Posted on March 23, 2017


A deep dive into moments from the 2016 Telugu rom-com ‘Pelli Choopulu’, which is as much about finding a life partner as finding oneself.

Among the happier trends in movie-watching down south is the release of films with subtitles. Speaking as someone from Chennai, this is how it used to be. The majority of releases were in Tamil, English and Hindi, but the odd Telugu, Kannada or Malayalam film would find its way here. It helped if the actors were known. Local boy Kamal Haasan’s films – say, Kokila (Kannada), Maro Charitra (the Telugu original of Ek Duuje Ke Liye) – would almost always get here, and sometimes even a film without stars would break out into a blockbuster. I am thinking about K Viswanath’s musical drama Shankarabharanam (1980, Telugu) and Oru CBI Diary Kurippu (1988, Malayalam). One went and watched these un-subtitled films without really getting them a hundred per cent, sometimes with a hapless friend who spoke the language. I completely ruined my Malayali friend’s viewing of the Mammootty-starring Malayalam drama Amaram (1990). Every scene, I kept shaking his arm, asking, “So what’s he saying now? So what’s she saying now?”

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