50-plus dream merchants losing Midas touch
50-plus dream merchants losing Midas touch

It seems that seasoned directors like Ram Gopal Varma, Puri Jagannath, Srinu Vaitla, V V Vinayak and  Gunasekhar have lost their Midas touch and are unable to draw crowds on the strength of their names. For instance, RGV was unable to draw even minimum openings for his latest film ‘Officer’, despite having a popular star Nagarjuna. 

“RGV has delivered more disasters than hits in the last five years, so collections of ‘Officer’ are bound to receive a lukewarm response. He is just repeating himself with gangster and cop stories and has lost connect with the viewers. He is living in his own world and doesn’t bother about the audience response” says distributor Venkateshwar Rao, who claims that RGV is more popular for his controversial tweets than movies these days.  

Another seasoned director who bit the dust with a slew of duds from ‘Rogue’ to ‘Paisa Vasool’ to ‘Mehabhooba’ is Puri Jagannath. "We expected at least minimum openings because he was launching his son Akash as hero, but it sank without a trace at the box office. A bunch of flops clearly shows that he has lost his Midas touch and desperately needs a hit to be in the reckoning,” adds distributor Venkateshwar Rao who feels that Boyapati Srinu has a chance to make a comeback, even though `Jaya Janaki Nayaka’ was a big loser.  

According to film industry sources, these 50-plus directors draw a pay of more than Rs 10 crore per film. "Some of the top directors are not justifying their huge pay cheques and no more bankable names. Once their names spun box office magic, but not anymore." says distributor Choudhury who claims that financially well-settled directors are taking things for granted. "New generation audience are quite demanding and you can’t take them for granted. Now, new-age directors like Nag Ashwin, Venkat Atluri and Prashant Varma are raising the bar on Telugu cinema. 

If  these seasoned hands don't re-invent themselves and come up with new themes away from their cliched fares, their careers will go down the hill," predicts distributor Vishnumurthy who urges these directors to look beyond just star image and lavishness. "Their stories are lacking emotional quotient and novelty. 

They are relying more on breath-taking visuals and high-funda action sequences riding on star image. It is high time that they get back to the drawing table and pen novel storylines. Even superstars are reluctant to work with the 50-plus directors, so it’s high time, these dream merchants shed their lethargy and apply their minds on their work to regain their past glory," concludes Vishnumurthy.