HYDERABAD: One of the largest film industries of this country, Tollywood churns out over 200 films a year. And yet, until recently, the Telangana dialect was used sparingly, unless it was to lampoon a character or if the character was a villain.
Considering that most of Tollywood’s stars, directors and producers hail from Andhra, the Telangana dialect is often sidelined, with the intention being mainly to appease the movie-goers in Andhra. This, despite Telugu films doing exceedingly well in all regions of Telangana.
However, with the formation of Telangana state, the Telangana dialect is finally finding its own voice in the mainstream Telugu cinema. One of the most significant steps towards popularising Telangana dialect in mainstream cinema was when Allu Arjun spoke in strong Telangana dialect in Gunasekhar’s 3D historical flick, ‘Rudramadevi’, in 2015. The audience was simply captivated by Allu Arjun’s performance as Gona Ganna Reddy and critics hailed it as the highlight of the film. Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao declared tax exemption for the film for promoting Telangana culture.
Filmmakers are no longer shying away from making leading characters in mainstream films speak Telangana dialect. A case in point is the recent blockbuster ‘Pellichoopulu’. The entire star cast spoke in Telangana dialect and the audience just lapped it up.
What’s interesting to note about ‘Pellichoopulu’ is the fact that the film was presented by D.Suresh Babu, a top producer and who hails from Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh.
“Telangana dialect entering mainstream cinema is a good development. It shows the culture and heritage of Telangana and is a positive sign,” says Suresh Babu.
Telangana producers, however, feel that there’s still a long way to go before Telangana dialect gets its due.
‘‘Telangana dialect is used only in certain situations by certain directors. But that is far from the mainstream cinema,” says Prasanna Kumar, general secretary, Telangana Film Producers’ Council.