Yuvasamrat Nagarujuna -The Charmer
As Clock is ticking towards the release of Manmadhudu, we present you an analysis on Nagarjuna.
No one predicted with Vikram that Nagarjuna would become such a star as he is today. A hero who had tough time in dialogue delivery 10 years ago now stands out as one of the top four actors in the telugu film industry.
An actor with a very mild physique now turns out to be the charmer of the Tollywood. Looking at his latest pictures one feels he is really "Manmadhudu".
It will not be an exaggeration to say that no other hero in the tollywood had the kind of lady following that
1986 - First year as an actor
Number of movies: 2
His career was launched through Vikram, a home production directed by V Madhusudhan Rao, not
K RaghavendraRao who launches new faces with filmy background. Vikram is a remake of Hindi movie "Hero" starring
Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri. In Telugu, its debut movie for both Nagarjuna and Sobhana.
The movie did well but not Nagarjuna. Being very lean and other factors,
he failed to impress that he is a hero material except for the fact that he is the son of Akkineni NageswarRao.
He resembled ANR in many of the shots especially in the drinking scenes.
Followed by Vikram is Captain Nagarjuna which only disappointed his fans and ANR fans who were anxiously waiting
to see Nagarjuna's second movie.
1987 - Beginner as an actor
Number of Movies: 6
Followed by Vikram, came a couple of flops in the form of Captain Nagarjuna in 86 and AranyaKanda
directed by Kranthikumar in 87. The actual break came as Majnu directed by Dasari NarayanaRao.
Rajani is the heroine. The audio was a blockbuster as is the movie. This movie created a rage in the youth and started
a special place for Nag in the lady fans. Audio is a big hit that included “Nene Nene” and “Idhi Toli Ratri” songs .
Nagarjuna is known to encourage new talent and is very keen on experimentation. That’s the reason one can see the
range of directors he worked with. Starting from new comers like Geethakrishna,
RamGopalVarma to ace directors like RaghavendraRao, KodandaRamiReddy, Kranthikumar to very talented-imported directors
like Priyadarshan and Faazil.
After Majnu, GeethaKrishna directed Nagarjuna for a classic movie Sankeerthana.
Though the movie got good critic reviews, it bombed at the box office. It also gave an impression to the audience and critics that Nagarjuna is improving as an actor.
Collector gari Abbayi directed by B Gopal gave him a big hit.
ANR and Nagarjuna acted as reel life father and son. ANR plays the collector and Nagarjuna played his son who
is a Romeo type and always chided by his father for being irresponsible. He proves to his father that he is morethan a hero. The movie is an instant winner, be it for ANR or Nag or the story itself.
RaghavendraRao is known to have given a life and an image for most of the heroes.
Nag worked with K.RaghavendraRao B. A for his 7th movie, AgniPutrudu. Agniputrudu did well at the box office, if not a big hit.
His next movie Kirai Dada directed by KodandaRamiReddy is an average movie.
1988 - Establishing as hero
Number of Movies : 4
By the end of 1987, Nagarjuna became the heartthrob of millions of lady audience.
In 1988 he gave big hits in the form of Akaari Poratam & JanakiRamudu.
Akhari Portam directed by RaghavendraRao, based on Yendamuri Novel, proved to be a big hit.
Sridevi and Suhasini starred with him. A total action packed movie with ultimate songs.
RaghavendraRao is known for his picturization of songs.
Nag’s following, Sridevi’s glamour, Suhasini’s craze,
RaghavendraRao’s direction, good music, added to all this is the freshness of Asha Bhosles’s voice
in two songs. What else is required to make it a huge hit.
Janaki Ramudu is a melodramatic movie again directed by K RaghavendraRao. Vijayasanthi and Jeevitha acted as heroines. The movie is about two lovers getting killed in their first life and how they unite in their next life. This movie is an instant winner too.
MuraliKrishnudu and ChinnaBabu balanced the big hits for 88. He is referred to as
Chinababu in the film industry. But the name actually did not help the movie. Chinababu is the only movie that
Nagarjuna did with Suresh Productions.
1989 – The period of trend setting
Number of Movies: 5
89 is the best year for Nagarjuna as far as his image is concerned.
He gave two trendsetters Siva and Geethanjali.
Geethanjali happened after couple of bleak movies,
Vijay and VikkiDada. Geethanjali is a masterpiece. ManiRatnam directed the movie. ManiRatnam is
known to select his artists very carefully. He already had MounaRaagam, Gharshana, Anjali, and Nayakudu to his
credits. Geethanjali had a fresh face, Girija playing the lady lead. Nagarjuna looked completely different from
his previous movies. This shows how willing is he to experiment with. Ilayaraja provided such music that
the audio is known nationwide and even today it is rated as the best music.
Siva, directed by RamGopalVarma had a huge impact on the college youth. T
his movie is definitely the trendsetter. No body would suit this role other than Nagarjuna.
Nagarjuna gave a new definition and provided a new dimension to this serious role.
Raghuvaran, JD got good name in the movie as well.
Agni, directed by K RaghavendraRao, released after Siva could not live to the expectations.
However 89 is the year of Nagarjuna with Siva and Geethanjali.
1990 – 1991 - Bad phase in his career
Number of Movies: 8
1990, 91 can be considered the worst phase of Nagarjuna, commercially.
That’s a two-year period and 8 movies : 7 are telugu & 1 Hindi: Siva.
Some of the magazines printed that ANR made a record by giving 7 consecutive hits and Nagarjuna
made a record in the other way. Though all the movies are "Commercially flop",
some of them could be listed as Nagarjuna's career best movies.
Nirnayam, Antham are directed by talented directors Priyadarshan and RamGopalVarma respectively.
This period started with PremaYuddham, also starring Amala.
Audio was good and raised the expectations of the viewer. The movie did not live up to the expectations.
Neti Sidhartha directed and produced by KrantiKumar, had Sobhana and AyeshaJulka playing the heroines.
The movie is loosely based on “The God Father”. Krishnam Raju played the role of Nagarjuna’s father.
The movie has very good songs viz. Neeve kadha naa sweet figaru”, “Giri lo laahiri”.
However the movie did miserable at the box office.
After these continous flops, Annapoorna Banner, came out with a movie Iddaru Iddare
in the direction of KodandaRamiReddy also starting ANR and expected it create the magic of Collector Gari Abbayi.
But it couldnot. It failed at the box office.
In 90, 4 movies released and all of them proved unfortunate at the Box office.
91 started out with Nirnayam.
Some times it makes one wonder on how a movie like Nirnayam could be a flop.
It’s a bit dragged towards the climax. But that should not have pushed the result so badly.
However Nirnayam failed miserably at the box office. Priyadarshan directed this.
Music by Ilayaraja. Hello Guru still teases and Mila Mila Merisanu pushes u into dreams anytime.
Well balanced comedy provided by Nakkajitthula character. Nirnayam is based on a Hollywood flick “Stake Out”.
Chaitanya is a very experimental movie directed by Pratap Pothan. One should say that its way
ahead of its time. The movie is nowhere less to that of Hollywood style.
It’s an action thriller. Cinematography, music stands out in the movie.
Its definitely a variety movie and would have clicked very well,
if proper care was taken in the screenplay.
Santhi Kranthi produced and directed by RaviChandran is a bilingual movie.
Nagarjuna is paired up with Juhi Chawla. This movie is a total disaster.
If not for few songs and the producer’s lavishness, the movie has nothing to offer. T
he movie got its result.
New comer Uppalapati Narayana Rao directed the next movie of Nagarjuna, Jaitra Yatra.
It also failed at the box office.
One can easily notice that Nagarjuna is never disheartened by his flops based on his movie selection.
He did not try the normal masala formulas even during his bad phase.
He tried very different movies and with new and talented directors.
In 91 he did 4 movies in telugu and none of them did well at the box office.
Read Second part - 1992: Comeback of Nagarjuna & Change of his image
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