The second largest film industry in India after the Bollywood is Tollywood (Not the Bengali film industry but the Telugu film industry). It produces highest number of films in the country sometimes even beating Bollywood. Tollywood elders take pride that the industry gives food and shelter to many technicians. All is fine till now. But whenever the National Awards are announced, why does films made by Tollywood do not get recognised? Is it a taboo for a telugu film to get a National Award?
Art or Commerce? Tollywood can’t decide
The reasons are many but for those who matter, these reasons are invalid. It has been very long that a telugu film got a genuine award for its content. Forget getting a National Award, Telugu films are not even getting selected for Film Festivals, which is always called a shame.
Cinema is a commercial Art. No doubt, huge monies are involved in the making of cinema and they should be recovered but that aspect alone cannot hide the fact, that film making is an art by itself. Most of the yesteryear films too were commercial successes and also they were artistic. The instances are many.
“Shankarabharanam, Nartanasala, Malliswari, Mayuri, Manchi Manasulu, Sagara Sangamam, Swarna Kamalam, Pandanti Kapuram,” were a few films which struck the correct balance of Commercial cinema as an art.
But why are the film makers of today are not willing to make commercial cinema more artistic unlike the neighbours who are getting critical as well as commercial acclaim? Tamil films like “Paruthi Veeran, Subramaniapuram, Sethu, Pithamagan” and Malayalam films like, “Katha Parayumbol, Udayananu Tharam, Pazhaasi Raja” and Kannada films like, “Gulabi Talkies, Duniya, Mungaru Male” are all examples of this fine balance.
“Blame it on the producers who do not risk their money,” say the directors. “Blame it on the audience who do not want to come to a theaters,” say the producers. “Where are such kind of movies to see in the theaters which can appetite our artistic thirst,” questions the common film lover. In the end, these questions can never be answered as the answer lies in the questions itself.
But one thing is for sure, the telugu film makers of today are forgetting that Cinema is an Art and not just titillation. The commercial capacity of a telugu film has been properly depicted with the hits of “Arundathi and Magadheera.” If only the producers bank on a proper story and mix it with proper commercial elements then the very classics which were produced in the yore would be repeated. But all said and done, who is ready to bell the cat?