October 3, 2023

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Why Tollywood doesn’t make enough historic motion pictures?

5 min read

Well-known columnist and historic fiction writer Sai Papineni in his information Andhra Nagari says that Telugu individuals are fully negligent of their very personal historic previous. His comment comes whereas describing the splendor of Satavahana Empire – the one empire in complete India’s historic previous that has lasted for over 5 hundred years, nevertheless does not decide lots throughout the historic previous books as in contrast with Maurya, Gupta, Chola, Chalukya, Maratha, Mughal and even British kingdoms.

In the ultimate 25–30 years, there are arguably solely three motion pictures that fall throughout the historic class. The three motion pictures are Rudhramadevi (2015), Gautamiputra Shatakarni (2017) and Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy (2019). Some might counsel together with movies made on NTR (2019), YSR’s biopic Yatra (2019) and Mahanati (2018) to the itemizing. Barring Mahanati, the other three motion pictures are hagiographies made with the exact operate of political mileage. Mahanati moreover sticks to the lifetime of actress Savitri and doesn’t transcend that. Some might even object to the three movies I mentioned earlier. These motion pictures had been panned upon launch. These three movies included episodes or characters or events that do not have any historic basis. They caught to the obligation of portraying lives of historic figures largely believed by the ultimate populace.

The predominant concern proper right here is, why so few motion pictures on this fashion from Telugu cinema? During the similar interval, Bollywood made motion pictures like The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Sardar, 1971, LOC Kargil, Chittagong, Jodha Akbar, Mohenjo Daro, Kesari, Tanhaji, Samrat Prithviraj, Padmavat, Manikarnika… the itemizing might go on. Kollywood acquired right here out with movies like Hey Ram, Madrasapattinam, Kaviya Thalaivan, Ayirathil Oruvan, Iruvar, Rocketry and others reaching as a lot as the present Ponniyin Selvan duology.

Telugu film commerce at one stage of time was recognized for its enormous historic motion pictures. Chanakya Chandragupta, Bobbili Yuddham, Palanati Yuddham, Yogi Vemana, Mahamantri Timmarusu, Malleeshwari, Sri Krishnadevarayalu, Vishwanadha Nayakudu, Alluri Sitaramaraju, Maa Bhoomi, Andhra Kesari… the itemizing is prolonged. Combined with mythological motion pictures based totally on the Ramayana, Mahabharata and totally different puranas, the Telugu film commerce was most persistently belting out costume dramas with enormous items till about mid-eighties.

The causes for this diminished alternative for historicals is perhaps funds related, or as a consequence of change in star’s preferences, or as a consequence of difficulties in evaluation and recreation of historic previous.

“The popularity of historical and mythological genre in Telugu cinema was probably due to the lively oral tradition of folklore in Telugu villages. The society changed a lot with the coming of newer communication technologies and the focus of films gradually shifted to pure entertainment,” says senior journalist and film lover Taadi Prakash. “Even earlier, Telugu cinema always focused on the entertainment and commercial aspects of a story only, rather than historical accuracy. Telugu filmmakers have always done injustice to history. In fact, I would say that there was no tradition of historical cinema ever here,” Prakash added.

Film historian, poet and Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award winner Varala Anand says, “Market requirement is the only factor dictating film content in recent years. These market demands force a formula on each and every cinema, at the cost of content, characters and screenplay, resulting in the dearth of meaningful cinema.” This is resulting in directors turning into “event organizers,” Anand declares. “Moreover, it is lack of respect for history in the Telugu people that is leading to the making of films like RRR, which corrupt the identity of historical characters and goes to great lengths to create an alternate history. This too is forced by market demands,” observes Anand.

“We should first look at whether actual history is being shown or a historical character is taken and some fact is mixed with some fiction to suit the demands of the script,” says senior film critic Rentala Jayadeva. “This is why it is difficult to differentiate between historical films and biographical films based on historical characters,” Jayadeva components out. He mentions Yogi Vemana, Bhakta Pothana, Tenali Ramakrishna, Srinadha Kavisarvabhowma and few totally different motion pictures to make clear his stage. “But the identity of historical cinema is going through a major overhaul these days. A historical character or incident is being taken and a new story is being woven leading to a new genre that can be called fictional history,” says Jayadeva. He mentions RRR, The Kashmir Files, The Kerala Story, Madras Café, Uri and upcoming Nikhil film Spy to make clear his argument.

Rentala Jayadeva further acknowledged the revival of nationalism has elevated the curiosity of people with regard to historic incidents and characters, leading to further motion pictures being produced on this fashion. “The enormous work needed in recreating exact history is probably why most filmmakers are choosing to take the path of ‘soft historicals’ like Major, The Ghazi Attack, Mahanati,” Jayadeva opines. “The commercial value of the said historical figure is also the major deciding factor in making a film on that person. See, there are many films on Alluri Sitaramaraju, but none on Kandukuri Veereshalingam. Even on a leader like Tanguturi Prakasham, his grandson had to come and make a film… we can understand the market realities playing a major role here,” says Jayadeva, echoing what Taadi Prakash and Varala Anand acknowledged.

“Mughal E Azam, Malleshwari, Ben Hur are among the best historical films I ever saw,” acknowledged Prakash. “Would love to see a historical on Hampi, Vijayanagara Empire,” he concluded. Anand talked about Bobbili Yuddham, Nagayya’s Yogi Vemana, Maa Bhoomi, Mughal E Azam, Train to Pakistan, Garam Hawa in his itemizing of favorite historicals. “Many persons in the Kakatiya empire… Rudrama Devi, Pratapa Rudra, Jayapa Senani, Gona Ganna Reddy deserve major biopics,” says Anand. “The shift of Jainism to Shaivism that took place during Kakatiya reign also has major historical ramifications for this region which merits screen treatment. I would also love to see a major film on Telangana Armed Struggle,” concluded Anand.

Jayadeva listed Gandhi, Alluri Seetaramaraju, Bobbili Yuddham, Palnati Yuddham, Andhra Kesari amongst his favorite historic motion pictures. He felt that historic biopics on Sri Sri, Chalam, MS Subbu Lakshmi, Palanadu historic previous, Vemulawada Bheemakavi and many others would make for fantastic motion pictures.

What emerges is the reality that whereas Telugu filmmakers have forgotten to make historic movies throughout the closing 2-3 a few years, not lower than the current sample of ‘fictional histories’ should encourage creators to offer you some good motion pictures on this fashion as there isn’t any such factor as a dearth of incidents or people that match the commercial requirements of present market too.