Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is celebrating his 58th birthday today. Over the years, conversations about his films have fallen short of his recent jib on social media. Despite the current discourse, there is little debate about his gift as a director. He proved his mettle with the trend setter film Siva (1989) and later made films that later gained cult status.
Things may have changed today, with the director displaying his past as a shadow of himself, but we can always expect a resurgence. On his birthday, we brought to you five of his cult Telugu hits, which should be on your watch list.
Varma’s films were always a trend-setter in the 90s. Venkatesh Daggubati in the lead role and is his second directorial in Telugu, starring Sridevi. It is not the first seeper film of Indian cinema, but it inspired many filmmakers to come up with Heistar thriller. Apart from being very well received by critics and audiences, the film also enjoyed memorable songs like “Jamu Rathiri” and “Jumbare”.
RGV’s obsession with gangster war drama is well known. Shyam, with Jagapathi Babu in the lead role, is said to be inspired by the gang war of Vijayawada in the 1980s. The film not only depicts the volatile lives of people involved with crime, but also shows the way a person is dragged into the underworld.
Govinda Govinda (1994)
Govinda Govinda was ahead of his time. Starring Nagarjuna Akkineni and Sridevi, this Varma directorial focused on the theft of the crown of Lord Venkateswara. While the film had RGV’s trademark style, it also introduced Verma’s impeccable taste for music. The musical tunes of Raj-koti keep the music lovers entertained. Given the plot of the film, it received more acclaim, but remained an average grocer at the box office.
Deyyam should be in your must-watch-list films, whatever you currently feel about RGV. The film not only shows how diverse Verma can be. It is also rare to have a tragic climax in Telugu films, but there are uncertainties of the film ending.
Anganaka Oka Roju (1997)
Considering the sombre films he made; It seems that RGV imagery can be equally good with humor. In addition to producing the comedy superhits Money (1993), and Money Money (1995), he also directed Unagna Oka Roju as the lead pair alongside JD Chakraborty and Urmila Matondkar. While situational humor is the biggest draw, Brahmanandam as Michael Jackson remains memorable.