The romance and romantic comedy genres are the most profitable throughout the world when it works out. Everybody loves to watch a decent romantic comedy film. The filmmakers don’t step back when it comes to rom-com so they churned out Hundreds of such films in Tollywood. But how many Telugu romance movies are versatile is arguable. Considering that the lead pair have to meet and eventually fall in love, and finally get married towards the climax, the writers have limited scope for creating conflict. Most writers tend to follow successful films to impress the audience.
Conflict in Telugu romance movies
The conflict in rom-com is basically of 2 types: the personal issues between the couple and the family problems. The personal issues are mostly the fear of losing the friendship forever (Tholiprema, Nuvve Kavali, etc) and ego (Kushi, Fidaa, Oohalu Gusagusalade, etc). The family problems range from inter-caste marriages, factionist backgrounds, and ideological differences to broken relationships. We rarely witness triangle love stories in Telugu cinema at present, but they used to rule the industry in the mid-90s. The retelling of classic stories like Devadas-Parvathy, Laila-Majnu, Romeo-Juliet, etc is made into films once in a while.
The template of Telugu romance movies
The most used template of rom-com in Telugu cinema has a profound structure. The story starts with the introduction of lead actors and moves to the love story with multiple segments of comedy and eventual breakup at the interval. Generally, the friends of lead actors generate some humor with minor sub-tracks. The second half narrates the hero traveling to the heroine’s house and convincing everyone to finally approve of their marriage. The comedy tracks in the second half mostly contain the orthodox family of the heroine and the modern or silly nature of the hero. As it has more scope for family drama, romance, and comedy, the writers repeated this story structure countless times. The first major use of this template is in the Bollywood epic love story ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge’. The film was a massive success at the box office and the audiences still talk about the film. The story structure first appeared in Tollywood in ‘Nuvvu Naaku Nachav’. But the significant difference between the two is that the Telugu version starts when Venkatesh arrives a few days earlier to attend the marriage of Aarthi Agarwal and falls in love with her. The film has been a blockbuster and started the trend of such films.
Current trends in Telugu romance movies
There are tons of films made with the same pattern which continues to this day. The success of the film depends heavily on the comedy tracks and songs in the film. The only variation to the story structure is in ‘Bommarillu’ where the major conflict is between father and son, and the heroine lives in the hero’s house for a week to convince everyone. The recent film, ‘Ninnu Kori’, too has a similar structure but the hero, instead, tries to pursue the married heroine. ‘Mahanubhavudu’ adds OCD to the hero’s character by following the same structure. Most of the films with this pattern are successfully giving confidence to upcoming writers to experiment with this template. The trend is changing recently and the industry is inclining towards intimacy and intense love stories. However, the hero convincing the entire family to succeed in his love is the overused formula that never gets old.