There is a perception that Telugu movies usually have a hero-heroine-villain-fights-songs format. While most Tollywood films do follow that pattern, every once in a while, there comes a movie which leaves you thinking and entertained and a lot of them go unnoticed or don’t become commercially successful. So here’s taking a look at 20 such movies which you must watch!

1. Chandamama Kathalu (2014)

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Directed by Praveen Sattaru, this is an anthology film with a perfect combination of love, hate, jealousy, hope and a lot more. And in the end, everyone gets what they deserve. And yeah, this movie also won the National Award for the best feature film in Telugu.

2. Aithe (2003)

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What happens when 4 jobless but brainy Hyderabadi youth are hired by a dreaded terrorist for a hijack operation? This brilliant film is what happens. Keeping you on the edge of your seat all the time, this movie is a must watch. This also won the National Award for the best feature film.

3. Anukokanda Oka Roju (2005)

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This film by Chandra Sekhar Yeleti is a brilliant nail-bite-inducing thriller. It follows the story of a happy-go-lucky girl whose life takes a turn when one day goes missing from her life. Charmmee delivered a spectacular performance in this film which is one of the few female-centric films of Tollywood.

4. Aa Naluguru (2004)

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Irrespective of your caste, religion, creed, or any other thing, what matters is we all are humans, we are meant to help each other. This is the message that this movie gives and will leave you in tears.

5. Katha (2009)

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Genelia D’Souza plays a demure school teacher who is just out of a mental asylum. Why was she in the asylum? Who manipulated her? The answers to these will baffle you.

6. Anasuya (2007)

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From a powerful female protagonist to suspense to brilliant acting to a deadly villain, this slasher movie has it all. Just don’t watch it alone!

7. Dongala Mutha (2011)

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Have you ever wondered how the game of hide and seek would be of it was cops and thieves playing? This story revolves under suspense and of major awestruck moment for you. And this movie was shot in a record time of 5 days!

8. Prayanam (2009)

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Have you ever thought that a few hours of delay would make you find ‘that perfect soulmate’? Well this feel-good movie is just about that. A perfect weekend watch.

9. Padamati Sandhyaragam (1987)

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This is one of Jandhyala’s classic comedies. A coy girl from a conservative family in Andhra Pradesh ends up moving to the United States along with her family. How will she cope up there? And what will happen when she falls in love with an American?

10. Pushpaka Vimanam (1987)

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This black comedy starring Kamal Hassan is India’s first full length silent feature film. Yes! It is a silent film and it will leave you in fits of laughter.

11. Manoharam (2000)

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Will a man, who has been wronged by the Nation, stand up for it when the time comes? Watch this brilliance to find that out!

12. 1940 lo Oka grahmam (2008)

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Based on Guruzada Appa Rao’s classic Ghosha, this movie talks about the evils of caste based practices and child marriage.

13. Kshanakshanam (1991)

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A middle class girl and a thief are brought together by a series of comically dangerous events in this masterpiece by Ram Gopal Varma. The viewer wouldn’t know whether to be anxious or to laugh!

14. Seetharamayya Gari Manuvaraalu (1991)

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A conservative patriarch gets a visit from his estranged son’s daughter. Will he accept her as his granddaughter and love her the same?

15. Prasthanam (2010)

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Few among us crave for power. But have you ever thought, how this desperation would lead you to? Well, it might even turn you into a beast!

17. Vedam (2010)

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A rockstar, a prostitute, a debt-ridden weaver, couple with a miscarriage, slum dweller in love with a millionaire; what connects all these peoples’ lives?

18. Pelli Ayina Kothalo (2006)

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Talking about societal perceptions about a married couple; this movie goes along to convey the problems that arise in a marriage and how a couple can solve it by being amicable and treating each other as equals! A path-breaking film.

19. Amma Cheppindhi (2006)

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A mentally underdeveloped youngster with a doting mother; does whatever his mother tells him to. What will that lead to? This movie drives a message against ill-treatment of those with mental conditions.

20. Radha Gopalam (2005)

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This masterpiece by the great director Bapu, talks about the common perceptions of a couple and how the societal perception that a wife should be inferior to the husband; is actually detrimental to the society.

How many of these have you watched? Tell us if we missed some!

–By Southie Jaya Bonam

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