Tollywood superstar Chiranjeevi turned 64 today. And, it feels like he is just getting started. After a decade-long sabbatical from acting, he made a comeback to the big screen in 2016 with Khaidi No. 150. He seemed to have never aged a day in the movie, which became a huge hit at the box office. He then started shooting for Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, which is being produced by his son Ram Charan.
A brand new teaser of Sye Raa was launched in Mumbai on Tuesday giving us a glimpse of the age-defying actions performed by the superstar, being in his sixties. Move over, Tom Crusie.
Chiranjeevi recently said, “There’s only one megastar and he is Amitabh Bachchan.” While his statement demonstrates his humility and his respect for his seniors in the industry, here we look at five reasons why he is and will remain the only megastar of the Telugu film audience.
Chiranjeevi is not just a name. It is a pop-cultural craze that will never die out. It only continues to grow from strength to strength through generations. Take, for example, his comeback film, Khaidi No. 150. No other actor, except for Chiranjeevi, can manage to fade away into the background, quit acting for 10 years for a career in politics and later pull off such a massive and successful comeback. It shows the never-ending popularity that the superstar enjoys among the fans of Telugu cinema.
Chiranjeevi is credited with ushering in a new era of dance and style in the Telugu film industry. He has given many iconic dance moves and hook-steps that sort of put the pressure on other leading heroes of his time to deliver interesting dance performances. And his contribution to cinema, especially in terms of onscreen dancing, has influenced actors across generations and continues to do so. Remember, “Chik Chik Chelam”, the song that raised the bar in portraying the disco culture that was prevalent in the 90s? Who can forget his moves in “Bangaru Kodi Petta” (Gharana Mogudu, 1992)? The song was so deeply engraved in the memories of the audience, that decades later his son Ram Charan borrowed it for his film Magadheera (2009) to immediately click with the audience.
In over 40 years of his career, he has achieved such great heights that can never be matched. Today, there is no need for him to wake up at 4 AM, get ready and reach the film set by 7 AM for the first shot. And yet, he continues to do so. He is well capable to buy a nice island and retire. Yet, he won’t choose that option. He’s thirsty to scale new heights. He desires to keep his fans happy and entertained and he is ambitious to stay relevant. He is where he is today because of his discipline and he never takes his stardom for granted. To say, he is inspiring is an understatement.
Chiranjeevi has performed majority, if not all, of the stunts, including sprinting, horse-riding and sword-fighting without a body double in his upcoming film Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. He has been entertaining us for more than four decades and he is showing no signs of stopping. On the other hand, we can’t also seem to get enough of the brand of entertainment that Chiranjeevi brings to the big screen.
A star for all generations
Over the years, the idea of film entertainment has evolved drastically along with the taste of the audience. What worked for the audience in the 1980s, may not work today. But, Chiranjeevi was a rage in then and he continues to hold that position now. That’s a sign of a bonafide megastar.