Boyish charm - check. (Damn, he ages in reverse)
Solid acting skills - check.
Industry hits - check.
Huge fan base - check.
Female fan following - check. (Second to none, actually)
Doting husband and father - check. Producer - check.
Inspiration - check.
If a person is all this and much more, for sure he is a SuperStar. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, put your hands together for the Prince, the Yuvaraju and the reigning Super Star of the Telugu film industry, Ghattamaneni Mahesh Babu and join us in wishing him a Happy Birthday 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳.
My first memory of Mahesh Babu is seeing him in Athadu. I didn't understand it much, but liked the movie a lot. But by virtue of staying at a boarding school, I had these two classmates, Yashwanth and Harsha who were die-hard fans of his. There was a phase during my stay there when after our lunch, we would go to the dormitory and they both would re-enact scenes from Pokiri. Both of them were really good actors and those sessions were pure fun. Yashwanth was the more vocal supporter among the two and he would never shy away from saying Mahesh Babu was the best. We used to tease him a lot for that. One thing everyone will vouch for are Yashwanth's story telling skills. He would do the action as well as the background score. The end product used to be really engaging. But it wasn't till 1 - Nenokkadine released that I actually began really liking Mahesh.
This doesn't mean I hadn't watched his films. I had watched Okkadu, Murari, Pokiri, Athadu, Dookudu and liked them. However, 1 - Nenokkadine changed the way I looked at Mahesh. His acting and the story blew my mind. I was gutted when I learnt it had bombed at the box office. Some friends still tease me about it.
Another trait that endears Mahesh to his fans is his down to earth nature and humbleness. The story of him meeting a 106 year old fan was widely covered and appreciated. You can read that story here:
And on his 45th birthday(he doesn't look it at all), let's revisit some of his best ever performances on the silver screen.
5 Performances of Mahesh Babu you shouldn't miss
The time when Mahesh Babu was breaking in into the industry, good looks were a must. And Mahesh had it in good measure. I'm sorry, he still has it. In fact, I feel he is going the Anil Kapoor way - aging in reverse. He can carry a film just by his looks, that handsome he is. But the problem with him, or rather the audience is that, he suffers from BIHS - the Being Incredibly Handsome Syndrome.
When you have BIHS, others see only a pretty face and nothing else. They miss out on the other aspects that go into being the person you actually are. Now some of you may baulk at this, but by God, Mahesh is a damn fine performer. He can pull off the heavy duty drama scenes, tickle your funny bone like hell and put in a restrained performance, as required. And just in case you missed out on that aspect of his, here is a list of 5 movies where Mahesh wowed me with his acting. The movies also make for superb viewing experience. Let's dive right in.
1 - Nenokkadine
My favourite movie of Mahesh, I still can't understand how this movie bombed. It had a great album, a watertight story and a superb cast. And Mahesh was the icing on the cake. As the brooding rock star with a personal vendetta and an impregnable coat of confidence, he was an absolute treat to watch. For most of the movie he holds that act. But in the final showdown with the villain when he lets go of the defenses he has built around him and breaks down, you can't help but weep with him. Thankfully, now this movie has a cult following.
This is another movie of Mahesh I love but again this too didn't perform well for a reason which only God knows. Mahesh is a regular taxi driver but then encounters a village that believes he is their messiah come to deliver them from the problems they face. Why I love this movie is because it introduced us to a Mahesh who had great comic timing. Till then the audience knew him only as a handsome and smoldering hunk (Pokiri, Athidhi and Arjun). But credit to Trivikram who tapped into Mahesh's prankster nature in actual life and brought it out for the fans to see. The movie didn't do well but audiences lapped up this new avatar of Mahesh. And this movie too has developed a cult following over the years. Better late than never.
If Trivikram tapped into Mahesh's comic abilities, Srinu Vaitla used it to the hilt in Dookudu. The audience had loved Mahesh's act in Khaleja and Dookudu catapulted him to another level. His scenes with Brahmanandam garu and the late MS Narayana garu were undoubtedly the highlight of the movie. For the first time people were whistling not when he was bashing up goons, but when he was cracking jokes. A regular commercial drama, Dookudu was a blockbuster and was the beginning of a peak for Mahesh.
Pokiri was the movie which I should say, made Mahesh a star. Till then he was a bankable actor but Pokiri proved that he was star material. The colourful handkerchiefs, IDGAF attitude and not to forget, the running style. Mahesh's running style has a separate fan base. Pokiri was a gangster drama where Mahesh showed he belonged at the top. Pokiri swept the youngsters off their feet and the impact it left on them was due to the crazy Puri Jagannath - Mahesh Babu combo is legendary.
Bharath Ane Nenu
After showing off his comic timing for quite a number of movies, Mahesh began playing the classy gent. Srimanthudu, Spyder, Brahmotsavam, Maharshi were some of the movies where he played these type of characters. But the best of such restrained and subtle acting has to be Bharath Ane Nenu, where he is forced to become a young chief minister. Oh how I wish all the heads of state were like this.
And that's it from us then. Do watch these movies of his for sure. And tell us your favorite performances of his in the comments section below. From team Celluloid Tales we wish Mahesh Babu all the love, happiness and success in the world. Happy Birthday!!!