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Over dose of love stories


A fresh breeze is blowing over the Telugu tinseldom. The turn of the century saw the rise of a new generation of filmmakers and stars. Lured by the glamour of showbiz, people from other businesses are taking to film production. This has resulted in a boom in the number of releases, compared to the first three quarters last year.

The onus is more on making youthful love stories. In fact, the trend was set last year with the success of and all-new star cast, "Chitram" and another low budget hit starring newcomers, "Bachelors".

The position got consolidated with the big hit, "Nuvve Kavali". The success of these movies gave the impetus for others to experiment with new stars and directors. With most of the women glued to television sets watching mega soaps in the comfort of their drawing rooms, only college students and the youth are patronizing the theatres. So, the new generation low budget filmmakers are targeting this audience. They have found a simple formula - introduce a lead pair, add to the cast senior character artistes fill it with comic interludes, and some melodious and fast numbers.

But is this formula producing the desired result?

The big boom resulted in the release of about 70 films in the past nine months. Of these, only four turned out to be super hits, including "Nuvve Nenu". Another half a dozen films could manage to make a little profit. And in today's box-office parlance, they are termed hits. The rest proved damps squibs, most of them from the freshers. The reason - the same old one. The story content, which the filmmakers claim is 'different', has turned out to be stale.

Says veteran film-maker Dasari Narayana Rao, "The problems with most of these new generation film-makers is that they are not making movies according to the likes of he audience. Instead, they are making stereo-types". He does not agree with the view that experience counts here. "People without an experience in cinema have entered the field and made a mark".

Director B. Gopal agrees with him. "Until one gets an opportunity, everybody is a newcomer. I was also one". According to Dasari, it is due to poor choice and narration of the subject. "Apart from 'Nuvve Kaavali', which I consider a healthy love story, most of the other films in this genre encourage the youngsters to revolt against their parents to make their love a success. It may temporarily love excite the youth; but such scripts are not good for them in the long run".

Seventy movies have already been released, and an equal number, mostly from the new generation, are in various stages of shooting. Some offer and exciting fare for the youth, and some others are low budget love stories.

After the commercial success of the comical love story, "6 teens", G. Nageswara Reddy has come up with "Ide Naa Modati Premalekha" with newcomers Jayaram and Rimmi Sen in the lead. The theme leaves the girl in a dilemma, whether she would leave her parents for her lover.

The campus love story, "Kalalu Kandamraa" introduces Bapi Reddy as the director and Prem Kumar, Divya, Sangeetha Rai and Nisha in the lead roles. "The first half is full of fun, set in a college backdrop, and in the second half, the hero falls in love with the three heroines. Ultimately, who he will marry, and whether his dreams come true is the climax".

G.V. Anji Reddy makes his debut with "Nee Kosame Nenu", starring Santhosh and Jayalakshmi. The hero is a novelist and the heroine, and artiste. Her art inspires him to write and she is an admirer of his works. They do not meet for long until they accidentally meet at a function. And love blossoms.

"O Manasa Preminchake," directed by newcomer T. S. Sivaji, introduces Y. Srihari and Indrani. The hero entices the girl and deceives her. She in turn brings about a change in him, showering her love, and ultimately makes him tie the sacred knot.

New-comers Nivas and Shika Sinha star in debut director K. Sai Shyam's "Cheliya Cheliya Chirukopama". The young lovers face a certain problem. How they overcome that forms the main theme.

There are more movies in this genre, some with similar sounding titles, in the pipeline. In contrast, some low budget film-makers are attempting at slightly different themes. "Ramana", directed by Sivanageswara Rao and written by film scribe turned writer Ravi Kolikapudi, is one such movie. Here, the hero (Rajendra Babu), after completing his studies, does not wait for a Government job but opts for self-employment. The story has love, sentiment and action. The movie has an attractive and exciting climax.

Well…there is a lot of excitement for new entrants. For, they think they have a 'different' concept and an ace up their sleeve. But the other side of the picture shows a dismal scenario. At a moderate estimate, trade circles report a loss of nearly Rs. 25 crore in the first nine months of the year, for the industry. "Most of these film-makers are not serious with their productions. That is the root cause for this malady" observes Dasari.

Barring a couple of films that have really offered a novel fare, is it not the time for film makers to take stock of the situation and have a change in their perception when the youth seem to be rejection the stuff dished out to them. For, the boom may soon boomerang on them.

This article is written by MLN
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