if the movie was sold for 5 crores in a certain region and it made 10 crores gross in that region, the share amount would be 4 crores which would be a 1 crore loss in this case.

Let's take the most recent example of Sarileru Neekevvaru:

Now here's the Final Share collections of the movie.

Sarileru Neekevvaru Total Worldwide Share Collections

TitleSarileru Neekevvaru
CastMahesh Babu, Rashmika, Vijayashanti
Production BannerAK Entertainments, Sri Venkateswara Creations, G Mahsesh Babu Entertainment Pvt. Ltd
Release Date11-01-2020
Trivia2nd film to cross 100 crore mark in Mahesh Babu's career

1st Day Collections : 40.73 Cr
1st Week Collections : 98.25 Cr

Ceded            15.30 Cr

Vizag             19.63 Cr

East               10.80 Cr

West               7.50 Cr

Krishna          7.70 Cr

Guntur           10.00 Cr

Nellore           4.05 Cr

Total AP       74.98 Cr

Nizam           34.00 Cr

Total AP+Nizam       108.98 Cr

Karnataka        7.30 Cr
Tamilanadu      1.15 Cr

USA/Can          8.12 Cr
Rest                  4.85 Cr

Overflows          2.00 Cr

Total Collections      132.40 Cr

Total Pre-Release Business 100.35 Cr

Result : Super Hit with  32.05 Cr profit
Became all-time 3rd highest grosser in Vizag, East, West, Krishna and Guntur and All-Time 4th highest grosser in Nizam 

So as you can see, Sarileru was sold for about 100-103 crores overall and made 132 crores with about 30-32 crores profit which means that it was a profitable venture. Hope this is starting to make some sense after this explanation.

6) The success and "Content Cycle": Not only Sarileru but most of the star hero movies are produced on a budget of 50-100 crores because the audience now expects quality production values but you can't say the same for the stories. That's because all the stars have a certain expectation when it comes to their movies and have the difficult job of satisfying both their die hard fans and the general audience alike which often leads to a disconnect in interest and reception to their movies.

People always complain why do the star heroes only make routine movies that are so predictable? I'll tell you the harsh truth. THEY MAKE MONEY FOR THE PRODUCERS. I've always found why people don't apply the same logic to movies that they use in real life. To live you need money. To buy things you need money. And to make more movies and gain a name for yourself, you need MONEY.

In a nutshell, THE FILM INDUSTRY IS A BUSINESS. Now with the emergence of OTT platforms such a Netflix, Prime, Apple TV and Disney Plus, producers have understood that not every movie is 'COMMERCIALLY VIABLE' in the current market given the obsession with franchises and established brands and people are less reluctant to come to the theater to watch film in a less commercially viable genre. OTT foregoes the financial burdens of being commercially successful but that's where quality content over money comes into play.

Recap: Why do producers make movies? Mainly for money because the film industry is a business and they want a return on investment on the content ot story they're putting their money on to fund and be successful. By casting a well known star and director, you're more likely to get some, if not most of your money back after the films release. That being said, a lot of factors play into a movie being financially successful. And critics have literally 0 say in it sometimes especially for commercial movies as they're all based on brand value and viability and marketability.

I'll leave you with this. 3 of the best Telugu movies ever made in Vedam, Khaleja, and 1 Nenokkadine were not commercially successful movies and all of them were loss ventures mainly Khaleja and 1 Nenokkadine which were all time disasters at the time of their release. They have since gone onto become cult classics for their content and forward concepts and execution but stars like Mahesh Babu and Allu Arjun won't take a "risk" or experiment like that now due to the limited range and commercial viability of those movies. The producers of those movies and their money probably looked something like this.

They would rather invest in routine content like Sarileru or Ala Vaikunthapurramlo because they're more likely to be profitable for themselves and their producers. That's how movie stars and producers think.

The truth hurts but there it is. Here's hoping that the industry can make more original and unique content and take more risks to grow as an industry and make better movies and shows.

Two last things:

1) Pellichoopulu is the most profitable Telugu movie of all time. Made for 1 crore and sold for likely the same amount, it made 15 crores share and 30 gross. Can only imagine how big the ocean of money that Raj Kandukuri was swimming in after the movie's release. It was probably something like this.

2) Agnythavaasi starring Pawan Kalyan and directed by Trivikram Srinivas is the biggest Telugu language specific disaster of all time. The movie was sold for 125 crores overall and made 57.5 share with a loss of 67.5 crores or about $10.125 million USD.

Signing off as always,

Teja Rao - Die Hard Telugu Cinema Fan.

October 18, 2020No Comments

Most Underrated Telugu Albums

Often times a movies result and music are in correlation. If a big commercial Telugu movie album is good, then half the battle is won. Sometimes a film is a hit or a flop and the album is still appreciated and goes onto become classics like Orange and Khaleja.

There are definitely some gems we hear that don't get enough credit and are underrated. In this article, we will delve into what we feel are some of the most underrated Telugu albums in Telugu cinema since 2000.

Baanam (2010): It's hard to find a bad album from Mani Sharma and he gave a solid album for Nara Rohit's debut movie based on Naxalites in the Telugu states. Kadhile Paadam and Mogindi Jai Ganta are our picks.

Oohalu Gusagusalade (2014): This album by Kalyani Malik is similar to the movie which like a cool fresh breeze in the heat and mania that is commercial music obsessed with dappulu and loud sounds. The sounds and compositions are soothing.

Jyo Achyutananda (2016): The 2nd combo of Srinivas Avasarala and Kalyan Malik after Oohalu Gusagusalade, Aakupanchani Chandamma and Oka Lalana are great songs in another fresh and breezy album by Keeravani's brother.

Mister (2017): Despite the atrocious content of the movie, Mickey J Meyer never disappoints in his music and same goes for most Sreenu Vaitla movies as they usually have good music. It's your typical commercial album that have it's fair share of duets and intro songs. And thank god they didnt include the item song.

Rowdy Fellow (2014): This album by Sunny MR extensively uses Arijit Singh throughout the album. After listening to Ra Ra Rowdy after a first times, it'll be stuck in your head for a few weeks guaranteed.

Sammohanam (2018): Vivek Sagar brought out all the tunes and beautiful compositions for this fairytale from Mohankrishna Indraganti. Much like the movies title itself, this album is enchanting indeed.

Life is Beautiful (2012): Despite it being a poor remake of Happy Days, Mickey J Meyer once again delivered a solid album for Shekar Kammulas slice of life drama. Yemundo, the title song by KK, and It's Your Love are our picks.

Mass (2004): The directorial debut of Raghava Lawrence, Devi Sri Prasad composed a foot tapping album that includes the classic title song, and includes Vallu Kalla Vayyari and La La Lahire.

Veedokkade (2008): Those who were die hard Suriya fans back in the day and still are understand the impact of this album. Harris Jayaraj composed another classic for Suriya in KV Anand's globe trotting action heist drama. Nene Needane, Pela Pela, and Kallu Moosi Yochesthe are evergreen songs.

Paravapu Vaana from Bheema (2008): This isn't an album but rather a single. Harris Jayraj once again composed a soothing melody by Hariharan and Mahathi. A sure shot winner that will make you instantly fall in love with it.

Tuntari (2016): Doing math homework in college and listening to this album made me realize it's repeat value. Composed by Sai Karthik, it features the famous song Diamond Girl by Yazin Nizar and a host of other songs in an truly underrated commercial album.

Takkari Donga (2002): Being a Mahesh Babu fan, only recently did I realize the great album that Mani Sharma gave for the Jayanth C Paranjee cowboy movie. Naluguriki and Aleba Aleba are our picks from the album.

Balu ACDEFG (2004): Having given the engaging romantic action drama a rewatch, I realized how good the songs were once again composed by Mani Sharma. It's probably an unpopular opinion to call it underrated given how famous Inthe Inthe is among the Telugu public and how good Kannu Kottina and Neelo Jarige are.

Andarivaadu (2005): Even though the movie was a flop, this album by Devi Sri Prasad was simply rocking with mass songs and duets galore. It's probably a classic in reality to be honest with you.

Anji (2004): Another Chiranjeevi flop that was propelled by hype and excessive CGI, Mani Sharma once again gave a fine album for this fantasy epic or so they thought by Kodi Ramakrishna. Om Shanti Om, Abbo Nee Amma Goppade, the deleted song Gumma Gulabi, and Mannava are our picks.

Dear Comrade (2019): A very different Vijay Deverakonda album, Justin Prabhakaran gave perfect situational songs and tunes for his movie. Unfortunately the movie couldn't live upto the hype and was a disaster but songs like Kadallale and Gira Gira still have very good repeat value.

Dictator (2016): Having only watched Legend and Simha since 2010 for Balayya movies, Thaman gave a rocking album for Dictator which includes Gam Gam Ganesha with Balayya's relentless energy, a soothing melody in Chura Chura, and a foot tapping item song in Tingo Tingo.

Super (2005): Sandeep Chowtha is one of the most underrated music directors and worked exclusively for 5 of Nagarjuna's movies in Telugu. This Puri Jagan movie had underrated songs and was also a great movie but unfortunately didn't run at the box office. Gichi Gichi and Mastaana are our picks. Also if you can excuse Neha Kakkar's excessive high pitches, should be ok too.

Bujjigadu (2008): My favorite Prabhas movie outside of Baahubali for his performance, Sandeep Chowtha once again gave a classic album for this Puri Jagan movie. Love Me, Sude Sude, Chitti Ayyire, and Dhadak Dhadak are our picks for this truly underrated album.

October 18, 2020No Comments

Telugu Movie Songs that take you on a World Tour

Over the years of watching Telugu movies, a big complaint has been when there are so many beautiful locations in India, why do makers and film crews go to somewhere else? This article from Deccan Chronicle explains it.

Quoting director Sukumar “We prefer to shoot a few songs in foreign locales as it offers the audience a visual treat. Also, in most places abroad, you can shoot the song in peace as there aren’t many people around, whereas in India, you can’t shoot a song in an outdoor location because too many people come to see the shoot and cause a lot of disturbance".

Telugu movies are notorious for filming songs overseas and travel all over the world to film songs and in various countries providing a visual feast as Sukumar said. In this article we will take a world tour and show you all the places Telugu movies have explored their extravagant and glitzy songs in.

Puvvulo Dagunna (2001) from Jeans - This song literally takes you on a world tour filmed at the 7 Wonders of the Modern World in Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, the Empire State Building, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Egyptian pyramids, and the Eiffel Tower.

Bagunde from Chintakayala Ravi (2008) - First Telugu movie to be filmed in New York City, NY

Kundanapu Bomma from Ye Maya Chesave (2010) - New Jersey, USA

Guvva Gorinthako Remix from Subramanyam for Sale (2015) - Filmed at the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Andam Hindolam Remix from Supreme (2016)- Filmed at the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India where Priyanka and Nick Jonas were married.

Telusaa Telusa from Sarrainodu (2016) - Salar De Unuyi, Bolivia. First Telugu movie to be shot in Bolivia

Padi Padi Leche Manasu Title Song from PPLM (2018) - Spiti Valley, North India

Neelo Valupu from Robo (2010) - Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

Kilimanjaro from Robo (2010) - Machu Picchu, Chile. Name of the song is the mountain in Africa yet it's filmed at Machu Picchu. One of the biggest mysteries in Indian cinema.

Aaja Saroja from Aagadu (2014) - Switzerland, Europe

Adhgora Choodu from Mirapakay (2011) - Delhi and Agra, India

Rock on Bro from Janatha Garage (2016) - Kerala, India

Guruvaram from Dookudu (2011) - Istanbul, Turkey. First Telugu movie to be shot in Istanbul

Samajavaragamana from Ala Vakinthupurramlo (2020): Paris and Mont Sant Michel in France

Chulbuli Chulbuli from Dookudu (2011) - Rann of Kutch, Gujurat

Next Enti from Nenu Local (2017) - Hyderabad, Telangana

Yaa Yaa from A Aa (2016) - Pollachi, Tamil Nadu

Poolane Kunakeyamanta - China. This visually stunning song from Shankar's Ai was filmed by PC Sreeram and is literally filmed at a green lake, Red Sea, and beautiful flower fields. A visual feast for all.

You and Me from Khaidi No. 150 (2017) - Slovenia and Croatia

Ciciliya Ciciliya from Spyder (2017) - Romania

Subhalekha Rasukunna Remix from Naayak (2013) - Iceland

Soundarya from Namo Venkatesa (2010) - Iceland. First Telugu movie to be shot in Iceland

Bommani Geesthe from Bommarillu (2006) - Salzkammergut, Austria

Pranaamam from Janatha Garade (2016) - Mumbai, India

Salaam Rocky Bhai from KGF (2018) - Mumbai, India

Ria from Bruce Lee (2015) - Spain

Omkareshwari from Badrinath (2011) - Kulu Manali, India

Sairo Sairo from Baadshah (2013) - Italy

Love U Raa from Chirutha (2007) - Thailand Islands, Thailand

Kajalu Chelliva from Balupu (2013) - Portugal. First Telugu movie to be shot in Portugal

I Love you Too from Shivam (2015) - Norway. First Telugu movie to be shot in Norway

Andamaina Lokam from Shivam (2015) - Norway

Gunde Aagipothande from Shivam (2015) - Sweden. First Telugu movie to be shot in Sweden I think?

Kanulake Teliyani from Mister (2017) - Chikamagalur, Karnataka

Bhel Poori from Aagadu (2014) - Pangong Lake, Ladakh, India

Koppamga Koppamga from Mr. Majnu (2019) - London, England

I'm a Lover Also Fighter Also from Naa Peru Surya (2018) - Los Angeles, California

Hosanna from Bodyguard (2012) - Canada

Yamaha Nagiri from Choodalani Vundi (1998) - Kolkata, India

Oh Sitara from Winner (2017) - Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

O Sukumari from Aparichitudu (2005) - Vijfhuizen, Netherlands

Naaku Neeku Nokia from Aparichitudu (2005) - Kaula Lampur, Malaysia

Baleillakka from Sivaji (2007) - Wai, India

Tu Mera Jil Jil from Krishna (2008) - Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh

Prema Swaramulalo from 24 (2016) - Morskie Oko-Zakopane, Poland

Nene Needai Needane from Veedokkade (2008) -  Namib-Naukluft National Park, Dune 7 and Dead Vlei in Namibia

Sydney Nagaram from Orange (2010) - Sydney, Australia. First Telugu movie to be entirely shot in Australia

Gana Gana Gana from Yogi (2007) - Great Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx, Egypt

What's up Antu from Alludu Seenu (2014) - Japan, Asia

Zingadi Naa Milegi Dobara from Goutham Nanda (2017) - Dubai, UAE

Unnattundi Gundey from Ninnu Kori (2017) - Vizag, India

Yedhane Koyyake from Surya S/O Krishnan (2008) - Berkley, California and UC Berkley

Okkadu Ante Okkade Handsome from Ragada (2010) - Petra, Jordan

Hey Pillagada from Fidaa (2017) - Banswada, Telangana, India

Nemmadiga Nemmadiga from Bhai (2013) - Slovakia. First Telugu movie to be shot in Slovakia.

Nemmali Kulkuli from Rangam (2011): Filmed at Preikestolen, Norway. The climax of Mission Impossible Fallout where Tom Cruise fights Henry Cavill was also filmed here.

July 28, 2020No Comments

Nepotism in Tollywood

Over the past few weeks, the Indian film community has been mourning the death of Sushant Singh Rajput and the topic of nepotism has been under heavy scrutiny. It's well known that nepotism is rampant throughout Bollywood and now people have been questioning Telugu film industry as well when it comes to Nepotism.

Are producers like Dil Raju, Allu Aravind, and Suresh Babu suppressing talent and not allowing them to rise? When you watch interviews with Varun Sandesh and Adivi Sesh, the nepotistic nature of the film industry shows otherwise. But in this article, we will delve into the film families of Tollywood and see if thokkeyadam is actually a thing.

Top 7: Not Pictured- Chiranjeevi


Chiranjeevi- The man doesn't really need an introduction and is the Megastar of Tollywood. He's the son of a police constable and worked his way up without any fil, background. Chances are if you're reading this, then either you or your parents are a die hard fan of him. Being the first Telugu actor who could dance flawlessly and gracefully, Chiru has been entertaining us for almost 40 years and there isn't a role that he can't do. He's proven his versatility so many times and has been so many industry hits to his name. There's no denying his talent, but his success and hard work has paved the way for a lot of nepotism from his family, much to the audiences dismay and annoyance.

Prabhas- The nephew of Rebel Star Krishnam Raju, nothing came easy for Baahubali Prabhas. He delivered a blockbuster with Varsham and is now a Pan Indian, maybe even Pan world superstar with fame and success Baahubali gave him. Prabhas has shown amazing comic timing in roles like Bujjigadu and Ranga from Billa and also possess a screen presence that's simply magnificent. Extremely humble and nice, he's fondly called the Darling of Tollywood and has been encouraged ever since.

Mahesh Babu- The son of Superstar Krishna, Mahesh Babu was a child actor before he eventually debuted in Rajakumarudu. The audience backed him after Okkadu and after Pokiri, the rest is history. Known for his incredible performances and Greek God like looks, Mahesh possesses the largest female and family audience following in Telugu cinema. In the common audience, he's the most liked actor for his performances.

Pawan Kalyan- The youngest brother of Megastar Chiranjeevi, PK is best known for his 4 consecutive hits starting with Tholi Prema and ending with Kushi. He was energetic in the beginning of his career but not so much anymore and seems to have lost interest. He's not exactly the best actor, but mannerisms and charisma have made him last longer than anyone imagined. It also helped that he had a solid fan base beforehand that's extremely loyal to him.

Allu Arjun- The son of producer Allu Aravind and nephew of Chiranjeevi, he was trolled after his debut in Gangotri. So what does he do? He delivers an absolute classic and blockbuster in his next movie Aarya and has been winning hearts ever since. Known for his insane dance moves and relentless energy on screen, Allu Arjun has worked really hard to make a name for himself and emerge a superstar in Telugu cinema, despite coming from a prominent film family.

Ram Charan- The son of Megastar Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan was trolled for a good 10 years until he delivered his best performance to date in Rangasthalam. Burdened by the massive expectations of being the son of the one of the industries biggest stars, Charan is also an example that hard work and grinding will eventually gain you respect from the audience.

Jr. NTR- The grandson of Legendary actor Sr. NTR, Jr. NTR's rise is something one can only dream of. After acting in Aadi and Simhardi, he became a superstar at age 21 and admits he's been struggling with it ever since. Known for versatility in roles, best Telugu diction, and insane dance moves, Tarak was also trolled for his looks, but has worked very hard to make it where he is.

Mega Family

BeFunky-collage (1)

Chiranjeevi- See above

Ram Charan - See above

Pawan Kalyan - See above

Allu Arjun - See above

Sai Dharam Tej- Chiranjeevi's nephew from his sister's side, SDT has some talent in terms of energy and dances, but as an actor is yet to find his identity with heavy PK and Chiru imitation in his first few movies. After delivering 6 consecutive disasters, one wonders how the actor was still getting offers. If anything, it's the Mega tag associated with his name.

Varun Tej- Naga Babu's son, Varun Tej has shown versatility in his script selection with a wide range already and can act. I guess one could say he's a good product of nepotism because he always tries something new when he could easily play it safe.

Allu Sirish- Allu Aravind's younger son and Allu Arjun's brother, the less said about him the better. 0 talent, 0 acting skills, and 0 box office pull. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to get a hit.

Kalyan Dhev- Chiru's son in law from his younger daughter, this dude is a joke. Delivered an utter flop in his debut movie and nobody really cares about him anyway.

Niharika- Naga Babu's daughter, her career ended even before it began. 0 talent and was never encouraged.

Allu Aravind- Allu Arjun's dad and Chiru's brother in law, he acted in Chantabbai and is responsible for some of the biggest hits in Tollywood history. However, he often fakes collections which the audience doesn't like.

Allu Ramalingaiah garu- Legendary actor and comedian. Allu Arjun's grandfather and Allu Aravind's father.

Allu Bobby- Allu Arjun and Sirish's brother, he's turning producer with Varun Tej's next movie.

Vaishnav Tej- Sai Dharam Tej's brother. Making his debut in Uppena yet to be released. He's the 11th actor from Mega family to debut.

Pavan Tej Konidela- Nobody knows who this guy is, but he's the 12th actor from Mega family to enter the industry.


BeFunky-collage (3)

ANR garu- Legendary actor and paved the way for Nag and founded Annapurna Pictures.

Akkineni Nagarjuna- ANR's son, Nag was trolled in the beginning of his career but grew as an actor with movies like Siva and Geethanjali. Known more his charm than acting, the audience loves Nag for his good looks and relentless charisma on screen. The actor himself admitted that he's not a great actor, but a net worth of 2000 crores isn't bad either.

Naga Chaitanya- Nag's elder son, Chaitanya has struggled from day 1 and cannot deliver consistent performances. Girls like him due to the Akkineni tag, but other than he's a liability at the box office almost every time.

Akhil - Nag's younger son, Akhil has never caught a break and he has 0 talent with 3 box office disasters to his name. Despite records openings for Akhil, the film and the audience's interest in him fizzled out very quickly.

Sumanth- Nag's nephew, Sumanth's career didn't quite shape out how it should have. With only Saytam, Godavari, and Golconda High School being successful, Sumanth's genuine and soft spoken attitude didn't get him too far in Telugu film industry. At age 45, his days as a hero are very limited.

Sushanth- Nag's nephew, he finally got a break with Chi La Sow in 2018 and was in Ala Vaikuntapuram Lo. Other than that, he doesn't have much talent at all.

Supriya Yarlagadda- Sumanth's sister, she made a comeback in Goodachari and was very impressive.

Amala- Nag's 2nd wife, she was the heroine in Shiva.

Nandamuri Family

BeFunky-collage (4)Sr. NTR garu - GOAT of Telugu cinema.

Balayya- NTR's son, It's a joke that he still has a career. He's only surviving on caste based fans and ruins the industries reputation with each passing movie.

Jr. NTR- See above

Harikrishna- NTR's son and Jr. NTR's father, may his soul rest in peace. Was energetic in his short lived career.

Kalyam Ram- Harikrishna's elder son, he has 0 talent.

Daggubati Family

BeFunky-collage (2)Daggubati Ramanaidu garu - Legendary producer , Venky and Suresh Babu's father and Rana's grandfather. May his soul rest in peace.

Venkatesh- Ramanaidu's younger son, Venky is one of the biggest superstars of Telugu cinema and is liked by one and all. Venkatesh has proven himself with a wide range of roles and movies and has showcased his legendary comic timing is so many movies. His humble attitude and love for cricket has made him one of the most relatable and loved actors in recent times and his following in families is next level.

Suresh Babu- Ramanaidu's elder son, he now runs Suresh Productions but at times has been accused of thetar hogging along with Allu Aravind and Dil Raju.

Rana Daggubati- Suresh Babu's elder son, Rana has proven himself with movies like Leader and of course his incredible performance in Baahubali 2. He always picks something new and wants to take the industry to greater heights. The audience acknowledges it and has rightfully backed him.

Ghattamaneni Family

BeFunky-collage (7) Krishna- The original Superstar of Telugu cinema, he needs no introduction. His sons are Mahesh Babu and producer Ramesh Babu, and his daughter Manjula is a producer and director in TFI.

Mahesh Babu- See above.

Sudheer Babu- Mahesh's brother in law from his sister's side, Sudheer Babu might be ripped but he has 0 talent. The fact that he couldn't pull a movie like Sammohanam to hit status says everything about how the audience encourages him.

Naveen Krishna- Mahesh's cousin and actor Naresh's son, Naveen made his debut in 2016 and has been seen since. Another gone case of nepotism.

Ashok Galla- Mahesh's nephew, he's the son of Mahesh's brother in law Jayadev Galla who's a famous politician. He's making his debut in a movie with Niddhi Agerwal as the heroine.



1st row (left to right): Mohan Babu, Vishnu, Manchu Manoj, Manchu Lakshmi

2nd row: EVV Satyanarayana, Allari Naresh, Aryan Rajesh, Ram Pothineni

3rd row: Producer Bellamkonda Suresh, Bellamkonda Sreenivas, Bellamkonda Ganesh, and Producer Sravanthi Ravi Kishore

4th Row: Aadi Saikumar, Saikumar, Producer MS Raju, Sumanth Ashwin

Manchu family- Mohan Babu, Vishnu, Manoj, and Lakshmi. They're trolled more than actually appreciated for their acting with their funny comments. Of the lot, Manoj seems to be the most talented and very genuine person.

Satyanarayana Family- EVV Satyanarayana, Allari Naresh, and Aryan Rajesh. EVV was known as a comedy director and Naresh is more appreciated for his dramatic roles than comedy roles. Rajesh had a very short lived career as a hero.

Ram Pothineni- A livewire on screen with relentless energy and an underrated dancer Ram is the nephew of ace producer Sravanthi Ravi Kishore who made Nuvvu Naaku Nachav and Ready.

Bellamkonda Sreenivas- 0 talent and 0 hits, son of ace producer Bellamkonda Suresh. His brother Bellamkonda Ganesh is also debuting as a hero soon.

Aadi Saikumar - 0 talent and almost 0 hits again, the son of versatile actor Saikumar and nephew of famous dubbing artist and actor Bommali Ravi Shankar.

Sumanth Ashwin - the son of producer MS Raju who made Varsham and Okkadu, 0 talent once again.

Non - Nepotism Actors

BeFunky-collage (5)Not Pictured: Vishwak Sen, Nikhil, Siddharth, Sampoornesh Babu

Raviteja- If there's a name synonymous for hard work and dedication, it's Raviteja. Leaving for Chennai at just 22 years old, it took him 12 years to get his big break in Idiot at the age of 34. Known for his flawless comic timing and sincerity in every performance, Raviteja has created a brand of entertainment himself and is loved by one and all

Vijay Deverakonda- Rumored to be a distant relative of KCR, Vijay D had a meteoric rise to fame. Struggling at the age of 24, he got his breakthrough with Pellichoopulu and followed it up with the cult classic Arjun Reddy. Being a part of 3 blockbusters in 2018 further cemented his position as the new age Telugu star and he possesses immense following in the youth and female audiences.

Nani- Known as Natural Star Nani for his natural acting and performances, he made his debut in Astha Chamma and got his breakthrough in 2011 with Ala Modalaindi. Following career fluctuations, he roared back in 2015 with Yevade Subramanyam and delivered an unprecedented 8 straight commercially safe films. He;s also known for his boy next door image which really helps his image and following among family audiences and general public.

Vishwak Sen - A controversial figure as a whole and wanna be Vijay Deverakonda, Vishwak Sen has slowly made a name for himself with movies like Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi and HIT. The youth seem to like his attitude but he proved his talent with a solid performance in HIT. WHether or not TFI decides to really get behind him needs to be seen

Adivi Sesh - The talented actor grew up in USA but speaks flawless Telugu and is known for his excellent work in the thriller genre with that have razor sharp screenplays and terrific twists. With Kshanam, Goodachari, and Evaru, Sesh has proved that whatever film he does is quality. If you think he's gonna be taken down, then watch this interview here 

Sharwanand- The talented actor claims if Gamyam failed, he would have stayed in USA and worked a normal job. Thankfully it was a blockbuster and films like Prasthanam and Run Raja Run do justice to his talents. However, he's known to have a good relationship with Ram Charan and Prabhas which might have helped him in the long run.

Nikhil - Movies like Swamy Ra Raa and Karthikeya help his cause, but his real life personality does him no favors. Full of overaction and buildup.

Siddharth- Bommarillu and Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana. Disappeared after that with every Telugu movie becoming a flop.

Varun Sandesh - The first Telugu American to debut in Tollywood, Varun's career lasted literally 1 year as he delivered Happy Days and Kotha Bangaru Lokam within that span. Despite Yemaindi Ee Vela working, 3 out of 25 movies success rate is atrocious. Apparently, he was the first choice for Sukumar's 100% but it eventually went to Chay.

Uday Kiran - The first non background actor to make it big, Uday Kiran's demise was traced back to his marriage with Chiru's elder daughter Sushmita falling apart. Post that incident, Uday never recovered and took his own life in 2015.

Verdict: Is there nepotism in Tollywood? Yes. Does that mean that talent is not encouraged? No. At least not as much as in Bollywood.

The audience always encourages talent in Telugu irrespective of skin color, ethnicity and height which is why actors like Kelly Dorji are appreciated big time in the industry.  Unlike Bollywood which only cares about looks.

With actors like Akhil, Bellamkonda Sreenivas and Allu Sirish, it proves that it doesn't matter if you comes from a film family or not. The audience will always encourage talent at the end of the day and most actors from the film families don't have that. Sure almost 90% of notable Telugu actors are from established families but that doesn't mean that they're successful. So many have come and gone due to nepotism, but talent always wins at the end of the day which is why actors like Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun, and Venkatesh have succeeded despite being from prominent film families. Likewise why Raviteja, Vijay D, and Nani have made it big without any background. If you hustle, success will follow.

July 1, 2020No Comments

Krishna and His Leela Review

Rating: 5.5/10 (Strictly Average Rom Com)
Cast: Siddhu Jonnalagadda, Shraddha Srinath, Shalini Vadnikatti, Seerat Kapoor, Jhansi, Sampath Raj, Samyuktha Hornad, Viva Harsha
Story-Screenplay-Conversations-Direction: Ravikanth Perupu
Music: Sricharan Pakala
Producer: Suresh Productions, Viacom18 Motion Pictures & Sanjay Reddy
Banner: Suresh Productions, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
OTT Platform: Netflix
Director Ravikanth Perupu who directed Kshanam back in 2016 with Adivi Sesh is back in the news with his latest movie Krishna and His Leela. Originally filmed 4 years ago, the film has finally released gone for a OTT release on Netflix given the coronavirus pandemic. How does this Telugu rom com fare? Let's find out in this review.


Plot: Krishna (Siddhu Jonnalagadda) is a young man who is maintaining a relationship with two different women simultaneously and is confused what to do next. A web of lies and cheating ensues and who he chooses in the end forms the rest of the story.


Performances: Siddhu Jonnalagadda of Guntur Talkies fame does very well and gives a very honest and natural performance as a man caught between two women.
Shraddha Srinath is good as Satya. I think it helps that the audience is already familiar with her from Jersey so that the relatability for her character and performance is already there. Debutant Shalini Vadnikatti is good as Radha as well. Both women get ample scope to showcase their emotional acting skills given the nature of Krishna's character and actions.
Viva Harsha provides some laughs in the first 10 mins and that's about it. Seerat Kapoor is refreshing as a relationship adviser and friend to Krishna.
Jhansi and Sampath are brief and make their presence felt.


Direction: After the massive success of Kshanam, many wondered what Ravikanth Perupu was upto next. He has opted for a modern take on relationships with this rom com. And he succeeds to an extent. He gets the contemporary feels and attitude of today's generation right with the liberal use of swearing and tons of sexual situations throughout the film. The dialogues are very well written and natural. But other than these aspects, everything is downhill. The movie just doesn't feel breezy or convincing in the end. The concept of a guy caught up between two girls is not new in Telugu cinema and has been done in a movie like Brindavanam to great effect. Another problem is the pace of the movie. It borders on excruciatingly boring to just right the entire movie and walks this fine line. It's very inconsistent. And there's frankly not enough content or emotional connect that makes this movie rise above the average mark. Overall, Ravikanth Perupu does an adequate job as the director. He gets some things right and misses the target on other things which results in a strictly average fare.


Technicalities: Music and BGM by Sricharan Pakala of Goodachari fame is excellent. The songs are all montage songs and move the story forward. The BGM is also soothing and elevated at the right instances. Cinematography by Shaneil Deo & Sai Prakash U is pleasant especially the Coorg portions surrounded by the lush greenery. However the camera is very unstable for the first 15 minutes for some reason. Editing is decent. Dialogues are very good. Production Values are decent as well and the vibe of the movie has that new age Telugu cinema feel ala Pellichoopulu or Ee Nagariniki Emaindi.
+ Modern Story
+ Performances
+ Cinematography
+ Dialogues
- Inconsistent Pace throughout
- Ending
- Hero Characterization
- No High Moments
- Emotional Connect
Analysis and Final Take: The directors ambition was to show that modern day relationships are difficult and cheating and lies are a norm among today's youth. He does succeed partially but the movie has many issues.
First and foremost, Krishna is a very unlikable protagonist. This is a guy who he is cheating constantly and even becomes jobless just to roam around these girls all day. Most people would like to be loyal and just be honest, but this dude finds it so difficult to commit with one person.
The end might also be controversial for some as it's not the one that people would expect or want.
However for its many issues, the new age feel, mature story, pleasing visuals, and natural conversations are make it work for the most part.
Overall, Krishna and His Leela is a strictly average romantic comedy. It has its fair share of negatives and positives equally distributed throughout the narrative. You can choose to watch this OTT movie for timepass.

July 1, 2020No Comments

Satyam Review

Rating: 7/10 (Feel Good Entertainer)

Cast: Sumanth, Genelia, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Brahmanandam, Tanikella Bharani, Sridhar, Rajesh, Malladi Raghava, Nirmala Reddy, Varsha, Prakash, Naveen, Chakri, Apoorva, Kondavala Lakshmana Rao, Jenny, Gowtam Raju

Story-Screenplay-Direction: Surya Kiran

Dialogues: Sateesh - Ravi

Music: Chakri

Producer: Akkineni Nagarjuna

Banner: Annapurna Pictures 

Continuing with the trend of nostalgia reviews, Sumanth Akkineni was struggling to found a break with the movie Satyam. One of the biggest hits in his career, it was also Genelia's Telugu debut and brough good recognition to music director Chakri, who won a Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer - Telugu. Let's find out what made this movie so special in today's review.


Plot: Saytam (Sumanth) is a nice and honest guy who's misunderstood by his father and lover played by Genelia. He works as a ghost writer to a popular film industry lyricist and how he gets due and repairs all his relationships forms the rest of the story.


Performances: Sumanth is excellent as Satyam. His performance has a lot of scope for comedy and genuinity and he brings out the best in his for it. The way he performed makes you sympathize with the character throughout the movie and root for him. His good looks compliment his performance and he even gets a chance to show off his dance moves here and there. His honest performance and screen presence is easily the highlight of the movie.

Genelia makes a nice debut. She can act well and has a friendly screen presence.

The guy who plays the villain Prakash is strictly ok and has a face that you just wanna punch.


Tanikella Bharani as the popular lyricist is schemy and does well. Kota Srinivas Rao as Genelia's father gets another solid role and performs at his usual best bringing out the much needed emotional connect for the movie.

This was the first movie for Satyam Rajesh who plays the hero's friend and he provides some solid laughs throughout the movie.


As the movie is set in the film industry, famous choreographer Raghava Lawrence makes a special appearance in an song and music director Chakri also has a cameo.

Direction: The director Surya Kiran has done a good job with the movie. He makes the narrative breezy and relatable which is how it should be for romantic musicals. The music from Chakri also helps big time as the songs carry the narrative forward in addition to being extremely catchy and well composed. By making Satyam a nice guy and very likable, he succeeds in generating sympathy and you feel for him throughout the movie and root for his character the entire movie. He has added some decent comedy along the way with Satyam Rajesh which keeps the proceedings lively. Despite some slow moments, he makes Saytam a breezy and feel good watch for the most part.


Technicalities: Music and BGM by Chakri is arguably the lifeline of the movie. All of the songs are excellent and the 3 picks personally are I am in Love, O Maguva Neetho, and Madhurame Madhurame. The songs will most likely stay with you long after the movie is over. Even Pilichina Prema in the climax scene is used effectively and to maximum effect to bring out the emotions in the scene. Cinematography by Sameer Reddy is rich and vibrant. The visuals of Araku and throughout the movie are pleasing to the eyes. Dialogues are great and are very natural. Fights are awesome and add a little action angle to the movie which is used in the right doses throughout the film. Editing by Nandamuri Hari is perfect and really innovative at times with the color scheme and VFX that's shown at times. Styling is perfect. Production Values by Nagarjuna are superb. The movie looks very rich throughout and the scale is appreciable.



+ Sumanth

+ Music

+ Cinematography

+ Direction

+ Feel Good Factor


- Slow Pace at Times

- Emotional Connect could have been stronger

Analysis and Final Take: Considering the way Sumanth's career played out, Satyam still remains one of his best movies. It just has this breezy and likable feel to it that makes it watchable at any time.

The first half of the movie is good. The 2nd half is equally as good. It's pretty hard to find a flaw in the film as everything moves perfectly as per the story requirements and not a single scene, fight, or dialogue feels forced in the movie. The only negatives are the slow pace at times and the emotional connectivity could have been a little better to improve the feel good factor.

Sumanth is extremely likable and relatable as Sumanth and has a certain sincerity in his performance that makes you root for him for the entirety of the narrative. Any good romantic movie in Telugu needs good visuals and music and Satyam has both of those in ample doses.

Overall, Satyam is a feel good entertainer. Sumanth's performance, the excellent music and visuals, breezy narrative, and deft direction makes sure that it remains one of, if not the best movie in Sumanth anna's career.



June 29, 2020No Comments

King Review

Rating: 7/10 (Complicated yet Hysterical)
Cast: Nagarjuna, Trisha, Mamata Mohandas, Srihari, Deepak, Geetha, Brahmanandam, Sunil, MS Narayana, Krishna Bhagawan, Jayaprakash Reddy, Ajay, Surya, Chandra Mohan, Sayaji Shinde, Venu Madhav, Master Bharath, Fish Venkat, Duvvasi Mohan
Screenplay-Direction: Sreenu Vaitla
Story: Gopi Mohan and Kona Venkat
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Producer: D Siva Prasad Reddy
Banner: Kamakshi Kala Movies.
Released for Christmas 2008, Akkineni Nagarjuna teamed up with comedy entertainer specialist Sreenu Vaitla for King. The film was a super hit overall and remains one of Nag's and Vaitla's best movies in their careers. What made it good? Let's find out in this time travelling review to the past.


Plot: When Raja Chandra Pratap Varma aka King (Nagarjuna) goes missing, his family searches for his whereabouts. A few months later, a man who looks just like King named Bottu Seenu (Nagarjuna) is a goon who conducts business in his own style. What happened to King and who is Bottu Seenu forms the rest of the plot.


Performances: Nagarjuna gets the chance to do 3 roles in this movie as King, Bottu Seenu, and Sharath. Comedy is something that he;s not used to and it's well known that Nag's screen presence and charisma speak more than his acting skills. However, it's a refreshing change to see him come out of his comfort zone and do comedy. His comic timing in the movie is splendid throughout the movie. Credit should go to Sreenu Vaitla for bringing out this angle. He looks regal and dashing as the King, intimidating and entertaining as Bottu Seenu, and hysterical as Sharath. It would be unfair to call it his show through and through, but Nagarjuna's trademark charm and elements are present all over as the main lead.
Trisha as the main heroine is adequate. She gets solid screen time overall. Mamta Mohandas is decent.
As with any Sreenu Vaitla movie, the comedians are usually the real heroes and the same goes for King. Brahmanandham is downright hilarious as Jayasurya, a music composer who is known for plagiarism and sexual harassment of female singers. Supposedly a spoof of late music director Chakri, Brahmi's trademark expressions and comic timing are on full display as this arrogant music director. The scenes with him and Srihari are extremely funny and make for a laugh riot.
The late Srihari gets arguably his career best role after Dhee as Gnaneshwar, a rowdy whose passion is drawing horrendous painting and thinking they're the greatest art in this world. The scene with child artist Bharat and the dog are so funny. Bharat in particular makes a great impression as the painting teacher and shines in his cameo.
The late and great Venu Madhav is extremely funny as Srihari's sidekick and always finds himself in a terrible situations that leads to him getting beaten up.
Perhaps the real hero of the movie however is Sreenivas Reddy. As Jayasurya's assistant, his punches and comic timing are sharper than a katana. All of his scenes and dialogue are comedic gold.
Sunil as Sharath is equally as funny as a man whose identity gets stolen by Nag. The innocence and cluelessness of the character adds a lot of entertainment to the movie. The late AVS garu also has a cameo as Sunil's boss and he is hysterical as well in the office scene.
Jayaprakash Reddy, Krishna Bhagawan, and Sayaji Shinde as the evil relatives are adequate. Arjan Bajwa as King's brother is ok.
The rest of the cast who play the villains and King's relatives are fine.


Direction: Sreenu Vaitla is the master of telling the most implausible stories with the greatest finesse and making them massively entertaining. With King, he succeeds once again. Every Sreenu Vaitla movie has a certain formula which is the hero usually goes to the villain's house posing as someone else and the comedians get caught up in this game of lies that plays out. The only addition to the formula is the character of King and the flashback that comes with. It adds a lot of mass elements and chance for twists. The story however is extremely convoluted and complicated which results in the movie being more than 3 hours and drags in the end and the villains of the movie are very weak. As with any Vaitla movie, the comedians usually do most of the heavy lifting and the same goes for King. In addition to Nag, Brahmanandam, Srihari, Venu Madhav, Sunil, and Srinivas Reddy all have extremely entertaining roles and great comedic scenes that last the entirety of the movie. They keep you entertained for the most part with their antics. The direction of the movie is good but only during the comedic sequences. The final portions of the movie drags. Overall, Sreenu Vaitla does a good job of making sure the movie stays afloat with hilarious comedy sequences throughout the movie that keep you entertained for the most part.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Devi Sri Prasad is average. The songs aren't the best but one or two register. The BGM is adequate. The much hyped om Shanti Om inspired song Nuvvu Ready Nenu Ready is a disappointment on screen to be honest. Cinematography by Prasad Murella is rich and vibrant. Dialogues by BVS Ravi deserve a special mention. Some are hysterical especially all of Srinivas Reddy's dialogues. Choreography is below average. Art Direction by AS Prakash is excellent as always. The location of the Bangalore Palace as King's house adds a lot of grandeur to the movie, Costumes and Styling are superb. Editing by MR Varma is not good. There's a lot of lag towards the end of the 2nd half and the movie clocks it at more than 3 hours. Fights by Ram Lakshman are good. Production Values by D Siva Prasad Reddy are extravagant. King looks rich and grand on screen.
+ Nagarjuna
+ Brahmanandam
+ Srihari
+ Sunil
+ Srinivas Reddy
+ Comedy
- Convoluted Story
- Music
- Length
Analysis and Final Take: Sreenu Vaitla was on a red hot streak during this time fresh off  Dhee and Dubai Seenu and naturally expectations for King were high when working with a star hero like Nagarjuna. It's safe to say Vaitla passes with flying colors and delivers an entertainer than will have you in splits more often than not.
The movie starts off in a very interesting way and picks up once Bottu Seenu enters the story. Nag exudes mass in this role and provides a lot of entertainment. The first half is excellent with rib tickling comedy and situations.
The 2nd half starts off well but then becomes very convoluted and drags towards the end. It's here where we see the typical Sreenu Vaitla formula. The final conclusion provides all the answers you're looking for about what happened to King.
Overall, King is a complicated yet hysterical comedy entertainer from Sreenu Vaitla. Despite the lagging final portions and length, he manages to extracts superb performances from Nagarjuna, Brahmanandham Srihari, Sunil, and Srinivas Reddy who will keep you entertained for most of the the narrative. If you're looking for a good old comedy entertainer from the past, King gets the job done and just right.

June 11, 2020No Comments

Most Visually Stunning and Pleasing Songs in Tollywood

Songs have always played an massive part in Telugu cinema and Indian cinema as a whole. Sometimes a film fails financially, but if the film has good songs then people will remember them for ages to come. While listening is one thing, seeing the picturization on screen is another thing which lies in the director's vision and taking.
Cinematography is also a huge component as the cameraman needs to get the right visuals in order for the song to have maximum impact. Many songs have come and gone, but let's take a look at the Most Visually Stunning and Pleasing songs in Tollywood in recent times.
Butta Bomma - Ala Vaikuntapuram Lo: This songs needs no introduction. A true masterpiece and insanely catchy, the soothing color palette, amazing visuals by PS Vinod, and incredible presence of Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde have made Butta Bomma a classic in every right.

Hamsa Naava - Baahubali 2: SS Rajamouli's vision for passion for larger than life antics is present throughout Hamsa Naava in Baahubali. With outstanding visuals and a fairy tale like taking, it's a visual wonder on screen.

Telusaa Telusaa - Sarrainodu: This song was shot on Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat in Bolivia, South America. The visuals by cinematographer Rishi Punjabi are outstanding.

Baby Won't you tell Me - Saaho: Despite the films failure, the visual finesse of Saaho was remembered by the audience. Especially the visuals of Baby Won't You Tell Me and the pink lake featuring Flamingos in Australia

Omkareshwari from Badrinath: The stunning sets, pleasing visuals of Kulu Manali, Allu Arjun's classical dances and powerful vocals of Shankar Mahadevan and MM Keeravani make this song a delight to watch.

Gala Gala from Race Gurram: Incredible mountain visuals from Manoj Paramahamsa, Allu Arjun and Shruthi Hassan, and the simple tune from Thaman makes Gala Gala a winner.

Guruvaram from Dookudu: Superstar Mahesh Babu's Dookudu became the first Telugu film ever shot in Istanbul, Turkey and the city wide tour that cameraman KV Guhan takes us on and Rahul Nambiars amazing vocals have made Guruvaram a classic.

Chulbuli Chulbuli from Dookudu: This Kilimanjaro inspired tune was filmed in Little Rann of Kutch in Gujurat and KV Guhan worked his magic once again showing Mahesh and Samantha beautifully in a sun lit desert setting.

Sye Raa Title Song: A song with unlimited goosebumps with the powerful vocals of Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal, the title song of Sye Raa was masterfully executed and Tamannah's screen presence and energy makes it a true visual feast on screen.

Kadile Lokam Motham from Mister: Despite the movie being a complete rod, KV Guhan's cinematography was the only positive of the movie. He takes on a beautiful city tour of Spain with splendid visuals in this montage song.

Yedo Yedo Bagunde from Mister: Incredible visuals of the Swiss Alps by KV Guhan once again. Varun Tej's screen presence add some value as well.

Dhinaku Dhin Jiya: This soothing melody by Shankar Mahadevan and Shreya Ghoshal was a visual delight whether it be the barren farm fields or the snowy mountains.

Manasa: This techno sounding Telugu song is catchy and also has beautiful shots of Raviteja, Raashi Khanna, and a gorgeous beach somewhere.

Inka Edho: Switzerland has never so looked so good as this soothing melody from Darling captures a castle, Prabhas and Kajal Aggarwal all in their beautiful glory.

Bommani Geesthe: This calming song from Siddarth and Genelia's classic Bommarillu was filmed in Austria. The beautiful visuals compliment the song perfectly.

Yemaindo Teliyadu Naaku: This super hit song from MCA features Nani, Sai Pallavi, the iconic voice of Karthik, and a gorgeous scenic landscape with sunlit mountains.

Kotthaga Kotthaga: Another hit song from MCA, Sameer Reddy's visuals take on us on a glorious tour of Warangal.

Arere Yekkada: This haunting melody from Nenu Local is beautifully sung by Naresh Iyer and Manisha Eerabathini and filmed in eye pleasing locations.

Bugganchuna: A haunting melody by Thaman S, the ethereal visuals of the Italian landscape outshine the screen presence of both Sai Dharam Tej and Mehreen.

Bhelpuri: This foot tapping duet from Aagadu was filmed at the Pangong Lake made famous by movies like Jab Tak Hai Jaan and the climax of 3 Idiots. KV Guhan's visuals along with Mahesh and Tammanah made it a visual feast.

Oh Sitara: Filmed at the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine and surrounding forests, Sitara was a visually stunning melody through and through.

Neneppudaina: Another haunting melody by Thaman S, Jr. NTR and Shruthi Hassan rock the song with their screen presence shot amidst beautiful barren landscapes and mountains.

Rubberu Gajulu: The Angkor Wat inspired background along with the thumping vocals of Daler Mehndi makes this insanely catchy song an instant fan favorite along with Tarak and Priyamani's stunning dance moves.

Banthi Poola Janaki: Shot in snowy mountains throughout, the cooling visuals of what seems to be the Alps is one of the main selling points of this incredibly foot tapping number by Daler Mehendi and MM Manasi.

Laychalo: An amazing melody by Thaman, Laychalo is a visual feast with Ram Charan and Rakul Preet Singh coupled with the ocean, shore, and grand visuals of the mountains and city behind them.

Ria: An extremely catchy song, Rakul Preet's amazing beauty and Ram Charan's flawless dance moves are captured in glorious lighting in the stunning visuals of Spain by Manoj Paramahamsa's lens.

Gopikamma: A goosebumps inducing song with the legendary KS Chitra's vocals, Telugu culture is portrayed so beautifully from the soothing wedding colors and Pooja Hedge's amazing screen presence.

Rangasthalam: Take any any song in Rangasthalam, and it's just gloriously filmed throughout. It wouldn't be an overstatement to say it's arguably the best work ever done by cinematographer R. Rathnavelu.

Seethakalam: The marvelous visuals from Prasad Murella's lens, catchy tune and breakthrough song for Yazin Nizar and Allu Arjun's screen presence makes Seethakalam's reach extends beyond the beautiful winter it describes and is apt for any season.

Vachindamma: A Telugu wedding has never looked so peaceful and radiant in recent times thanks to Manikandan's cinematography and Sid Sriram's vocals. Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna have great chemistry which reflects throughout the song.

Mellaga Tellarindoi: A song that will definitely have you reminiscing about your childhood village days, Sameer Reddy's visuals and Anurag Kulkarni's voice make this village tour well worth watching with beautiful green farm fields.

Ya Yaa: Another village tour song, Trivikram Srinivas always has a good ear for music. The barren farm lands, pumpkin patches and green fields of Pollachi are captured beautifully by cameraman Nataranjan Subramaniam.

Guvva Gorinthako: The remake of Chiranjeevi's super hit song was done in Subramanyam for Sale with Sai Dharam Tej and Regina Cassandra. C Ramprasad was successfully able to capture the Grand Canyon in all it's glory.

Naluguriki: The first cowboy movie in modern day Telugu cinema, Naluguriki's rustic visuals of Colorado and the Grand Canyon makes this Shankar Mahadevan intro song a true visual delight.

Cheppave Chirugaali: This blissful melody from Mani Sharma was filmed on rooftop during the night. With the beautiful tune and visuals of the stunning Charminar set in the background, Udit Narayan's voice transports you to another world.

Bham Bham Bole: Showing Varanasi in all its glory, the opening number from Megastar Chiranjeevi's industry hit Indra is everything you'd expect and more from a movie Chiru movie along with his simply breathtaking dance moves.

Dum Dumaare: The Madurai Meenakshi set from Arjun was shown in its glory lit up during the nighttime with this duet by Mani Sharma.

Prema Desam Yuvarani: The set of this soothing melody from Shakthi was grand and pleasing to the eyes along with NTR and Ileana's screen presence captured by Chota K Naidu.

Tu Tu Tu: This song from Ready was an instant winner from day 1. Ram and Genelia dance in so many beautiful locations effectively captured by Prasad Murella.

Love You Raa: Puri Jagannath's fixation with beaches and Bangkok will stay forever as this foot tapping melody was accentuated by beautiful visuals of the clear water by Shyam K Naidu in Chirutha.

Manasa: A classic from Prabhas's Munna, the beach, the tune, the singers, Prabhas, and finally Ileana make it a full on visual wonder from start to finish.

Sir Osthara: The stunning visuals of this most popular song from Businessman thankfully overshadow Mahesh Babu's atrocious dance moves and hand movements.

Adigi Adigaleka: Thuis musical blockbuster with a classic album catapulted both Ram and Ileana to instant fame. The gorgeous beaches of Thailand are shown beautifully in this amazing melody by Chakri.

Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham: This insanely catchy teasing number from Gabbar Singh was filmed amidst the mountains in Europe with Pawan Kalyan in full form.

Nee Jathaga Nenudali: The soothing melody by Karthik and Shreya Ghoshal was filmed in Zurich, Switzerland among green fields and snow capped mountains.

Dheera Dheera: The grand duet was once again shown on a massive scale by KK Senthil Kumar and SS Rajamouli with huge palaces and an incredible salt field from industry hit Magadheera.

Ra Raa Kumara: The song from GAV was filmed in Jordan amidst beautiful deserts and the famous Petra from Indiana Jones and Transformers.

Raaka Raaka: One of the better songs from Maruthi's ultra rod, Raaka Raaka's picturization among lakes makes it a nice watch.

Jiya Jale: It seems music directors bring out the best melodies for Venkatesh. A catchy number, it was filmed in beautiful locations in what seems to be Europe.

Hosanna: Another haunting melody by Thaman, Hosanna was filmed in Canada near Lake Moraine and features gorgeous visuals throughout of the stunning blue-green water.

Rock on Bro: Filmed in Kerala, cinematographer Thiru captures God's own country in all it's glory.

Ciciliya: A catchy song from disaster Spyder, it became the first Telugu movie to film in Romania. Guess we can appreciate the visuals and locations despite the content right?

I Don't Know: Farhan Ahktar made his Telugu singing debut for Mahesh Babu's Bharat Ane Nenu as cameraman Thiru captured Mahesh and Spain so vibrantly.

Sydney Nagaram: Probably the first major Telugu film to be shot entirely in Australia, singer Karunya's amazing voice and Ram Charan take you on an magnificent tour of Australia and all the landmarks.





June 10, 2020No Comments

Most Famous Tollywood Movie Sets

Sets always plays a crucial role in any film. They're a big factor in creating the feel and look for the film. The inputs and hard work of the art director often go unnoticed but definitely not in these specific Telugu movies.
Some are so stunning and so grand and realistic that they have lasted the test of time and become as the iconic as the film themselves. Box office result aside, these sets plays a pivotal role in providing a visual feast for the audience throughout the narrative.
1) Baahubali Sets: Location - Ramoji Film City
Probably the most famous telugu movie sets of all time, India's biggest blockbuster Baahubali's sets were designed by Sabu Cyril and wowed in unimaginable ways. The big twist is that there was only minimal sets done.
Everything else done in the picture above doesn't exist. That's right. Sadly most of the movie was VFX and it robs the audience of a true experience. Nonetheless, the effort needs to appreciate in providing a wholesome viewing experience.
The sets are now available to the public at Ramoji Film City and you can take a tour of the sets in all their VFX less glory.

2) Charminar Set in Okkadu - Location: Gandipet (Destroyed)
Along with the movie itself, the Charminar where Mahesh Babu and Bhumika hide became iconic. But not many know that it's actually a set. The amazing reconstruction is so good that you feel it's the real thing in the Old City. The stunning model was a to scale replication of the actual Charminar.
The film's unit erected the Charminar set in a ten acres of land owned by D. Ramanaidu at Gopannapalle near Hyderabad. The original height of Charminar is 176 feet (54 m) and the height of each minaret is 78 feet (24 m) feet. The film's unit decided to construct the set with a length of 120 feet (37 m) feet by not altering the minarets and instead reduce the total length of the remaining part. The surroundings of Charminar were recreated in five acres around the set. 300 workers were employed in the construction of the set which lasted for three months and costed ₹17.5 million.
3) Kondareddy Buruju in Sarileru Neekevvaru - Location: Ramoji Film City
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The Kondareddy Buruju is an iconic monument not only in Kurnool but for Telugu movie fans across the world specifically superstar Mahesh Babu fans. It was here that Ajay hit Obul Reddy in Kurnool and the goosebumps background score and scene that essentially catapulted Mahesh to stardom in Telugu cinema.
While that scene was actually filmed in Kurnool at the real fort, 17 years later director Anil Ravipudi decided to recreate the famous fort in Ramoji Film City for his latest movie Sarileru Neekevvaru. Art director AS Prakash designed the set and surrounding areas which cost about 4 crores ($700,000). The set, along with the classic interval sequence will be remembered by every Telugu movie fan for a long time.
Along with the Baahubali sets, fans can now visit the famous sets located deep within RFC on a bus tour.
4) Madurai Meenakshi Set in Arjun - Location: Padamalaya Studios (Destroyed)
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One of the best sister sentiment movies in Tollywood and which seems to be a Mahesh Babu forte, another stunning set was recreated for his movie Arjun which is set in Madurai. Art director Thota Tharani was behind this marvelous masterpiece which was arguably the highlight of the film.
Thotta Tharani along with director and his team stayed in Madurai Meenakshi Temple for 15 days. He drew his sketches to the minute details and replicated it in Hyderabad. The initial estimate of the Temple set cost was ₹2.5 crores which was supposed to be built in 3 months. But, it took 6 months with over 500 workers constructing the set. The total cost of this set turned out to be ₹4 crores. This set was constructed in 5 acre space of Padmalaya Studios near Gandipet. This set consist of Gaali Gopuram, Pond and Garbhagudi.
The set had a lifetime of 3 years with resistance to all types of climatic conditions. Thotta Tharani used 90 tons of iron in the construction of this temple set for longevity. 90 tons of iron itself cost around 42 lakhs. Pond in the temple has a depth of 3 feet. It took 5 days of continuous filling using 5 motors to fill the water. The Gaali Gopuram is of 130 feet, which is equivalent to the original Gaali Gopuram at Madurai temple. A set of temple priests from Madurai came to this set and installed a replica idol of Meenakshi Amman in the Garbhagudi. This traditional installation took 8 hours (from 6 am to 2 pm). Gunasekhar used 25 powerful generation sets for a song to be shot in the temple in night effect.
Two songs from the film were shot here: Madhura Madhura in the day and Dum Dumare in the night.

5) Bhairava Kona and Palace Sets in Magadheera - Location: Ramoji Film City (Destroyed)
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As with any SS Rajamouli movie, you expect grandeur and massive and elaborate sets. While the team did film in various location in Gujurat for the chase sequence between Ram Charan and Dev Gill in the 2nd half in a white salt sands, the majority of the film was done through VFX and in Ramoji Film City once again. The Bhairava Kona mountain with Lord Shiva's statue in the background above was one of the many sets appreciated from the film along with the stunning palaces in the song Dheera Dheera below.
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6) Rangasthalam Sets - Location: Hyderabad
Along with it's content and taking by director Sukumar, Rangasthalam has emerged as a contemporary classic of Telugu cinema for it's sheer brilliance and detailing, deep context, and symbolism of a simple revenge story based around honour killing. Ram Charan's performance will be remembered for ages to come along with almost every aspect of the film. And the movie would not be complete without the STUNNING sets recreated by Production designers and real-life partners Ramakrishna Sabbani and Mounika Nigottre Sabbani.
They recreated an artistic village of the 80s era comprising a government hospital, Gangalamma temple, panchayat office and houses with old potsherd roofs and mud replicating a beautiful village of Godavari in the city.
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Ramakrishna and Mounika recall, “The film has an interesting, yet nostalgic design with props. The emphasis is always on realism. Since the film was set in the 80s, nothing from that era is available in the market. So, we have decided to create everything from the scratch. The rats, roofs, wooden gates, doors, cool drink trays, Frooti pack, Horlicks box, cool drink, trays were all the work of the production department. The village set cost 5 crores ($750,000) and 400 people worked for two months.
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The sets still exist today and have been the center of substantial media coverage post the film's release. The sets have been reused for Chiranjeevi's Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and the upcoming Prabhas20.
7) Badrinath Temple in Badrinath - Location: Kulu Manali
While the film was a disaster due to high production budget which was actually the most expensive Telugu movie ever made at the time, the temple set of the famous Badrinath was created by Anand Sai in Kulu Manali.
The exotic colors and grandeur of the sets are seen in the song Omkareshwari with Allu Arjun flawless dance moves and according to the producer, the sets were appreciated despite the failure.

8) Attarintiki Daredi House Set - Location: Ramoji Film City
The house set of Nadiya where the majority of Attarintiki Daredi was shot became a huge talking pint after the movies release. Designed by Ravinder Reddy, the house was built in Ramoji Film City and features very modern architecture with a geometrical shape.
The songs Deva Devam and Katamaruyuda Kadari Narasimhuda were filmed inside the set along with most of the comedy and family scenes throughout the movie. Just like the movie became a blockbuster, the set has now become a tourist attraction and can be seen on a bus tour in Ramoji Film City.
9) Govindudu Andarivadele House Set - Location: Nanakramguda, Hyderabad
The pink house in GAV became a talk point as well during and after the movies release, the house was constructed in a set at Nanankramguda in Hyderabad. The pink color and achrcitecture give us that old village house feel. Aditionally the songs Gulabi Kallu and Neeli Rangu Cheera Lona were filmed at the set.
10) Bhadrachalam Temple Set in Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu - Location: Ramoji Film City
SVSC Biggest Bhadrachalam Set
Just found today that the climax of SVSC was filmed at a massive Bhadrachalam set created by AS Prakash in Ramoji Film City. I guess what they say about movie magic right and that everything is essentially creating maya (magic) to create wonders. Hatsoff to the authenticity and realism to the set.
11) Shakthi Cave Set in Shakthi - Location: Unknown
Even though Shakthi was a unanimous rod in every department possible, we should take a moment to appreciate this cave set with a massive statute of Kaali and the bushes around. Sometimes I feel very bad for producer Aswini Dutt, as the incredible production values and scale is the only thing people remember about the movie but it resulted in massive losses in the end.

June 7, 2020No Comments

Tollywood House Sets Special

There's nothing like a good old Telugu movie without famous house sets. Each set brings a certain ambience and feel to the movie and the grand sets of Tollywood movies have always left viewers stunned by the visuals and architecture.
Many of you are are probably wondering where is this place located and how did they built it? In this exclusive and deep dive exploration article, let's take a look at some of the most famous sets in Tollywood that have always piqued our curiosity and been the highlight of many movies over the years.
1) Maryada Ramanna house set - Location: Kokapet, Hyderabad
This set was the highlight of SS Rajamouli's Maryada Ramanna where half the movie takes place. Designed and built by Art Director Ravinder Reddy who also worked for movies like S/O Satyamurthy, Magadheera, and Bhagamaathie, the house was built in an open lot in the outskirts of Hyderabad in Kokapet and has been manipulated many times before our very own eyes in countless Telugu movies.
Jayaprakash Reddy House in Kandireega (2011)
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Sampath House in Mirchi (2013)

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Balayya's house in Adhinayukudu (2012)
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Satya Prakash House in Ragada (2010)
Maanikya (2014) - Mirchi Kannada remake starring Sudeep
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Aha Naa Pellanta (2011 Allari Naresh version)

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Ra Raa Krishnayya (2014) - Jagapathi Babu's House

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2) Brindavanam House Set - Location: Bachupally, Hyderabad (Destroyed)
The highlight of Brindavanam was easily this sprawling house set designed by Anand Sai for NTR's Brindavanam.
Anand Sai states in an article "The sprawling house set should resemble Lord Krishna’s Brindavanam. In fact color combination played vital role. We used peacock and other innovative colors. I sat with the director for a month and half to draw the sketches. Vamsi works on minute details. Most of the movie was shot in this house set which was erected in an open place in Hyderabad suburbs near a lake in Bachupally.
It was a four-acre plot and the set was created using one acre! For the flooring we used Italian black marble. The furniture was brought from Delhi. Since the director was very particular that the set should be used only for this film, it was dismantled once the movie was completed."
It's very sad that such an iconic house was destroyed after the movie, but I guess we'll have to keep the memories that the visuals gave throughout the movie.




3) Dhammu House Set - Location : Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
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What do the houses in Nippu, Vikramarkudu, Dhammu, and Seema Sastri all have in common? They're all the exact same house just been manipulated countless times which located deep with RFC in Hyderabad. Many people wonder where directors go to film big village houses and wala, it turns out that all of them are the same one.
4) Son of Satyamurthy House Set - Location: Kokapet, Hyderabad


In S/O of Satyamurthy, Upendra's house in Reddiarpatti in which the majority of the 2nd half takes place in is shown in some village in Tamil Nadu. That's where the movie magic comes in. The actual house is located in a set in Kokapet which Art Director Ravinder Reddy created for the film.
He states in an article "In S/O Satyamurthy, starring Allu Arjun, the second half is shot at a big house. “In the film, the house was supposed to be near the Chennai seashore. We did find one but it was very congested, so we then chose to build a set in Hyderabad,”  “We brought big trees from Kadiyam village near Rajahmundry and wood from Delhi to build the house,” he says. The cost of this set was nearly Rs 1.5 crore which was, in fact, far less than what it would have cost the production house to go and shoot in Chennai.
The house was later seen once again in Subramanyam for Sale as the house that Sai Dharam Tej and Regina take refuge in the 2nd half of the film.
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5) Athadu House Set - Location: Ramanaidu Studios, Hyderabad
IMG_9475 (2) The iconic house set where the majority of Mahesh Babu's classic Athadu takes place in shown in some remote village where Nandu hides from the police. The set was actually constructed in Ramanaidu Studios and became just as famous as the movie itself. With all the amazing and memorable scenes in the house, it's safe to say that name of the house became the Athadu house after movies resounding success over the years.
It was seen once again, repainted in Krishna Vamsi's Chandammama
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6) NTR House in Dhammu - Location - N/A
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The house where NTR's family stays in Dhammu was a massive house and became one of the highlights. While the location is unavailable, it's more or less assumed that a house like this would be built in RFC. Featuring stunning decor and grandeur throughout, I guess actor Suman liked it so much in the movie that he decided to hide behind a secret door and resurface 25 years later when he got bored.
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7) Nithin's House in A Aa - Location - Annapurna Studios
The reality of A Aa is that movie was actually filmed in Pollachi in Tamil Nadu for all the greenery you see in the opening 30 mins. The house set where most of the 1st half takes place was noticeable though, featuring typical Andhra architecture of a village house. The house was seen again in Nithin's Bheesma, when Nithin and Rashmika visit Subhalekha Sudhakar about a problem in the village and the Pollam fight that follows.
8) Vaikuntapuram House Set - Location: Road no. 29 - Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad
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The grand palatial house of Allu Arjun's family in Ala Vaikuntapuram Lo was probably one of the biggest houses sets we had ever seen. But that's the twist. The house actually exists and is located on Road no. 29 in Jubilee Hills, two houses away from Jr. NTR's house in Hyderabad.
An article explains that only the exterior of the house was used and the interiors were recreated by AS Prakash in a separate set.
"It is the house of NTV Chairman Chowdary's daughter Rachana's in-laws. They are relatives of Harika Hassine Creations owner Radha Krishna and on his request they agreed to shoot from the outside for a couple of days. The estimated cost to build this mansion is around Rs. 100 Cr"
"It was tough to get a house with interiors that match the exteriors of that mansion. Hence, art director AS Prakash erected a set in Annapurna Studios with Rs. 5 Cr budget that was so perfect as the interior for Trivikram's Vaikunthapuram."
You can find the google map location here:
9) Srihari's House Brindavanam - Location - Ramoji Film City
Srihari's stunning blue mansion in Brindavanam was another highlight of the family entertainer. While the location in unknown, the sprawling set and the design just add to the list of Telugu movie houses that have become recognizable.
Look familiar? That's because it's the same house that Trisha lives in Namo Venkatesa!
10) SVSC House - Location: RFC, Hyderabad
The house of Relangi Mamayya in SVSC is shown in a beautiful village somewhere in Andhra. But the truth is the house was constructed in Ramoji Film City itself and the majority of the family scenes are shot within this house.
Producer Dil Raju said "“When I made Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu, I couldn’t go to a village with two big stars along with hundreds of artistes, technicians and helpers. So I opted for a set and the house still exists at RFC."
The house was later seen once again as Rajendra Prasad's house in Aagadu.
Other famous house sets are Attarintiki Daredi house set from the movie which was resused in PRabhas's Rebel as the climax fight house. It is located within Ramoji Film City.
Hope you all enjoyed this fun little article and hope you're staying safe and healthy as always.
Signing off
- Teja Rao