Welcome 2022: New Year brings new hopes for Telugu cinema releases

The hunch is that 2022 is going to be one of the most exciting yet memorable years for Telugu cinema because each star has stepped out of their comfort zone and is trying something new
Movies like 'Bheemla Nayak', 'Major', 'Liger' and 'Acharya' have made Telugu audiences excited. (Photo| YouTube screengrab)
Movies like 'Bheemla Nayak', 'Major', 'Liger' and 'Acharya' have made Telugu audiences excited. (Photo| YouTube screengrab)

2021 was an indication of how the Telugu film industry is going to perform in the New Year. My hunch is that 2022 is going to be one of the most exciting yet memorable years for Telugu cinema because each star has stepped out of their comfort zone and is trying something new.

Personally, I am betting big on SS Rajamouli's RRR, Chiranjeevi-starrer Acharya, Pawan Kalyan's Bheemla Nayak, Mahesh Babu's Sarkaru Vaari Paata and Prabhas' Salaar. I also believe that this year is going to see a rise in the number of multi-starrers and joint productions. Let’s roll up our sleeves to see the list of films that catch the eyes of hardcore Telugu movie buffs.

Clash of the titans

This Sankranthi will witness the release of two of Telugu cinema's most sought-after films - Jr NTR and Ram Charan-starrer RRR (Roudram Ranam Rudhiram) directed by SS Rajamouli and Prabhas' Radhe Shyam directed by Radha Krishna Kumar.

These two films with a total of Rs 800 crore at stake have already raised the bar on expectations among the movie buffs. The core story of RRR straddles the lives of younger versions of the revolutionary freedom fighters Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem.

Ever since its announcement, the period drama has created a huge buzz among the trade, especially with Bollywood actors Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt playing crucial roles in it. The film will begin its box office supremacy on a pan-India scale on January 7.

Radhe Shyam, on the other hand, is the tale of star-crossed lovers. The film has hit the right notes with its promotions and the audience cannot wait to watch how this love story unfolds on January 14.

These apart, we also have Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya-starrer Bangarraju expected to land in cinemas either on January 15 or 21 and debutant Ashok Galla's romantic actioner Hero arriving in theatres on January 26.

Considering the festive and holiday vibe, Tollywood is hoping to have a spectacular month ahead at the box office.

Chiranjeevi eyeing a hat-trick

After a two-year hiatus, actor Chiranjeevi will return to set the box office on fire with his socio-political entertainer Acharya. Set in a fictitious village called Dharmasthali, Acharya is one man's fight to conserve natural resources.  

The film brings the father-son duo Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan together for the first time in a full-length feature. The film has Chiranjeevi playing a carpenter with leftist leanings, while Charan will be seen as a revolutionary student leader.

Acharya is poised for release on February 4. We also have Chiranjeevi relying on his instinct and has been assigned to play a powerful political leader in God Father directed by Mohan Raja.  He will also be seen as a former gangster-turned-mercenary in director Meher Ramesh's upcoming film Bholaa Shankar. Both these films are also expected to hit the screens in the second half of 2022.

Gen-x brigade

After disastrous World Famous Lover, Vijay Deverakonda is going all guns blazing at pan-India scale with Liger - Saala Crossbreed. A martial arts entertainer directed by Puri Jagannadh, the film, which is slated for release on August 25, is already making headlines even before its release.

Actor Adivi Sesh's pan-Indian film 'Major' is all set to hit screens on February 11. Directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka, the movie is a biopic on the life of NSG commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who was martyred in the 26/11 terrorist attacks. Produced by actor Mahesh Babu and Sony Pictures India, the movie also stars Saiee Manjrekar, Sobhita Dhulipala, Prakash Raj and Revathi.

The 'Kshanam' actor also has lined up actor Nani-produced 'HIT 2: The Second Case', which is a sequel to the 2020 crime thriller starring Vishwak Sen.

Actor Ram Pothineni, who is on a roll with consecutive hits, is set to appear in director Lingusamy's untitled Telugu-Tamil bilingual. Akhil Akkineni is predicting nothing less than a storm with his next film Agent.

Directed by Surender Reddy, the film will showcase the 'Most Eligible Bachelor' actor as a secret agent. Nithiin has teamed up with editor-turned-director SR Sekhar for a political drama called Macherla Niyojakavargam.

Varun Tej is set to have two releases in March and April. While Ghani releases on March 18, his other film, F3, is hitting the marquee on April 29. Similarly, Rana Daggubati is betting big on Bheemla Nayak, which showcases him locking horns with Pawan Kalyan.    

Samantha Ruth Prabhu's pan-India film Shaakuntalam, Sharwanand's Oke Oka Jeevitham, Satyadev Kancharana-starrer Godse, and Panja Vaisshnav Tej's film with Gireesaya are in various stages of production and will hit the screens sometime in the New Year.

New expeditions

Adding to the robust lineup, we also have Ram Charan teaming up with Shankar for the first time in a political thriller. Tentatively called RC 15, the film is rumoured to have Charan essaying the role of an IAS officer, who turns against a corrupt chief minister and eventually becomes a powerful politician of the state.

Next up is Prabhas-starrer Salaar directed by KGF-fame Prashanth Neel. Set in Rayalaseema, the film, slated to release on April 14, is rumoured to have the Baahubali actor as an undercover cop. After not-so-successful 2021, Venkatesh has pinned high hopes on his upcoming comic caper F3. A sequel to his 2019 blockbuster F2, the film is scheduled to release on April 29.

Nagarjuna is continuing his penchant for action films and has slipped into the role of a RAW officer in Praveen Sattaru's The Ghost. Nani, who recently wrapped up Ante Sundaraniki, will join forces with debutant director Srikanth Odela for a rustic drama named Dasara.

Nandamuri Balakrishna, who is known for his larger-than-life formula films, is donning the khaki in his next with Gopichand Malineni. He also has a film with director Anil Ravipudi in the pipeline.

A happiest Reunion of sorts

Mahesh Babu, who is awaiting Sarkaru Vaari Paata on April 1, is reuniting with his Athadu director Trivikram for the third time for an untitled film. Referred to as SSMB 28, the film will go on floors in the first quarter of 2022 and will land in cinemas either in October or January 2023.

Basking in the success of Vakeel Saab, Pawan Kalyan will next be seen playing an intense role in director Harish Shankar's action entertainer Bhavadeeyudu Bhagat Singh. The makers are confident that the actor-director duo is going to pack a knockout punch at the box office in their second outing after Gabbar Singh.

He also has Hari Hara Veera Mallu in the last leg of its production. We also get to see Jr NTR joining hands with his Janata Garage director for an action entertainer. The film is likely to go on floors in summer.

Naga Chaitanya has teamed up with Vikram K Kumar for a family drama titled Thank You. The duo is also collaborating for a web series produced by Amazon Prime Video.

Allu Arjun and Sukumar are determined to recreate the box office magic with Pushpa: The Rule. A sequel to Pushpa: The Rise, the film showcases the journey of a sandalwood smuggling kingpin and his quest to create a monopoly in the international black market.

Actor Nikhil has now blossomed into one of the promising actors in Telugu. His next film Karthikeya 2 directed by Chandoo Mondeti is yet another pan-India film in the offing.

(With inputs from Online Desk)

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