Athadu, one of the most interesting and engrossing films released in 2005 completes a decade today. A decade of being a favorite home DVD of the audience. A decade of remarkable story telling with new treatment. A decade of celebrating the spirit of Telugu family sentiments.
Written and directed by the Maatala Maantrikudu Trivikram Srinivas, Athadu was a fresh perspective in those trying times. The time when the essence of commercial cinema was still evolving in Telugu. The time when new ideas were not readily embraced.
Trivikram Srinivas ventured out one more time, as he did with his writing a ‘What Women Want’ concept called Manmadhudu in 2002. Only this time, he was looking at something tasteful and suitable for Mahesh Babu. Deriving at the character Jimmy Valentine of O Henry works for the first time in Telugu Cinema.
A notorious assassin enters into the compound of an innocent family somewhere, taking the name of their deceased kid. Mahesh pushed himself out of his comfort levels doing the role of Nandu aka Pardhu, an extremely challenging and two faced conflicted character.
The story so engaging, fresh and full of thrills has five remarkable on screen characters with breadth and length defining their contribution to the film.
Here are the famous five of Athadu who went on make the film an instant blockbuster hit with the movie goers.
1. Nanda Gopal aka Pardhu (Mahesh Babu)
The prince of Tollywood wouldn’t have asked for a better lead during the trying times of his career. Mahesh’s personality reflected every essence of playing a low down thug and an assassin who kills for living. Nandu is confronted with strange series of events when he runs into a simply guy called Pardhu, who was on his way to meet his family after a long parting. It was supposed to be a happy union until Pardhu accidentally takes the bullet meant for Nandu. This troubles the conscience of the assassin, who goes on to assume Pardhu’s name and visits his family. What follows is a magical tale, as everyone in the Telugu speaking world knows. Mahesh’s portrayal of Nandu, a highly self conflicted and disturbed character loaded with guilt was an outstanding performance. This role will remain to be one of his bests for good.
2. CBI Officer Anjaneya Prasad (Prakash Raj)
Where there is a convict, the story will have at least one cop on his trail. What was different this time around was the classy rendition of a CBI Officer, played by the ever versatile Prakash Raj. The way Anjaneya Prasad tracks Nandu down and then lets him away as easy – after realizing that justice had been served and the convict had turned from a monster to a human. There are no words left simply to analyse how Prakash Raj underplays and performs in that character.
3. Satya Narayana Murthy (Nassar)
You need a heart wrenching head of the family, please bring in Nassar to do the part in totality. Satya Narayana Murthy played by Nassar is the grandfather of Pardhu, who is deeply grieved after his grandson runs away from the house. The expectant eyes see bliss when Pardhu returns, only not knowing that it is an impostor. What follows later subjects the character go through a heavy turmoil. And the Bijjaladeva got it damn right, way back.
4. Puri (Trisha Krishnan)
Innocence, sensuality, playfulness and lady like charm. All these attributes were required of the character Puri, Pardhu’s cousin. Trisha fits the bill like a dream. The lady plays the part with full dedication, making the audience wonder whether she was really the character that she was seen as on the screen. Trisha’s ability to connect with the Telugu audience with her beauty, chirpiness and that perfect half saree look of a Telugammai does wonders. No body else for Puri, except Ms Krishnan.
5. Ramana (Sunil)
He was not there for comedy alone. Sunil plays the character called Ramana, Pardhu childhood friend who proves his loyalty even after years of separation. Ramana comes to know that Pardhu is an impostor, but gives a willing hand as Nandu plans to set things right for everyone in late Pardhu’s life. The part played by Sunil is so endearing that people will both relate and empathize with him on screen.
These apart, every character played by actors on screen came alive like magic in Athadu. Witty Trivikram lines, emotional scenes, treatment with perfection – all make Athadu an evergreen home favorite.