Tollywood always undergoes various transformations in search of hit formulas. According to the latest it is coming out that filmmakers found new charm as Telangana dialect is taking T-Town by storm.
It is known that Nizam region makes or breaks the film's box office collections. Till recently Telangana dialect has been restricted to comedy characters or negative roles portrayed by the likes of Kota Srinivasa Rao, Venu Madhav, Siva Reddy, Duvvasi Mohan, Uttej, Narsing Yadav and Tanikella Bharani. No one could imagine a film where lead actors or entire film deliver dialogues in Telangana dialect despite the dialect has the rich history of over 86 years.
However all that is changing now with the success of Indraganti Mohanakrishna's Ami Tumi. The film contained scenes where Telangana dialect was used in daily conversations. Indraganti says " “I always wondered why we never see something so normal portrayed in films; the inclusion of the dialect was a conscious decision. But what was more deliberate was to make it seem normal. I have seen that the general impression of speaking the Telangana dialect, for the speakers of it too, is that it is inferior in some way. That’s why I thought it was necessary to bring it into mainstream cinema. Moreover, how often have we had female leads speaking the dialect?. The inclusion of the dialect was a conscious decision. I wanted to make it seem normal. I’ve seen that the general impression of speaking the Telangana dialect is that it is inferior in some way"
Vijay Devarakonda who shot to fame with Pelli Choopulu where Telangana dialect played important role says "Earlier, films had neutral accents that could resonate with viewers from all areas. However, with realistic films becoming the thing of the day, this normalization just adds to the reality "
He added "After the film’s release and eventual positive response in areas like Kakinada and Vijayawada, I understood that this was the perfect way to penetrate into the audiences. I didn’t want to thump my chest and say, ‘Yes, we did it’. Instead, I wanted actions to speak.”"
He said " Youngsters who speak like me connected to Pelli Choopulu instantly! But what’s interesting is that while many assume that acceptance is not easy for audiences of other regions, you’d be surprised to know, people from places like Vizag too, were in love with it.”"
Producer Dil Raju whose next film Fidaa shows Sai Pallavi as Telangana girl says “If you notice, even dialects from Rayalaseema or Andhra were earlier used in a similar fashion. The inclusivity is slowly coming in. Films are universal and there’s no attempt to bring in a particular culture. It’s just the need for variety that comes with trying something new.”
Gopi Mohan who portrayed Sri Hari, Mahesh Babu, NTR deliver dialogues in Telangana dialect in Dhee, Dookdu, Badshah says “It’s interesting that we now have actresses speaking it too as it wasn’t seen often. But a new style is always appeasing to audiences who crave for freshness. The best thing about including dialects is the sense of connectivity that viewers feel. It takes them to the people they meet on an everyday basis, making it easy to identify with them.”
Harikrishna Mamidi, Director of Culture, Telangana, speaking about the transformation says “In the initial days, we had actors, writers, producers and directors from Krishna and Guntur. Later, we had entrants from the East and West Godavari. All of them brought in their dialects into cinema. But for some reason it wasn’t until RGV came in, that the Telangana dialect saw representation in mainstream cinema. He portrayed characters that resonated with a common Hyderabadi. Until then, the dialect was limited was kept to revolutionary films with stories based in the region,”
He adds “It was from 2009 that several region based films came up in the midst of the Telangana agitation. But alongside, we saw a star like Mahesh Babu speak in the dialect in Dookudu. This could be because in the end, films are business and there is a need to connect with audiences of all categories.”