“Sir.... can you please keep the revolver away? I am somewhat scared” , said Karunakaran the director in a playful way. Though Karunakaran looks quite kiddish at the first look , the moment he starts narrating a story, Karunakaran- the director comes out. The young director had lot of difficulty to get Pawan Kalyan’s appointment because he was determined to cast Pawan for the role in his debut film. Right on the track, when Karunakaran met Pawan first- he was shocked to see a revolver with the latter! Pawan was apparently going out with a revolver in his pocket and when he saw Karunakaran come to narrate the story, he kept the revolver on the table in order to sit comfortably. Karunakaran was in fact terrified that if Pawan doesn’t like the story, he would shoot him with the same!
Shunning his fear away, Karunakaran started narrating the story to Pawan. The story looked like the one in Pawan’s own family. In short, the story resembled every Telugu household of the 90s! Once the narration was completed, Pawan stood up with excitement. It was the story which he has been waiting for all the while. He felt that the character Balu who yearns for love by singing E Manase, Se,Se... was none other than himself.
Karunakaran was determined to make his first film at a brilliant level and Pawan Kalyan was equally determined to prove himself as an actor with the same.
Rest was History!
When the film was released, it became an instant super hit running successfully for 100 days in 21 centers and 200 days in two centers. It ran in Sandhya 70 MM, RTC Cross Roads- Hyderabad for a staggering duration of 385 days. Pawan Kalyan was finally recharged with Tholi Prema. He filled the gap for a hero of his style in Telugu Film Industry with style!
Tholiprema is regarded as one of the best love stories made in Telugu Cinema. The film had immense freshness and wonderful values for a time when Telugu films were mostly with sentiment, violence and family dramas. It made Pawan Kalyan establish himself more strongly as an actor with is completely believable portrayal of the protagonist Balu. Instead of following the path of his brother Chiranjeevi, Pawan Kalyan redefined himself through this film.
Highlights of the film:
■Music is undoubtedly one of the main assets of the film. The songs have very casual lyrics and instantly likeable nature which attracted the youth of 90s tremendously. It is interesting to note that all the songs in the film are male solos which feature the protagonist Balu’s point of view!
■Tholiprema is one of those films which introduced the culture of Pubs and Discos to the urbane youth of the 90s in a bigger scale. The way director showed it was completely believable and admirable.
■The scene where Venumadhav explains Balu about the classes of youthful women in cities (A,B and C Class) is another highlight of the film. The dialogue was a rage those days and it made Venu Madhav establish himself as one of the very good modern comedians we have in Telugu Cinema.
■The film has characters of various shades which every youth of the 90s could relate amazingly too. One such film which did the same was Prema Desam previously but Tholi Prema maximized the effect which the former had created!
■Tholiprema began Ali and Pawan Kalyan association at a brilliant start. The duo followed up the on screen presence even till date with great friendship both personally as well as professionally.
■Though the film has its fun elements throughout it, the great message about love and friendship was brilliantly portrayed through the lead characters in the film.
■Pawan Kalyan emerged as a unique actor with style in every emotion such as Love, Comedy, Sentiment, Anger, Aggression and Sadness with this film.