With Sita Ramam’s success proving that actioners aren’t the only draw at box office, Mrunal says the love story’s innocence resonated with viewers
Mrunal Thakur. Pic/Instagram
In a year when most movies have received a tepid response at the box office, Dulquer Salmaan and Mrunal Thakur’s Sita Ramam has emerged as an unlikely hit. The August 5 offering has not only become Salmaan’s highest grosser to date, but has also given Thakur a dream debut in the Telugu film industry. She is elated by the performance of her romantic drama, which was released in Hindi last week. “Good stories will always find an audience. Maybe the films that they desire to watch after reeling from the tough two years are different — some may enjoy larger-than-life spectacles, others may need escapism. Sita Ramam is an innocent love story [with honest] emotions. I believe that’s why people have connected with the story,” smiles the leading lady.
Sita Ramam marks her Telugu film debut
Going by the runaway success of Pushpa: The Rise (2021) and KGF: Chapter 2, one could be led to believe that gore and action appeal to the audience today. But Hanu Raghavapudi’s directorial venture busts the notion that formula fares are the only ticket to box-office magic. “There is space for all kinds of movies at the box office, and on OTT. You cannot say that such-and-such movie or such-and-such genre will work. Time and again, we’ve seen [formula] films not faring well. The audiences know what they want to watch, what they want to invest their time in. We need to know the audience’s pulse better right now, and gauge what they want to watch in a cinema vis-à-vis what they wish to consume online.”
What makes the love story refreshing is that it sees a woman exercising agency — a necessary departure from the south blockbusters that propagate toxic masculinity. For Thakur, it’s personally important to portray women who have a mind of their own. “I feel cinema influences mindsets. Cinema could sometimes encourage behaviour patterns, but it’s not the only medium. News, what we read and consume otherwise [also play a role]. So, one has to be conscious of what is being shown on screen. Movies have a responsibility to nurture impressionable minds,” asserts the actor, who is now looking forward to more Telugu projects.