Nagarjuna Akkineni has turned a year older. But, like fine wine, he’s getting better with time. He looks at least two decades younger than his actual age. At 62, he continues to inspire us with his fitness and child-like eagerness to keep exploring varied kinds of movies. He has also made a mark in the television industry as he’s set to return as the host of Bigg Boss Telugu season 5. Nagarjuna proves age is just a number.
On the occasion of Nagarjuna’s birthday, here is a list of five unique movies from his sprawling filmography.
Before he firmly established himself as an action hero with director Ram Gopal Varma’s Shiva, he showed his intense acting chops in director Mani Ratnam’s tragic drama Geethanjali. Interestingly, it is the only Telugu film to be helmed by Mani Ratnam. The film proved that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Nagarjuna has clearly not just inherited good looks but also some acting talent from his father Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
This was the directorial debut of Ram Gopal Varma, who would go on to refine the grammar of urban gangster movies in Indian cinema. The film was a huge commercial success and established both Nagarjuna and Ram Gopal Varma as a force to reckon with in the Telugu film industry.
Nagarjuna had taken everyone by surprise by his performance in this devotional film, which kicked off a trend of other filmmakers trying to make deeply moving devotional films, hoping to recreate its massive success at the box office. But, while some succeeded in making a few back in the day, the supremacy of Annamayya in this genre in Telugu cinema remains unchallenged. And the lion’s share of the credit goes to composer MM Keeravani’s excellent compositions, which were beautifully rendered by singing great SP Balasubrahmanyam.
Manmadhudu felt like a breath of fresh air given that the romantic comedy genre was growing stale at the time. It was modern, playful, and flirtatious like its protagonist who nurtures a deep dislike against women. His public loathing of women, however, didn’t stop women from finding him attractive. He is eventually tamed by his female colleague (played by Sonali Bendre) who revives his faith in love. Oopiri (2016)
Based on the French film The Intouchables, Nagarjuna plays the role of a quadriplegic billionaire who is bound to his wheelchair. Directed by Vamshi Paidipally, the film is a solid feel-good drama, thanks to the charming onscreen chemistry between Nagarjuna and Karthi.