“After one year I will be king”, said Rajendra Prasad in Aa Okkati Adakku. For more than three decades, he has indeed been the king – The undisputed KING OF COMEDY. Apart from some interesting projects in his kitty, he is currently serving as the President of Movie Artists Association (MAA).
On his 59th birthday, let’s take a look at his commendable work that Rajendra Prasad has been tirelessly doing.
Early Career – Common Man Roles With Content
Rajendra Prasad began his career in 1977 with Sneham directed by Bapu. He started with supporting roles, and later acted as the main lead in Preminchu Pellaadu. Vamsy’s Ladies Tailor gave him immense recognition. It actually brought out the comic timing in him. His quest for searching a specific mole bearing lady is hilarious in the film. What connected Rajendra Prasad to the audience is, he has almost never played any larger than life roles. He played the common man most of the times, who fears a goonda. He many a times played the man who uses his brain power than muscle. He naturally represented the middle-class Telugu man.
Unique Style with Different Roles
His dialogue delivery has a different standard all together. He customizes it aptly as per the character he plays. For instance, in Aa Naluguru he plays a character called Raghuram – a good Samaritan and in Appula Appa Rao, he astutely takes debts and never repays. Raghuram and Appa Rao are poles apart. But our Nata Kireeti enacted them with great and equal ease.
Complete Director’s Actor
Rajendra Prasad is such a gifted actor that he can absolutely live the director’s vision impeccably. Vamsy had a unique style of his own and his films with Rajendra Prasad were classics. Especially the role Diwakaram he played in April 1st Vidudala was thoroughly entertaining and engaging. Diwakaram is a crafty liar in the first half, and speaks nothing other than truth in the second half. When he is at the receiving end of the repercussions, he acted quintessentially. Other successful collaborations of Mr.Prasad were with Bapu, Jandhyala, E.V.V. Satyanarayana and S.V.Krishna Reddy.
Playing Ideal Husband With a Comic Touch
Pelli Pustakam is a classic of Bapu, where the audience embraced him completely. He represented a husband of a typical Telugu household in Mr. Pellam. The manner in which he makes the conversations with his wife in both these films is so connectable, adorable and cute. He also acted in good amount of projects with Jandhyala. Their combination was lethal too, particularly in Rendu Rella Aaru, Vivaha Bhojanambu, Aha Na Pellanta and Jayammu Nischayammu Ra. After working with Bapu and Jandhyala, his films with E.V.V.Satynarayana made him a master of comedy. ‘Aa Okkati Adakku’ is a total laugh-riot. The scenes in which he confronts Rao Gopal Rao are one of the best comedy scenes ever in Telugu cinema. He quotes unending silly chuckle somes like ‘Gorigaav le Gundu’ and ‘Gokaav le Veepu’. The multiple attempts he makes to get his ‘first-night’ done were uproarious. Another example of his flawless comic timing can be found in Appula Appa Rao. With that black umbrella in hand and tricking everyone, Rajendra Prasad was exceptionally funny.
Unwavered Love From The Telugu Audience
In the entire history of Telugu Cinema, Rajendra Prasad received maximum love from the family audience. Theatres were filled with families for films like Mayalodu. He played a magician in that movie saying ‘Nenu kaani Oka vela kaani vesaanante’ in a distinctive style. Rajendrudu Gajendrudu and Mayalodu were directed by S.V.Krishna Reddy. In his heydays, Rajendra Prasad tried producing films too, but the stint was unsuccessful as those films (Madam and Rambantu) bombed severely.
Though majority of his filmography is filled with iconic comic roles, RP has been involved in doing serious roles right from the Erra Mandaram days. Samsaram Oka Chadarangam, Taali, Hitler and Daddy projected him as an actor who can pull off serious roles very easily. When Rajendra Prasad started aged roles, Aa Naluguru became another milestone for him. That performance also fetched him similar roles in films like Onamalu and Mee Shreyobhilaashi.
New Age Directors Yet To Tap His Potential
However, sad part is that as years passed, Tollywood fell short of directors who could tap the limitless potential in him. Luckily, in 2012, we had Julayi. Trivikram could rightly exploit his skills. In Julayi, he was cast as a fearing Police Officer, in which he excelled. In Son of Satyamurthy, he played a much more layered character beautifully.
We should be thankful to Trivikram for reviving the legend’s entertainment. There is also another interesting project coming up, where he is playing the father of Jr.NTR in Sukumar’s Nannaku Prematho. Given Sumukar’s abilities, our Rajendrudu’s role in the film will surely be something phenomenal.
We wish our Gajendr-ously talented Rajendra Prasad a great and healthy life.
And If he asks us whether he can retire now, we should say ‘Aa Okatti Adakku’!!