Cross-genre or hybrid genre is a genre in fiction that blends themes and elements from two or more genres. Most Telugu high-budget movies fall into this category. Such movies need to attract an audience of all ages, sections, and gender, they mix up the content and provide something for everyone. These movies have action, romance, comedy, family drama, and sometimes thriller elements. And don’t forget the songs in between. These movies are entertaining for most of the audience but they don’t have the intensity of a genre film. The action or thriller elements don’t last long and there will be comedy tracks breaking the continuity. The cross-genre in Telugu cinema is common in recent films.
The blending of two genres is common and is considered normal for feature films. Comedy is an integral part of most romance and drama films, so they are treated as genre films. Earlier there were directors like Jandhyala, Vittalacharya, K. S. R. Das, E. V. V. Satyanarayana, S. V. Krishna Reddy, Vamsy, etc used to make pure genre films. But after the 90s, the industry has changed and the filmmakers stopped experimenting as much as they used to earlier. The commercial movies started scoring big hits at the box office and many the actors and directors started following the path.
The combination of action, comedy, romance, drama and social message became a successful formula. There are tons of films made with it but only a few of them have serious content. The sub-tracks not related to the central theme are developed for comedy. This trend was successful for quite some time and has brought stardom to Brahmanandam. There is a time when the audience used to laugh just at the introduction of Brahmanandam in a film. The problem with sub-tracks is that they don’t help the story progress and don’t provide any insight into the characters. These things make even a great film forgettable.
The trend is slowly changing and the filmmakers are slowly experimenting with genre films like romance and thrillers. The youngsters in the industry started breaking the norms and coming up with films that were not encouraged by producers earlier. The upcoming films like C/O Kancharapalem, Anthariksham, etc are an indication that the industry is changing at a fast pace. But the change will be more impactful if the star heroes take up such scripts and act in experimental films once in a while. A suspense thriller, action film, or horror would be more entertaining than a cross-genre film. It’s just a matter of time and we can expect more such films in Telugu cinema.