The titles of Telugu movies are not randomly chosen to be stylish and appealing. The titles could be related to the story or from lyrics of popular songs or even based on dialogues but this is not the case always. There are many movies in the last two decades of Tollywood which were named after following some sentiments. Several actors followed title sentiments and some words or phrases are popular during certain periods.
N T Rama Rao
N. T. Rama Rao had a title sentiment for the word ‘Ramudu’. Most of his films with titles having the word Ramudu were successful. He first used it in his early career in his 1954 film ‘Aggi Ramudu’. Later he made ‘Sabhash Ramudu’, ‘Banda Ramudu’, ‘Taxi Ramudu’, ‘Tiger Ramudu’, ‘Ramudu Bheemudu’, ‘Pidugu Ramudu’, ‘Ramuni minchina Ramudu’, ‘Adavi Ramudu’, ‘Driver Ramudu’, ‘Srungara Ramudu’, ‘Challenge Ramudu’, ‘Circus Ramudu’, ‘Rowdy Ramudu Konte Krishnudu’, ‘Sarada Ramudu’ and ‘Kaliyuga Ramudu’. This sentiment was followed throughout his career.
Chiranjeevi had a sentiment for negative titles. His films based on negative titles include Yamakinkarudu, Khaidi, Goonda, Devanthakudu, Kirathakudu, Khaidi No 786, State Rowdy, Lankeshwarudu, etc. Apart from them, ‘Donga’ is considered lucky for Chiranjeevi. After his 1985 film ‘Donga’ turned out to be a blockbuster, he further used it in his films Adavi Donga, Donga Mogudu, Jebu Donga, Manchi Donga, and Kondaveeti Donga. The majority of these films are commercially successful.
Venkatesh used the word ‘Raja’ in his films ‘Bobbili Raja’, ‘Kondapalli Raja’, ‘Pokiri Raja’ and ‘Raja’. All these films were successful but he didn’t continue the title sentiment. After his 1997 blockbuster ‘Preminchukundam Raa’, he continued the title sentiment of using the word ‘Raa’ at the end of the title. His next movie ‘Pelli Chesukundam’ was often confused as Pelli chesukundam Raa. He followed the title sentiment in Premante Ideraa, Kalisundam Raa, Jayam Manade Raa, and Prematho Raa. While all other movies are blockbusters, Prematho Raa was a commercial disaster and he eventually gave up the title sentiment.
Mahesh Babu had a title sentiment of 3 letters (in Telugu). He follows a lot of sentiments since his early career. Except for his debut film, ‘Raja Kumarudu’, all the blockbusters in his early career had 3 letter titles. After ‘Murari’, ‘Okkadu’, ‘Athadu’ and ‘Pokiri’, he strictly preferred 3 letter titles for his subsequent films. However, films like ‘Arjun’, ‘Athidhi’, ‘Khaleja’, ‘Aagadu’ and ‘Spyder’ failed despite following title sentiment. Dookudu was the only film after Pokiri to be successful with a 3 letter title. As the films with 2 letter titles in his early career, Vamsi, Bobby, Nijam, and Naani failed, he strictly avoids them.
Balakrishna doesn’t have any title sentiments but after the success of ‘Samara Simha Reddy’, he seems to incline to the word ‘Simha’. He subsequently used it in Narasimha Naidu, Seema Simham, Lakshmi Narasimha, Simha, and Jai Simha. These titles were used keeping his image in mind and there is no success sentiment behind Simha.
Gopichand started his career with a flop movie ‘Tholi Valapu’. He chose a negative role for his next movie ‘Jayam’ which brought him immense fame as an actor. This also made the title ending with ‘am’ as a sentiment for him. Although his next movie ‘Nijam’ was a flop, it helped his career. His subsequent films following the sentiment are Varsham, Yagnam, Ranam, Lakshyam, and Souryam were all successful in cementing his title sentiment. Among his subsequent films, only Loukyam was successful while Sankham, Sahasam, and Soukhyam couldn’t repeat the magic. His recent film ‘Pantham’ was also named after following this sentiment.
There were several trends in the Telugu film industry which prove some words to be successful during a generation. The word ‘Nuvvu’ has ruled box-office between the early to mid-2000s. During this time, the majority of the films that have this word were blockbusters. The films Nuvvu Vastavani, Nuvve Kavali, Nuvvu Nenu, Nuvvu Naaku Nachav, Manasantha Nuvve, Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu, Nuvve Nuvve, Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, Nuvvante Naakishtam were all released between 2000 and 2005. Many filmmakers preferred it during this time and eventually, it has been forgotten after being overused.
Another less popular sentiment is the use of the word ‘Okkadu’ in the title. Although we don’t find many movies using it, this sentiment was followed by some filmmakers. The films include Oke Okkadu, Okkadu Chalu, Okkadu, Athanokkade, Okkade etc. Apart from them, the use of the word ‘Yama’ is considered a secret to success by many. There are tons of movies made on the theme of ‘Yama Lokam’ and only the unluckiest few tasted failures with it. These are the trends that are followed by filmmakers and actors over several decades. So, the next catchy title you hear could be following a sentiment that most audiences don’t notice.