He might be Mass Maharaja, but Ravi Teja has also been part of films where he has exhibited his softer side and showcased emotions well. Here’s a list of his films you might have missed. Catch up with it before Krack, co-starring Shruti Haasan and directed by Gopichand Malineni, hits the big screen on January 9.
Avunu Valliddaru Ista Paddaru! (2002)
The exclamation mark in the title symbolises the relationship shared by the protagonists. It’s not merely an accessory. It’s a statement that deserves its own place since Anil (Ravi Teja) and Swathi (Kalyani) fall in love with each other without meeting face-to-face. It’s quite unthinkable now, because we have video-calling apps on our fingertips. But this movie, which was released in the pre-social-media era, rocked the hearts of the viewers, as it tenderly narrated a story of romance through handwritten letters.
Director: Krishna Vamsi
When Krishna Vamsi made Khadgam, he was at his peak popularity. He was mapping new territories in Telugu cinema and Ravi Teja was eager to join him in his mission to showcase patriotism on-screen. Here, the Mass Maharaja plays a wannabe actor, who begs for a chance to prove that he’s got the X factor to make it big in the industry. But he’s not allowed inside film studios as he’s one among a thousand wannabes. Also, Khadgam is the number one movie that’s aired on TV channels on the occasion of Independence Day, as it exhibits bonhomie between Hindus and Muslims.
Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi (2003)
Director: Puri Jagannadh
By the time Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi hit theatres, Telugu audiences were already familiar with the sport of boxing (courtesy: Thammudu, 1999). But this drama, strictly speaking, had more fun and masala. It had some potent elements that made people laugh out loud, dance to Chakri’s funky beats, and even sit on the edge of their seats during the boxing matches. Moreover, it starred Jayasudha, Prakash Raj, and Asin in unforgettable roles. It’s a wholesome family film that makes the bonding between a mother and her son appear sentimental and non-syrupy, at the same time.
Director: Srinu Vaitla
Srinu Vaitla probably took a lot more time to come up with the comedy scenes than the actual storyline for this movie. But, it’s definitely worth it, for Brahmanandam gives one of his best performances here. And he’s not alone. He’s supported by a bunch of crazy folks such as Ravi Teja, Srinivasa Reddy, Venu Madhav and AVS. The entire sequence in the train is hilarious, and though it tends to go overboard sometimes, it remains true to the genre.
Director: SS Rajamouli
Vikramarkudu was a runaway success that was remade in around half-a-dozen languages. The main strength behind this movie is the sincerity with which Ravi Teja portrays a dual role. On the one hand, he plays a thief who cracks jokes on the go, and on the other, he stars as a cop who doesn’t tolerate indecency and rowdyism in his jurisdiction. As you can see, these characters are poles apart, but he pulls them off with grit and determination. If not for his skill of infusing both the characters with his brand of verve, Vikramarkudu wouldn’t have become a benchmark for action films featuring cops as heroes.
Director: Puri Jagannadh
If Khadgam showcases the struggles of budding actors, Neninthe takes you behind the cameras. Here, Ravi Teja is a budding director. As he pitches his script to a potential producer, he realises that it won’t be a cakewalk for him. Though the movie brims with actors, directors, dancers and producers, it’s starkly different from Krishna Vamsi’s world. Plus, Neninthe delves into the making of superstars’ fan clubs. Watching this work of fiction has become a sort of ritual for up-and-coming filmmakers.
Director: Surender Reddy
If there’s one film on this list that’s built on the foundation of uninhabited entertainment, it’s got to be Kick. Where else can you find a character named Halwa Raj (Brahmanandam), or for that matter, a hero who doesn’t take himself seriously?
Whenever Kalyan (Ravi Teja) does something stupid and says, “Kick kosam (for kick’s sake),” you know you’re going to roll on the floor, laughing. The movie is designed in such a way that it becomes hard to not encourage Kalyan’s erratic behavior. A perfect watch for the weekend!