Where do we exactly start about the ambitious Sivarama Krishna from Guntur today, on his 72nd birthday to talk about his growth as an actor, an individualist in terms of career-growth? Do we begin with the trivia that he shared a room once with Sobhan Babu and Muralimohan? Or should we give him space to be the rare actor to set major technological trends in Telugu cinema? (first colour movie-Tene Manasulu, first cinema-scope movie-Alluri Seetharama Raju, first 70mm movie-Simhasanam and first DTS Movie-Telugu Veera Levara).
After going past many such unending ideas, here we do our best to retrace on what makes him an actor and a prized possession that Telugu cinema-lovers must treasure.
- Any genre, ‘Oh please! Bring it on!’
Starting out as a rather ‘chocolate-boy’ find of Adurti Subba Rao in his earlier films Kanne Manasulu and Tenemanasulu, there has hardly been a genre the ‘Burripalem Bullodu’ has left untapped. He had played a real-life independence hero in Alluri Seetharamaraju, a role that was tipped to reach within NTR’s grips, followed it up with Ekalavya and Kurukshetram ; didn’t miss out on his conny and mysterious avatars in Ave Kallu and Mayadari Malligadu ; the romance just oozed so much in Sri Rajeshwari Coffee Vilas, Krishnaveni and the social-value dramas didn’t go for a toss in the process with Undamma Bottu Pedatha and Pandanti Kapuram. All of these films came in different eras, some defined the time while some outclassed it. For the variety he’s ability to showcase in spite of being a star, doesn’t his choices define him better?
- The ‘dude’ who made multi-starrers seem cool in the 60’s!
The 340-film-old actor wasn’t the one to feel insecure about his competitors and was rather a step ahead, to share some solid screen-space with them. That was his way of dealing with fame! In times such as now where we are excited even with the rarest prospects of seeing two contemporary-stars on the same-frame, Krishna gave a better sense of joy to the previous generation. He had acted with likes of legends such as Akkineni, Krishnam Raju,NTR, Rajinikanth and Sobhan Babu in popular films including Akka Chellellu, Kurukshetram, Devudu Chesina Manushulu, Ram Robert Rahim and Mundadugu. Taking this move quite early in his career, in the times when he was thriving in his solo-hero acts, Krishna proved his solidarity by holding firm in front of stalwarts, thereby only increasing his reach across diverse fan-bases further.
- James Bond first, Cowboy next
Krishna’s choice to be the poster-boy of James Bond in Telugu cinema, just as Dev Anand was for Hindi, came at the right time. Telugu cinema was swelling with cultural and mythological riches then, but he gave the women, something so aesthetic and stylish to fantasize about, with Gudachari 116 and many on those lines.
Later, when it was Client Eastwood getting his Casanova like cowboy act right in Hollywood, it was Krishna, who had the audacity to give the part a convincing Indian spin, the first one to do so, in 1971 beginning with Mosagallaku Mosagadu, when conventional films weren’t exactly modeled on style as much as drama. Not falling prey to archetypes, there was a new sense of masculine charm as he was flirting with guns, women, fighting men and riding on horses, the mix being a unique one and boy, the crowds were there to lap it up with such pride.
- A hit as a politician too!
Krishna’s meteoric success wasn’t just restricted to cinema. Between 1989-1991, when he was known to share close political ties with former PM, the late Rajiv Gandhi, his charisma ensured him a stellar political debut, as he won a Loksabha M.P seat from the Eluru constituency. The late 80’s saw him produce and act in a handful films with political intonations. Interestingly, his better-half and the multi-faceted actress Vijay Nirmala too gave a shot at politics by representing the Kaikaluru constituency in 2004. On the other front, his brother Adi Seshagiri Rao was an MLC candidate in the 2014 elections whereas his prominent son-in-law Jayadev Galla is currently representing Guntur as a Loksabha M.P.
- Undeniable Connect with Telugu Masses
- The actor has an engineering college named after himself in Guntur, ‘St. Peters and Krishna Ghattamaneni College of Education’, established in 2002 that offers full-time course in various specializations.
- With his mentor-K S R Das, Krishna did nearly 35 films, a tenth of his entire filmography, who was a significant reason that he carved his own niche, so early in Telugu cinema and had sustained the same for long.
- It surely was a perfect-blend of family and profession, when it was his wife Vijaya Nirmala, starting with the award-winning film Meena and going on to direct him in 29 other films, giving rise to one of the rarest collaborations of similar nature,ever. He too wielded the megaphone and produced a series of films in the 80’s, the most eminent of them being, Simhasanam.
- All of his five children, including the likes of Manjula, Ramesh Babu and Mahesh Babu who made their mark in various departments of cinema, have worked as child-artistes in Krishna’s films. It was on the sets of his film with Dasari titled Needa that the 4-year-old Prince Mahesh entered the cinematic space, working as a child actor till 1990, before taking a break to pursue higher studies.
- His brain-child, Padmalaya Studios, established in 1968, is only one of the six studios set-up in Hyderabad for film-shoots. Co-owned by his brothers, it was once rated the biggest animation studio in India by IBM.
It has become a rather successful sentiment for his Superstar son and an even happier one for their fans to see the release of the promotional content of his films on Krishna’s birthdays. And today, being his 50th anniversary of his cinematic journey is no different. On this prestigious occasion, here we present the teaser of Srimanthudu.