Birthday Special: Why Powerstar Pawan Kalyan is Telugu Cinema's Most Bankable Actor
A file photo of Pawan Kalyan
Chennai: When Pawan Kalyan first entered the Telugu film industry in 1996, movie buffs and critics alike treated him as nothing more that Chiranjeevi’s younger brother. However, at that time hardly anyone could have imagined that in the years to come the ‘Power Star’ would carve his own identity and win over a legion of die-hard fans. Today, as Pawan celebrates his birthday, we revisit some of his most significant big screen outings.
Tholi Prema: Released in 1998, Tholi Prema is regarded as the film which kick started Pawan Kalyan’s rise to stardom. Touted as a romantic-drama, it created quite a stir amongst youngsters thanks to the sizzling chemistry between the actor and his vivacious co-star Keerthy Reddy. A runaway hit at the box office, Tholi Prema bagged the National award for best feature film. Moreover, it also won several Nandi awards.
Jalsa: Directed by Trkivikram Srinivas, Jalsa revolved around the intense rivalry between a virtuous gym instructor and a cruel land grabber. Boasting of some melodious songs and pulsating onscreen confrontations, the film fared extremely well on the commercial front, helping Pawan Kalyan bag a Filmfare nomination. Also featuring Ileana and Prakash Raj in important roles, it was later on dubbed into Hindi as Yeh Hai Jalsa.
Gabbar Singh: An attempted remake of Salman Khan’s Dabangg, Gabbar Singh highlighted the exploits of a maverick police officer. Directed by Harish Shankar, the film gave Pawan Kalyan an ideal opportunity to showcase the rough and though side of his personality. Moreover, the ‘Power Star’ also floored all and sundry courtesy his impressive chemistry with Shruti Haasan. Interestingly, its sequel Sardaar is in the works at present.
Gopala Gopala: Touted as fun-filled satire, this Suresh Babu-produced film is best remembered for taking a firm stand against blind faith and fake god men. Essaying the role of lord Krishna, Pawan Kalyan infused life to the on screen proceedings because of his lively mannerisms and sizzling rapport with Venkatesh. Interestingly, Gopala Gopla was a remake of Oh My God which featured Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal in the lead.
Kushi: One of the biggest commercial successes of Pawan Kalyan’s career, Kushi saw him essay the role of a lover boy with absolute ease. Boasting of some catchy tracks and heartwarming romantic scenes, the film helped the actor bag a Filmfare nomination. Interestingly, it was a retelling of an eponymous Tamil movie which had Vijay in the lead.
Attarintiki Daredi: Serving as strong proof of Pawan Kalyan’s growth as an actor, Attarintiki Daredi saw him play the role of a young man who tries to improve the strained relations between his aunt and grandfather. Made on a budget of 550 million, it collected nearly 2 billion at the ticket window. Interestingly, the film was recently remade in Kannada as Ranna.