Telugu cinema for long has survived on family entertainers with a generous dose of comedy. Filmmakers such as Jandhyala, EVV Sathyanarayana, Vijaya Bhaskar and Sreenu Vaitla among others have made a strong impact with their films in this space. However, the dearth of out-and-out comedy films in the last few years and the poor response to the few that were made has almost killed the fate of the comedy genre. However, with the unprecedented success of Anil Ravipudi’s multi-starrer comedy F2, which has already grossed over Rs 100 crore and continues to run to packed house, the industry might be in for a drastic change.
The success of F2 – starring Venkatesh, Varun Tej, Tamannaah Bhatia and Mehreen Pirzada – couldn’t have come at a better time and it’s the perfect start to the year for the industry, feel industry sources. “This success means that audiences are still open to embrace a film that’s genuinely funny, and the way F2 has been celebrated is a testament to the kind of content that’s needed. Filmmakers, in recent years, have miscalculated that audiences do not enjoy comedy films anymore. F2 has proved them all wrong and its mega success only shows that when audiences really like a film, they can lap it up in unimaginable way,” says an industry veteran, on condition of anonymity.
F2 revolves around the marriage woes of a husband (Venkatesh) and a soon-to-be husband (Varun Tej) and their relationship with their partners. The film has worked big time with family audiences and has witnessed them coming to theatres in hordes. Director Anil Ravipudi revealed that he was really glad to see that family audiences had welcomed the film. “We made the film to appeal to all sections of the audiences. It was released during the Sankranti festival and it’s one of those occasions where families go out and have fun. F2 was made keeping all these factors in mind. That’s why we even added two older characters that are grandparents in the film. These characters are present throughout the film and I was surprised by the way they were received by the audience. The fact that most of the comedy scenes involve the two families in the film also worked in our favour.”
At the film’s success meet last week, producer Dil Raju said he didn’t expect this kind of success. “This is the 30th film from our banner. As much as we are happy with this success, we never expected this kind of response. We were confident that the film will do well because most people who saw it in post-production were sure of its success. However, we didn’t expect it to rake in this kind of numbers. This was pleasantly surprising for us.”
One of the biggest highlights of the film is the return of ‘Vintage Venkatesh’ in one of his most entertaining avatars in a long time. In several of his pre-release interviews, Venkatesh had said he had been waiting for the right script to do a comedy film for a long time. In an interaction with the publication, he said: “I’ve been waiting to do some fun stuff for a while now, but at the same time, you’ve to find the right script too and it has to be equally convincing to suit my age.” He also said that he had asked some of his friends and well-wishers if audience would like to see him now in a full-fledged comedy role.
Talking about Venkatesh’s involvement in the film and especially in the comedy scenes, Anil said that his inputs came in very handy. “Venkatesh sir had absolutely no inhibitions whatsoever. There were instances where he wanted jokes to be made on his character. He didn’t mind some one-liners targeted at his character. I don’t think many stars of his stature would be willing to do such things. I was quite amazed by his involvement.”