Telugu filmmakers seem to think by extensively bragging about their film before the release, they will be able to draw audiences and also strike good business deals while selling the film’s rights. But after the end of their pre-release promotional circus, when the film hits theatres, it’s more often than not a case of utter frivolity and no show of skill or meaningful content.
Take for example top director V.V. Vinayak’s recent film Inttelligent and even debut director Manjula Ghattamaneni’s Manasuku Nachindi. Before the release of his film, Vinayak requested Prabhas and Balakrishna to support his film’s promotional activities. Simultaneously, the director himself praised the film without an iota of inhibition. “I saw the film last night and it’s going to be a very big hit,” he reiterated during an event. Although it’s not wrong to take pride in one’s own work, going too far by obsessing over it sounds silly.
So after Inttelligent tanked, its disappointed producer, C. Kalyan, is at a loss of words when asked about the director’s over confidence during the promotions. “We wanted to get good openings. People didn’t like the film..., I can’t talk any more about it,” he says.
“Though in some areas people came forward to buy the film, I released it on my own because I truly believed in it,” states Kalyan. Vinayak is a top top director, so nobody dare give him suggestions on a film. As a result, both Kalyan and Sai Dharam Tej have had to deal with financial and professional blows respectively with this film’s release.
The bragging continues
Coming to Manasuku Nachindi, first-time director Manjula, who wouldn’t stop singing her film’s praises said those who do not like her work are ‘heartless’, ‘wasters’... Ironically right after the first show of the romantic entertainer, people knew the film would bomb! Rumour is even the film’s producers and its lead actor Sundeep Kishan were not too happy with the way the film shaped up eventually.
“Sundeep Kishan and the producer chopped nearly ten minutes of the film and Sundeep also expressed his concern. The producer looked confident, so Sundeep couldn’t do much and remained silent,” says a source. That the film was on the wrong track was realised quite early on during the shooting. However, “With Mahesh Babu’s voice over and support, they expected some kind of a positive opening, but it did not work out,” adds the source.
Another example of bragging is when Nagarjuna went overboard with his production Rangula Ratnam, which released on Sankranti this year.
The actor even compared his film to a delicious Telugu dish, stating that it was perfect for the festival like the ‘bobbattu’. He was all praises for the film’s director, protagonists and so on but in the end, the film bombed.
Contemplating why filmmakers are resorting to such tactics, director Madhura Sreedhar shares, “It’s a kind of insecurity or they are scared about competition; that’s why directors brag so much about the film. Except the director, many in the unit can sense that the film will not do well but they can’t say anything because business is at stake. When I made Oka Manasu, I thought it’s going to be a one-of-a-kind love story in Telugu cinema, but when I watched the first show of the film with the audience, I realised it wasn’t so. The director always feels that his/her product is good — it is a psychic disorder.” Moreover, he says, before the release of their film, directors talk a lot about the film because they desperately want to make the audience believe in their product.
Sources tell us the entire team of Touch Chesi Choodu, including hero Ravi Teja, were nervous about the film’s fate while shooting itself. “Yet, to create a buzz to help get the right kind of business, all of them went overboard praising the film and oversold it,” says a source.
Whether new or experienced, small or famous, all directors these days sell their films like there’s no tomorrow. “When big directors are involved, it is about money. They feel if they don’t talk confidently, they won’t get good business deals,” states Sreedhar, adding, “Now I am coming up with a few films and I have decided not to exaggerate or lie about the film.”...