15 Out of the Box Films in Tollywood You Should Watch!

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Best Telugu Movies: We keep on saying this: “We need movies like Hollywood. Why don’t they make such a film in Tollywood?” But when they actually make some good movies in Tollywood, people just can’t take it.

Every director or actor always want to make the best film.

But after a lot of criticism both from the audience and other cast n crew, the films turn out be something else in the end. This happens a lot in particularly our TFI.

But even after such alterations, some films stand out unaltered, genuine and true. Today, I list down such 15 Telugu Movies in recent times (say last 10 years) which may not be box-office hits, but genuinely good films.

Before going down, please note that this post was made considering the films which I watched and liked personally. I still strongly believe that everyone has their own perception of which film is good or bad. So, this list may or may not sync with yours. But if it does, there we have some one else who agrees with me.

15. Maya

Storyline: A journalist having Extra Sensory Perception falls in love for the wrong guy.
FEAST Rating: 3.5/5

Most of us wouldn’t even know that this film exists. Maya is a 2014 psychological thriller with elements like people-gifted-with-sense-of-future. Director Neelakanta, who made movies like Show (received 2 National Awards) and Missamma in Telugu penned down Maya with a lot of scientific research.

The film looks like a normal thriller so you make your assumptions but will be surprised by what’s coming next. The only thing Maya lagged is the commercial elements and marketing strategies. The film more or less looks like a local film even with both the charming leads – Harshvardhan Rane, Avantika Mishra. But still the film is a genuine attempt in thriller genre.

14. Athadu

Storyline: A lonely professional killer happens to come to a village and learns what it is to have a family.
FEAST Rating: 4/5


You might think how Athadu made into this list. It might look like a family entertainer. But if you see little deeply, Athadu is a film where a family turns a killer into human. Directed by Trivikram, known for his dialogues, Athadu failed at box office but grossed a lot of audience later.

Mahesh Babu‘s silent and strong eyes in most of the film. Trisha mesmerizes the story with her charm. Brahmanandam won’t let you stop laughing whenever he appears on the screen. Sunil plays a good supporting role along Mahesh. Athadu is a movie which look simple but which have great amount of intensity in all the characters. The political threats, the betrayal of friendship, the good side of a killer, the family waiting for their grand child and a lot about Athadu makes you watch every time it comes in the Television.

13. Mr.Nokia

Storyline: A cellphone-thief gets into a nest of kidnapping and ransom call, after stealing a Nokia cellphone.
FEAST Rating: 3.5/5


We sometimes believe or love some one so much that we couldn’t believe they did something wrong ever. And when the truth is known, the broken trust is all left to live with. Mr.Nokia is exactly a film about how much people fall down in the process of betrayal. Directed by Ani Kanneganti, starring Manchu Manoj and Kriti Kharbanda. The film is hardly noticed by anyone. The mistake being tried to portray could-be classic into a mass-oriented film.

But still the film’s music reached out to audience, thanks to Yuvan Shankar Raja. Manoj is one actor who is capable of great performances (Nenu Meeku Telusa), but always fail to realize his own potential. May be the father influence or the audience influence, he down graded himself in trying to reach out mass-audience. But apart from Manoj, the film Mr.Nokia is a bitter and true message-for-life film which ends in an unexpected twist of fate.

Watch Top 10 Hollywood Movies with Unbelievable Story

12. Magadheera

Storyline: The reincarnation of a warrior soldier to claim his love back.
FEAST Rating: 3.5/5


Written by K V Vijayendra Prasad and directed by SS Rajamouli, Magadheera is a first of its kind in Telugu cinema. Starring Ramcharan, Kajal Agarwal and Dev Gill in the leads, the visual treat made with great amount of emotion and love has demanded Magadheera to be the first to be made on a whooping budget of 55Cr back in 2009.

But the output is extremely more-than-expected for the Telugu audience. The perfect cast, perfect background score by MM Keeravani, the visuals and the stunts were just out of Tollywood. The vision of Rajamouli turned a new leaf all together in TFI and took our Telugu cinema standard to next level.

11. Gamyam

Storyline: A rich guy travels on his bike in quest of love and eventually finds true meaning of life.
FEAST Rating: 4/5


Being a debut film of director Krish, Gamyam gained the hearts of the audience for its cinematic way of un-preached philosophy. Krish is a director with a deep vision, who teaches the values of life through his cinema. Gamyam is a film about a rich guy falling for a local lady doctor and starts on a journey to find her after a car accident.

In the journey, he comes across a bike-thief who helps him find her, sacrificing his life.Both find their own meanings of life by the end.

Its not sufficient if you have a heart to love. You should have a heart to accept it too

Actors Sharvanand and Allari Naresh were remarkable in their characters. Allari Naresh garnered Nandi Award and Filmfare Award for his supporting role in the film.

10. Aithe

Storyline: A criminal don assigns four innocent guys to help him escape the country by hijacking the flight.
FEAST Rating: 4/5


This National Award Winning film is something totally out of the box back in 2003. When every film is almost of same flavour, Aithe ruled out for good both the audience and critics. The film has its own look and feel. Director Chandra Sekhar Yeleti develops wonderful characters in his films. All the five leads in the movie are new comers and the film has only one song.

The story goes so calmly and so maturely that you find no bullshit anywhere. Every 20 min you find a twist and it comes in plain silence. Pavan Malhotra in the villain role is alone enough to watch the film. The film also has a satirical tinge every now and then about money and life and their relation. Over n all, the film is a beautifully sung story about friendship and honesty. A must watch for all the young dreamers of film-making.

9. Manam

Storline: A timeline love story of 3 generations of a family and the interconnection between them.
FEAST Rating: 4/5

What if your dead parents are born again and you find them when you are a grown-up? Either Akkineni’s Family is born for this film or this film is born for Akkineni’s family. Manam is a family entertainer with clever involvement of Time and Re-incarnations. The whole family of Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya, considering appearance of Akhil as Guest role, acted in Manam and everyone does 100% justice to their characters. Shriya Sen, Samantha brings all the colour and cuteness to the story.

And the screenplay is impeccable which translates between different timelines of generations. The film has all required commercial elements including great music and a different story line ever written in TFI and still made it up to the audience. Not less to say, Manam has its own world to it.

8. Gaganam

Storyline: The rescue of an Indian flight hijacked by Pakistan terrorists.
FEAST Rating: 4.5/5

Very rarely films like this come in Tollywood. Gaganam is a path breaker lately when every film is about the usual non-sense. Solely following the script, Gaganam is a thriller in which Nagarjuna played the lead as NSG Major. If you actually see, there is no heroine in this film. No songs which are totally pointless for a hijack story. Director Radha Mohan sticks to the plan throughout, thanks to Prakash Raj for producing the film.

The political issues at time of such hijack crisis are clearly and cleverly dealt in the film. The second half of the film runs in a unexpected way and finally succeeds. A flight hijack film first time ever in TFI and that looked so regional, truly took Tollywood one more step ahead winning the audience.

7. Prayanam

Storyline: The love story that weaves between two people, while they are waiting for a flight in airport.
FEAST Rating: 4/5


Two people happen to meet in an airport and fall in love. And the whole 2 hour film is a single episode of this meeting in the airport. Prayanam is a very rare and experimental film ever made in Telugu. Seriously, a big applause for the guts of film makers and producers on such an effort. Written by Chaitanya Muddana and directed by Chandra Sekhar Yeleti (again), Prayanam hardly got noticed by telugu audience.

Manchu Manoj delivered a decent performance as the male lead and Payal Ghosh did her best as female lead. Aamir Tameem, Kalpika Ganesh, Brahmanandam adds a lot to the 2 hour story. The film is literally  shot totally in airport including the 3 songs. You have to watch the actors in one single costume throughout the film. But the mischief of three friends, the cute love story never make you feel bore.

6. Mithunam

Storyline: The life of an old couple who lives in a village on their own.
FEAST Rating: 4/5

Mithunam is a story of an old couple, living away from their kids in a village. The versatile singer S P Bala Subrahmanyam and Lakshmi enacted the leads. Tanikella Bharani directed the film. The film indirectly touches on elements like make-your-own-food and attached-detachment relationships. Even though, the whole film has only two characters, Bharani made Mithunam so dramatic that you will never find it un-interesting.

The behavioral aspects of old people, their mannerisms, their brooding over silly things, the village life style, the current scenario of having NRI kids, the still residing childish nature in old people, their love and care for each other everything entices you throughout the film. Great applause to Bharani for a bold and successful attempt like Mithunam

5. Show

Storyline: Two people happens to meet in a village and starts enacting a ‘show’.
FEAST Rating: 4/5


This 2002 National Award Winning film is one of the master pieces ever made in TFI. Show is again a film about just two people in a grand house in small village, who meets on some work and starts enacting husband and wife play that goes haywire when one of them takes the ‘show’ for real. Manjula and Surya nailed the show with their performances.

Along with National Awards for Best Feature film and Best Screenplay, Show also brought the brilliance of Director Neelakanta and introduced his potential to telugu audience. A great amount of direction and action can be seen in Show. Once in a decade comes a film like this. Do not miss it.

4. Eega

Storyline: A human re-born as a housefly avenges for his love.
FEAST Rating: 4/5

Another gem from director SS Rajamouli is Eega starring Nani, Samantha and Sudeep Sanjeev in the lead roles. Written by K V Vijayendra Prasad again, Eega is a revenge story of a Housefly against a business man. You heard us right! Being hard to find such a story line even in Hollywood, Eega is the first ever commercially successful animated film in Telugu industry, thanks to Rajamouli’s vision and ability of story-telling.

When the movie was announced, everyone wondered how a fly can avenge his love with a human. But when the film came out, everybody just bowed to Rajamouli’s fantasy and emotional tale of love between a fly and a human.

3. Drushyam

Storyline: A common man uses his common sense to disguise a murder made by his wife.
FEAST Rating: 4.5/5

Originally made in Malayalam, Rajkumar Sethupathi acquired the remake rights from Jeethu Joseph. Directed by Sripriya, starring Venkatesh and Meena in the leads, the thriller Drushyam is a complex movie presented simply to the audience and was also made simply on a budget of 6 Cr. The script is the key of Drushyam which brought the audience to the theaters.

This is the first time when people saw Venkatesh in such a logical role and Venkatesh just nailed it. Tremendously acted by every one of the cast, shot in the cheapest and beautiful locations in Vishakapatnam, Vizayanagaram and Araku of Andhra Pradesh Drushyam is one more out of the track cinema that successfully gained the hearts of telugu audience.

2. Kshanam

Storyline: A NRI guy comes to India to find his ex-lover’s daughter who found to be missing.
FEAST Rating: 4.5/5

Kshanam is a very genuine and wonderful piece of thriller made on a shoe-string budget of 1 Cr. Written, screen-played and acted by Adavi Shesh, Kshanam took the audience by surprise. Adavi Shesh, until now known for his supporting roles totally impressed audience as a story writer and actor. Director Ravikanth Perepu, who is a novice in the field, had a good rapport with Shesh and made the film took its form. Adah Sharma plays a vital role as a cute and painful lover.

The DOP( Director of Photography)  Shaneil Deo has made the 1 Cr movie look like a 10 Cr movie. The film in whole revolves around a missing little girl in  Hyderabad city and the quest to find her. Everything in this film is quite new to telugu audience, the title coming at 30 min down the movie, not many songs than required, the love-after-marriage elements and most of all the gripping script. Kshanam is that film, which once again proved to TFI that story is the key to success.

1. 1

Storyline: A rock star hallucinates three men who killed his parents. He tries to find them in order to know his parents identity.
FEAST Rating: 4.5/5

1 – One (Nenokkadine) is not a Tollywood movie at all. It is truly a Hollywood movie, if only was taken in English language and edited off those songs. The Maths Teacher turned director, Sukumar B weaved a script so dense and complex mixed with a brilliant screenplay and mind-blowing cinematography, which turned to be number One in psychological thriller genre in Telugu.

The film solely follows the script without any deviations, continuing on only one single quest: Who am I? The logic of the film is right in your face in every scene, but you cannot find it unless explained. One has all the commercial elements (even though some think it lacks comedy), high production values, master class script, never-seen-before stunts and one brilliant actor – Mahesh Babu.

If you look from one side, people say One is ideally the best work in the career of Sukumar, Mahesh, Devi Sri Prasad (the music director) as well as R Rathnavelu (the Cinematogrpaher). And as we told before, people ask for Hollywood range films and they can’t take it when made, One is a disaster at box-office which didn’t even bring back the investment.  But deep down, everyone knows that One is the best logical thriller film in telugu, till date!


Apart from these 15 flicks, some other good mentions are: Bahubali, Happy Days, Anukokunda Oka roju, Chandamama Kathalu, Vinayakudu, Okkadunnadu (Chandra Sekhar Yeleti Again), Neninthe, Leader and many more. Please let us know if we missed any good ones in below comments.

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Thank you for reading.

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