‘Balagam’, ‘Prema Vimanam’, ‘Writer Padmabhushan’: Looking at Telugu cinema beyond biggies

South First lists a bunch of recent Telugu films that stood out purely due to their content.

ByHaricharan Pudipeddi

Published May 16, 2024 | 11:14 AMUpdatedMay 16, 2024 | 11:29 AM

Content movies in Telugu

Telugu cinema is at an interesting phase of slow transition, where the focus isn’t solely on star-studded, mega-budget projects anymore.

In recent years, a string of filmmakers and producers in Telugu have shown keen interest in betting on good content, even if that means making their movies with a relatively unknown cast and on shoestring budgets.

One of the best examples in this category of films is actor-turned-filmmaker Venu Yeldandi’s Balagam (2023), hailed as one of the best slice-of-life Telugu films of all time.

The last couple of years saw Telugu cinema produce quite a few little gems that may not have enjoyed resounding success in theatres but are a cut above the rest.

South First lists recent Telugu movies that stood out purely due to their content.


Priyadarshi in Balagam

Priyadarshi in ‘Balagam’. (X)

It is films like Balagam that remind us that Telugu movies aren’t entirely about stars trying to cash in on their machismo and stardom but also about content.

Venu Yeldandi’s film is a heartfelt story about rural Telangana culture, a milieu that was rarely explored until then.

The movie explores family dynamics and politics after the death of a key member.

One of the major highlights of Balagam is that it was backed by producer Dil Raju – a name you associate with some of the biggest commercial pot-boilers of Telugu cinema over a decade.

Filled with heartwarming performances, the movie was also a box-office success.

In a pre-release press meet of his recent release, The Family Star (2024), Dil Raju was asked whether he would back more films like Balagam in the picture.

He replied, “I’m a producer who invests money in films at the end of the day. As much as I’m willing to bet on good content, I also have to ensure that I get my money back. Balagam earned me good returns. If I have to bet on such projects in the future, I will also look at how I can make money out of them.”

Balagam is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Also Read: Single-screen theatres in Telangana to shut down for 10 days

Prema Vimanam

content movies in telugu prema vimanam

A poster of ‘Prema Vimanam’. (X)

Produced by another noted producer Abhishek Nama, Prema Vimanam (2023) is a beautiful story of two kids (brothers) from a small village with the dream of boarding an airplane, and doing whatever it takes to realize it.

This is also the story of a young couple from the same village eloping to Dubai with the hope of getting married.

The story takes an interesting turn when the paths of both these sub-plots interject at a point and what follows is a touching tale of hope and resilience.

Prema Vimanam is currently streaming on Zee 5.

Month of Madhu

A still from 'Month of Madhu'.

A still from ‘Month of Madhu’. (X)

Srikanth Nagoti’s Month of Madhu (2023) is a hard-hitting slice-of-life relationship drama that is also an effective story of love, sacrifice, and letting go.

Featuring very strong performances by Naveen Chandra and Swathi, the Telugu movie also talks about the need to normalise divorce, and why it isn’t the end of the world for those who go through it.

The film beautifully and very realistically shines the spotlight on human relationships with all its glory and shortcomings.

This isn’t a lighthearted watch but one that’s quite serious and atmospheric in its mood and setting.

Month of Madhu is currently streaming on Aha.

Also Read: Telugu cinema in Q1 2024: More misses than hits

Writer Padmabhushan

content movies in telugu Writer Padmabushan

A still from ‘Writer Padmabushan’. (X)

Directed by Shanmukha Prasanth, Writer Padmabhushan (2023) is the story of an aspiring writer and how his life takes unexpected twists on his journey to get his first book published.

Mostly known for his comic roles, the film saw Suhas rise to fame in the lead role in 2020’s smash hit, Colour Photo.

This is a highly relatable story of a common’s struggle to make it big.

Writer Padmabhushan is streaming on Zee 5.

Sundaram Master

A still from 'Sundaram Master'.

A still from ‘Sundaram Master’. (X)

An out-and-out rib-tickling entertainer, Sundaram Master (2024) was produced by actor Ravi Teja along with Sudheer Kumar Kurra.

The film follows Sundar Rao as he arrives as an English teacher in a village with a hidden agenda.

The villagers’ reactions to him and the outcome of his mission form the central crux of the movie.

Harsha Chemudu, who’s slowly establishing himself as a very good actor and comedian plays the titular role.

Sundaram Master is currently streaming on Aha.

Also Read: Telugu cinema’s new wave of actors takes centre stage