Mahesh Babu is among the leading actors of Tollywood. He started his acting career as a child artist and played lead roles at a young age. There are many ups and downs in his initial career but after Okkadu, he kept growing with each film. The following 10 films redefined his career as an actor.
Pokiri is a sleeper hit and a sensation that created buzz pan-India. This is the film that propelled Mahesh Babu into the number race of Tollywood. The film, upon its release, faced criticism for its violence and separate comedy track but that couldn’t affect the boxoffice performance and Pokiri emerged as the industry hit. Puri Jagannadh became the most sought-after director after Pokiri and producers lined up for Mahesh Babu. He had a complete makeover for the film. The songs were all chartbusters and created hype for the film. The success has inspired many such films. Incidentally, the remakes of the film in several languages continued its success. But the performances of lead actors and the Puri Jagannadh mark intensity couldn’t be recreated in any other language.
Okkadu is the first commercial film of Mahesh Babu. Almost all his previous films were written keeping his chocolate boy image in mind and he was repeatedly cast in love stories. Although he had done action movies in childhood, he didn’t get a chance to act in a serious action movie after his debut as a hero. In spite of being a love story set in a faction backdrop, Okkadu is the film that ignited hopes among fans that he could evolve into a complete mass hero in future. He carried the intensity and charm required for the film. Okkadu is one of the major turning points in his career.
Srimanthudu released during the time when Mahesh Babu is facing string of flops and is waiting for a blockbuster. The film emerged as the highest grossing film after Baahubali and proved the boxoffice stamina of Mahesh Babu. Koratala Siva came up with the social message of adopting villages which became a talk of the town. Additionally, Mahesh Babu delivered a subtle performance which was well received by audience and celebrities alike.
Murari is the first milestone in the career of Mahesh Babu. Krishna Vamsi made sure that the film remains a classic. The characterizations and the performances in the film are intense and memorable. Moreover, the evergreen wedding song is timeless and has become the identity of the film. Mahesh Babu surprised everyone with his performance in the pre-climax episode. Murari delivered much needed hit to Mahesh Babu along with many awards.
Athadu transformed Mahesh Babu as an actor and set a standard for other directors to follow. It is the most loved film for family audience and has retained its TRP ratings for several years. The songs are all chartbusters and the title song had phenomenal lyrics. Athadu has the subtlest performance of Mahesh Babu as a cold-blooded killer trying to fit in a new environment. It is a complex film with multiple genres such as crime drama, investigative thriller, family drama etc interwoven into a perfect combination with effective dialogues of Trivikram Srinivas.
6. Bharat Ane Nenu:
Bharat Ane Nenu is the second collaboration of Mahesh Babu and Koratala Siva after blockbuster Srimanthudu. The expectations are so high since the announcement of the project. Bharat Ane Nenu repeated the magic of Srimanthudu and resulted in a blockbuster. Mahesh Babu image was dented with films like Brahmotsavam and Spyder, and Bharat Ane Nenu is truly a lifesaver.
Dookudu is a sleeper hit of Mahesh Babu which brought Srinu Vaitla into the list of star directors. It doesn’t have a remarkable script but the entertainment and the stardom of Mahesh Babu made it into a blockbuster. Moreover, the family drama and songs helped the film attract family audience.
Businessman is the second collaboration of Mahesh Babu and Puri Jagannadh after blockbuster Pokiri. The expectations are high on the film. Mahesh Babu delivered his most intense performance till date. The characterization and dialogues of the film are so intense. However, Mahesh Babu role has a lot of dark shades to it. The portrayal of a mafia don is well conceived and the audience admired the character.
1-Nenokkadine is the first of its kind psychological thriller in Telugu cinema. The character of a Rockstar with psychological problems has no references and is multi-dimensional. This is probably his most complex character till date. And he is successful in bringing it to life. The film couldn’t attain commercial success at boxoffice but has attained cult status among fans.
Khaleja is the second collaboration of Mahesh Babu and Trivikram Srinivas after Athadu. Mahesh Babu has done serious roles continuously and he decided to come up with a complete entertainer. Khaleja was shot for over 2 years and is delayed due to several reasons. The final output wasn’t satisfactory and the film couldn’t be successful at boxoffice but it has impressed the fans for its entertainment. Khaleja is a makeover for Mahesh Babu as an actor during its time.