“Yevadu Kodithey Dimma Thirigi Mind Block Avuddho..Aade Pandu Gaadu”
This dialogue from the film Pokiri launched a powerhouse called Mahesh Babu into a different league. The 4 year old Pandu, who entered the world of showbiz at a tender age to act in his father Superstar Krishna’s films, underwent a silent yet rapid metamorphosis. Mahesh turns a fab 40 today, and continues to cast his charming sway on his fans and the rest of the world.
Even the non Telugu speaking crowd would know one good looking chap in Telugu. They would have watched his films while commuting in the Volvo buses from state to state, watching films like Pokiri and Dookudu. And they would have connected. And why not? He has such a global face. Mahesh Babu transcends languages and origins with his Indo Greek Aryan looks.
Mahesh Babu Ghattamaneni. The Prince of Tollywood. The handsome ‘milk face’ that stole the hearts of millions continues to render one blockbuster after the other. His massive on screen Demi God worship is nothing short of awe. Women just love him while men try to emulate him one way or the other. The chocolate boy had quite a journey in Telugu Film Industry, going through some of the worst phases ever as a leading actor. He transgressed all the odds, only to evolve and manifest better in the hearts of film lovers. Mahesh never backed down. He fought his own demons, set his own standards.
Born to the veteran performer Krishna, Mahesh’s journey was never really that of a regular super star kid who would sip sodas and throw tantrums on the set. He started out all on his own, with sheer passion to harness his acting skills. How else would one explain his larger than life portrayal playing double roles in his father’s movies, fighting side by side his dad to mend things and bridge fences?
Young Mahesh made an entry as a romantic hero. Just like the rest of them. But he could not really cope with the demanding circumstances. His earlier films bombed, despite his tremendous on screen presence, Greek God like chiselled face and dialogue delivery that was spoken about at length outside the theatre halls. And then, Okkadu happened. Playing that hungry Kabaddi player who goes way out of his league to save a troubled girl fetched him tremendous applaud. Mahesh was raring to go, proving a point or two that he was ready for more.
What followed later was more of a roller coaster ride than a walk in the park. Expectations began to rise and Mahesh had a tumultuous time, to cater to the needs of his audience. His intense roles in films like Nijam and Athadu were well appreciated. But the lovers and watchers of Mahesh Babu wanted beyond. They wanted him to push a mile harder. Try doing something greater. More magnanimous.
Pokiri can be called as the life changing film for both the hero and his worshippers. In a way, the movie that catapulted Mahesh to a roaring heights of fame also turned out to be a vice in itself. Thereafter, Mahesh was constantly compared to his role as Pandu Gaadu aka Krishna Manohar with the films that followed. He could not cope with the building stress of that Pokiri benchmarking. As unfair as that sounded, it was time for the Milky Macho to set things right. Mahesh took his time to pick the right ones.
After some serious down lows and anxious phases, Mahesh shone one more time, this time only more impactful. Dookudu got him into the dizzying pinnacles of success. The film’s success not only placed him steady with his career innings, but the changing tides also enabled the star actor material to try newer characters and scripts. His performances as a younger brother in Seethamma Vaakitlo Sirimalle Chettu only proved a point that Mahesh was now really up for the Mojo of versatile acting.
His unabashed choice to try a role like Gautham in 1 Nenokkadine was considered as a serious risk. A sure shot bad move. But Mahesh tried it anyways. After two decades of troubled times and victorious moments, Mahesh Babu now rides a high tide of choosing character rich roles as compared to the ones that solely boosted his career. His latest film, Srimanthudu, is a standing testimonial to the fact that Mahesh Babu Ghattamaneni is set to have a complete innings as an actor. Take it or leave it.