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Don't underestimate Dil Raju!


Tollywood media is prone to peddle myths. A new myth that is being peddled is that Dil Raju has lost his grip on cinema. It's as if he is the most failure-prone producer now.

But the truth is something else. Dil Raju was and is one of the most successful producers. He was and is one of the most talented producers in the country. And this talent doesn't pertain to business deals alone. It concerns his immense talent for script selection.

'Thank You' flopping miserably is a blip. Raju has had disasters like 'Maro Charitra' and 'Krishnashtami' up his sleeve from the beginning. He is a hyper-aware producer and that's why he is a cut above the rest.

Usually, when a film fails, our producers speak in the generic language. "We don't know why a film fails, why a film works. Nobody has been able to crack the formula. Blah... blah." This is repeated by almost everyone in the film industry. Dil Raju, too, might have said this at times. But the difference is that he knows to what extent a film's result is unpredictable, and how much you can control the outcome. Only someone who has a thorough idea of what it takes to make appealing content would possess this level of awareness. That's why he doesn't speak generic nonsense in interviews.

Take Sunil's 'Krishnashtami', for example. The script was written as an out-and-out entertainer initially. During the later stages of development, it somehow became a drama and ended up becoming a flop. This is the level of post-mortem Dil Raju does. Nine out of 10 producers would be like 'We believed in the script, but unfortunately the audience didn't like it'. Raju never passes the buck to the audience. 'Maro Charitra' was a cost failure project after its team couldn't secure Visas on time and the budget eventually got doubled due to some uncontrollable reasons (from Rs 5 Cr to 10 Cr).

Nani's 'V' must be the one rare film where Dil Raju got everything wrong. But even it is a bug and not a feature. For a producer who has made nearly 50 movies, a couple of massive misfires are only to be expected. 'Thank You' is one such terrible misfire.

As for Raju's failure in Bollywood (read 'Jersey' and 'HIT: The First Case'), the two films have suffered because of the pandemic. 'Jersey', made with three other producers, was supposed to make a profit before the pandemic. 'HIT', too, is in a similar zone.