The first half of 2021 has been quite a challenging period for Tollywood. The film industry kicked off its new year with the theatrical release of Ravi's Teja's Krack on January 9. Though the film faced a few hurdles on day 1 of its release owing to the strict COVID-19 restrictions imposed at places, the action-entertainer turned out to be a massive hit in theatres across the two states, making the celebrated phrase- 'no pain no gain' true.
Following the terrific success of the Ravi Teja-starrer, Tollywood gained confidence in displaying its content (films) to the audience. Though a few failed in their attempt, a large number of films were seen striking gold at the box office with some incredibly impressive content. On one hand, the Telugu audience lauded Uppena that featured newcomers, while on the other hand, they welcomed their Power Star Pawan Kalyan back, who appeared on screens after almost 3 years. Though many other films were also supposed to hit theatres in the first half of the year, the second wave of COVID-19 led to the postponement of their release indefinitely.
Well, as we slowly move towards the second half of the year, let us take a look at Tollywood's successful ventures that released between January and May 2021.
Starring Ravi Teja and Shruti Haasan in the lead roles, the film revolves around a hot-headed police officer who is on a mission to hunt down a notorious criminal. Directed by Gopichand, the film turned out to be a commercial success. Also featuring Samuthirakani, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, P Ravi Shankar and Anish Kuruvilla, the action entertainer released on January 9.
Based on true events, Naandhi revolves around a young man who is falsely accused, arrested and abused by a police officer in connection with a sensational case. Directed by debutant Vijay Kanakamedala, Allari Naresh plays the role of an under-trial prisoner. The film which released on February 19, has an ensemble cast including Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Praveen and Harish Uthaman.
Uppena, the romantic drama marked the debut of Chiranjeevi's nephew Vaishnav Tej. Also starring Vijay Sethupathi and Krithi Shetty, the film is directed by debutant Buchi Babu Sana. The film displayed the story of a fisherman who falls in love with the village head's daughter and complications that arise owing to caste differences and ego clashes. Notably, Uppena became the highest-grossing Telugu film for a debut actor. The film hit cinemas on February 12 ahead of Valentine's Day.
After some serious films, Naveen Polishetty and his team joined the league but only to tickle the funny bone of the audience with their hilarious content. Released on March 11, the film directed by Anudeep KV told the story about the life of three naive youngsters who are on a quest to find happiness after getting released from prison. Garnering terrific response at theatres worldwide, the film went on to become a blockbuster at the box office. The comedy entertainer also features Priyadarshi Pullikonda, Rahul Ramakrishna and Faria Abdullah in key roles.
Starring handsome actor Ram Pothineni in double role, the film displayed the story of two lookalikes and their intriguing involvement in a murder mystery. Released on January 14, the film received huge appreciation from the audience with many praising Ram's acting chops and the storyline. Directed by Kishore Tirumala, the film's key cast members include Nivetha Pethuraj, Malvika Sharma, Amritha Aiyer and Sampath Raj.
One of the highly talked about films of the year starring Pawan Kalyan made it to the theatres amid the second of COVID-19 on April 9. Revolving around the concept of sexual abuse and the importance of consent, the film garnered massive response for obvious reasons. Directed by Venu Sriram, the film starred an ensemble cast including Shruti Haasan, Nivetha Thomas, Anjali, Ananya Nagalla and Prakash Raj.
30 Rojullo Preminchadam Ela
Featuring Pradeep Machiraju and Amritha Aiyer in the lead role, the film hit cinemas on January 29. Directed by Munna Dhulipudi, the film revolves around two rivals, who learn about their reincarnation and the exceptional bond they shared in their previous life. Also starring Subhalekha Sudhakar, Posani Krishna Murali and Saranya Pradeep, the film turned out to be an impressive venture that garnered hearts for its effortless storytelling.
Released on February 5, Zombie Reddy helmed by late director Prasanth Varma revolves around a game developer and his friends who witness a zombie attack, while they attend a wedding bash. Starring Teja Sajja in the lead role, the film also featured Anandhi, Harsha Vardhan, Daksha Nagarkar, Raghu Babu and Hari Teja.