Marriage has always been a dominant theme in Telugu cinema right from the beginning. Numerous films have depicted how families overcome issues that threaten to strain things beyond repair, and successfully keep relations strong.
What has now changed is the context and the approach of stories on silver screen. In the contemporary society, the perception on relationships is fast undergoing metamorphosis and these days, one is not scared of walking out of a relation that does not seem to work properly. If one think the other partner is dominant or that a relation does not ensure respect, breaking the relation is not being seen as a bad move.
In movies too, this trend in characterisation is slowly gaining, with directors weaving major plots around it. In fact, weddings are now being used in Telugu cinema as one of the powerful narratives to address a host of related social issues.
Mental Madhilo, one of the recent releases, which has Sri Vishnu and Nivetha Pethuraj in lead roles, the scenario was similar. The actual story starts only after pellichoopulu, the arranged marriage practise. The hero, Aravind (Vishnu) is an introvert who is always confused and for him, talking to women is something next to impossible. He even asks Swetcha (Nivetha) to give him some tips to overcome his shyness. This is where she falls for him and later when Aravind asks her why did she say ‘yes’ to him, Swetcha answers, “I know what I want. And you are the one for me.”
Well, this is something that rarely happens. It may look simple, but holds a lot of importance in the context of Telugu cinema. Depiction of male protagonists is usually done in such a way that only they have the rights for decision making. It is always they who fall in love first and then stalk the heroine till she says yes. Again, it’s he who fights for her and becomes a role model for others around him. And the heroine, who is with him in many of the frames, has nothing much to say. Audiences barely get to know what she wants or at least thinks. Even when she tries to express her views, she is brushed aside by her man as he knows what’s right and proper for her.
There is no doubt in saying that genders and their importance as individuals are not taken for granted anymore and it has been proven with film like Fidaa, Ninnu Kori and Pellichoopulu. These films are frank with the audience and have made way for many more fresh ideas to come.
Also for a long time, stories about jilted lovers have been the centerpiece for many films. But, Nani and Nivetha Thomas starrer Ninnu Kori came up with a story which had a different twist to it. In this film, when Uma (Nani) comes to know that the girl he loved, Pallavi (Nivetha) is married to someone else he assumes that she’ll never be happy with her husband and so, that it is his responsibility to convince her to divorce her husband.
Pallavi explains Uma that things have changed and that she is happy with her husband. Uma, who doesn’t believe in what Pallavi said, gets invited by her to stay at her home and see how happy she is with her husband. The story takes a turn a from here and soon, the concept of marriage, its strong bond and commitment is shown in such a beautiful way that it has attracted many youngsters adults too.
Fidaa is also one of the recent blockbusters which has a passionate character called Bhanumathi played by Sai Pallavi. This film too is based on wedding, its importance and the faith that the couple should have for each other. The beauty of the narrative lies in how the director makes Sai Pallavi the central character of the romantic drama. The theme of this peppy story is more about having trust and faith in the partner. In every possible scene and conversation between Bhanumathi and her sister, the director has shown what is it that a couple actually need to get married. The heroine here is given chance to be outspoken, loud and to be understood by the protagonist.
In addition to these, two more films based only weddings and traditions are in pre-production and will be released soon. One of them is Srinivasa Kalyanam which is being directed by Satish Vegesna who has directed Shatamanam Bhavathi, national award winning film. The outline of the story is the importance of wedding and what every ritual wants the couple to know.
When asked about how he would make Srinivasa Kalyanam a special one, Satish said, “Commercial entertainers have to take a turn and they should get a new face to attract audience. For this, stories have to be written in such a way that youngsters get connected to the plot easily. So I think weddings are the perfect platforms where many relationships can be made and those which were broken can also be joined. I want to show the importance of wedding and relations. This is how it is going to be special and I am sure the audience will like it.”