Telugu Cinema saw some of the best path breaking films in Crime Thrillers. Telugu Cinema never just let itself be a commercial entertainer heavy industry. While the biggest hits have been such formulaic films but there have been genuine exceptions too. Here are few of those films that you should definitely watch at least once.
Best Crime Thrillers of Telugu Cinema
The movie starts out as a horror drama but it ends up being a crime thriller that was explored in horror style. Movie created a sensation when it released and made Krishna, Kanchana upcoming stars with its grand success. If you’re watching it for the first time, you will surely feel anxious during the reveal of the killer and the movie’s music stands out without any doubt. Grab a can of cold drink and good two tubs of popcorn when you decide to watch this film.
Kamal Hassan decided to change the Indian Cinema look style and narrative structure with his films back in 1980’s. Even before he became a star, he started experimenting and Erra Gulabilu stands as a prime example for that. Movie lasted decades in the minds of first time viewers and many say that they watched it in stunned silence upon first release. Sridevi and Kamal Hassan with Bharathi Raja became a combination to remember with this film.
Anukokunda Oka Roju
We are talking about drugs all the time, these days. They have become solid foundation shakers in our society. Younger lot are getting addicted to these harmful substances and even those that look they never try anything of that sort are becoming increasingly subjected to these narcotics unknowingly. Anukokunda Oka Roju narrates the same in a typical fun way. Charmee and Jagapathi Babu performances add value to Chandrasekhar Yeleti’s thrilling yet comic narrative.
Chattaniki Kallu Levu
In the beginning, Chiranjeevi had to prove his acting skills beyond just dancing and fights. Today, the actor in him has to adhere to stardom needs but in movies like Chattaniki Kallu Levu, he proved that he is a complete star material who can carry a film on his able shoulders. This film’s success prompted many producers to invest on Chiranjeevi and that lead him to more hits and finally, Khaidi that made him a star. This film is a routine crime thriller for today’s audiences but if you watch it just as a fun commercial entertainer, it still holds great value.
This was a crime thriller like never witnessed before in Telugu. After its release too, many couldn’t replicate the same flow in narrative and tightness in suspense drama. Movie holds out even today like a fresh film. Anveshana might have been a village drama but the film has a very modern and realistic outlook. This makes the film standout in the crowd. Vamsy’s direction, Ilaiyaraja’s music, Bhanupriya’s performance are highlights of the film.
Abhilasha is again a film that will give us a glimpse of the kind of actor Chiranjeevi can be. His performance as an innocent Lawyer with an outlook to get rid of death punishment for criminals or Human Beings stands out. His dialogue delivery and his body language never try to remind us that he is a star. He looks like a character and the movie has a very effective way of narrating its point. Watch it, if you haven’t already.
Adivi Sesh needed a genre that is less explored perfectly in Telugu cinema to gain a name. He chose thrillers. Kshanam started this meteroic rise in his popularity and opened many doors for his writing, acting and direction abilities too. Even though he took inspirations from Hollywood and Korean dramas, he delivered the story well that even as an overblown commercial action drama it worked like a magic in Hindi. But Kshanam stands out as the best version of the film can be. Anasuya’s performance is also great in the film.
Ram Gopal Varma today might have become a synonym for unnecessary talk and bad publicity. But once he stood for good content and content, only. His desire to be different made him try different things in his own style. He brought in dry humour to Telugu cinema in this crime thriller. Movie became a classic today but when it released it didn’t reach to the expectations of an auditorium that expected Venky’s version of Shiva. Sridevi stole the show all the way in the film.
Adivi Sesh brought in his own twist to the Spanish thriller, “The Invisible Guest” and director, Venkat Ramji delivered a gripping screenplay. Evaru stands out for using the original material and delivering one of the best thrillers in its own way. Regina Cassandra, Murali Sharma and Adivi Sesh leave us spell-bound with their performances.
Chettu Kinda Pleader
Rajendra Prasad and Vamsy decided to add suspense to their regular comedy genre. The actor and director needed to show that they can new things beyond Ladies Tailor and this film stood as a great example. Rajendra Prasad’s comic character takes a serious turn in the later reels and the transformation was performed by the actor in a meticulous way. “Alex, you Relax!”, has become a huge punchline that movie needs to be watched just for those portions.
Kamal Hassan can do anything. He has been proving that for years. He did it in comedy genre with Indrudu Chandrudu. With a new get-up and a comic screenplay, only he can pull-off, the actor delivered a memorable fun crime thriller. Again, the movie might look a regular commercial action entertainer for today’s generation but the way Kamal performed in the film, keeps the film fresh for years to come as well.
Nagarjuna Akkineni formed a great combination with Mahesh Bhatt. The duo made Criminal, Angaarey, Zakhm kind of films. Only Criminal stands out as the box office winner out of the three. The movie has one of the most memorable songs ever, Tu Mile Dil Khile/Telusa Manasa. May be Keeravani’s song made it more memorable than the story. But the performance of Nagarjuna in the film stands out as one of his best in his career.
Drushyam might be a remake from Malayalam Cinema but the simple crime and punishment story holding the suspense, investigation angles so well that too in a realistic fashion, should be appreciated. Venkatesh, Meena and Nadiya gave their best performances in the film. The vibe and energy, Venkatesh could bring to the character makes us watch it again.
Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya
Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya is a today’s version of Chettu Kinda Pleader. Movie took the simple crime thriller in comedy way point of the film, Chettu Kinda Pleader and delivered another enjoyable film. The mystery behind the murders and the Sherlock Holmes angle in the film added bonus to the character of Athreya. Naveen Polishetty has an ease that is on par with Naresh and Rajendra Prasad. Hope he lives up to that potential.
Karthikeya is one of the few genre based thrillers in Telugu Cinema. It follows the logical scientific explanation pattern for surreal problems that a village face. They think divine supernatural intervention is happening but the mystery unearths real culprits sparking many doubts within us about bigger questions. That is the hallmark of a best crime scientific thriller. Chandoo Mondeti, the director and Nikhil Siddhartha, the actor are ready to bring sequel to this film. Hopefully, they will start soon.
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