Cross-genre or hybrid genre is a genre in fiction that blends themes and elements from two or more genres. Most of the Telugu high budget movies fall into this category. Such movies need to attract audience of all ages, sections and gender, they mix up content and provide something for everyone. These movies have action, romance, comedy, family drama and sometimes thriller elements. And don’t forget the songs in between. These movies are entertaining for most of the audience but they don’t have the intensity of a genre film. The action or thriller elements don’t last long and there will be comedy tracks breaking the continuity.
The blending of two genres is common and is considered normal for feature films. The comedy is an integral part of most of the romance and drama films, so they are treated as genre films. Earlier there were directors like Jandhyala, Vittalacharya, K. S. R. Das, E. V. V. Satyanarayana, S. V. Krishna Reddy, Vamsy etc used to make pure genre films. But after 90s, the industry has changed and the filmmakers stopped experimenting as much as they used to earlier. The commercial movies started scoring big hits at box-office and many of the actors and directors started following the path. The combination of action, comedy, romance, drama and social message became a success formula. There are tons of films made with it but only a few of them have serious content. The subtracks not related to central theme are developed for comedy. This trend was successful for quite sometime and has brought stardom to Brahmanandam. There is a time when audience used to laugh just by the introduction Brahmanandam in a film. The problem with subtracks is that they don’t help the story progress and don’t provide any insight into the characters. These things make even a great film forgettable.
The trend is slowly changing and the filmmakers are slowly experimenting with genre films like romance and thrillers. The youngsters in the industry started breaking the norms and coming up with films that were not encouraged by producers earlier. The upcoming films like C/O Kancharapalem, Anthariksham etc are an indication that the industry is changing at a fast pace. But the change will be more impactful if the star heroes take up such scripts and act in experimental films once in a while. A suspense thriller, action film or a horror would be definitely more entertaining than a cross-genre film. It’s just a matter of time and we can expect more such films in Telugu cinema.