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Comedian Venu Tillu faces litmus test as a director


Comedian Venu Tillu needs to be congratulated for the reason he has chosen to helm a film rather than fancy his chances as a leading man. His contemporaries such as Saptagiri, Shakalaka Shankar and Sudigali Sudheer have become male leads with mixed results. Instead of chasing on-screen glory, Venu has chosen to wield the megaphone behind the camera.

His directorial debut is 'Balagam', which hits the cinemas this Friday (March 3). First, its plus points. What works for the project is Dil Raju Productions' backing. Since 'Balagam' is produced by Dil Raju's daughter, one can be sure that theatres will encourage it, thanks to the goodwill that Sri Venkateswara Creations enjoys.

Another plus (in terms of content, not commerce) is that the genre (family comedy drama) is loved by the audience if well-made, at least on OTT and TV. In recent months, though, films like 'Jayamma Panchayati' bombed at the box-office and were trolled even on OTT. So, content has to be good; just the genre won't ensure minimum-guarantee results.

On the flip side, box-office business for films like 'Balagam' hasn't been looking up in the pandemic era. While theatres will back the film as much as they can given the banner's strength, 'Balagam' might still find it hard to sustain the push.

Starring Priyadarshi and Kavya Kalyanram in the lead, 'Balagam' has music by Ram Miryala and Bheems.