Happy Birthday Chiranjeevi: Take a look at handpicked movies of Chiru from his golden years on OTTs
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Happy Birthday Chiranjeevi: Take a look at handpicked movies of Chiru from his golden years on OTTs
Alfred Francis
Aug 21, 2021

Chiranjeevi faced the arc lights for the first time for a film titled Punaadirallu, but his first release in theatres was Pranam Khareedu in 1978. He played a character named Narasimham in the movie. In a matter of few years, Chiranjeevi established himself as a star performer across a variety of roles and genres and delivered blockbusters, creating box office records one after the other.

The period after his first blockbuster Khaidi till the early 2000s is often known as the golden phase in the career of Chiranjeevi. This period saw the rise of Chiranjeevi as a ‘mega star’. With Gang Leader, he became the unopposed “boss of Telugu cinema”.

Today on his 66th birthday, OTTplay has handpicked some of his vintage superhits for you to watch:

7.7OTTplay Rating
This film marked the rise of Chiranjeevi as an action star and cemented his authority in the industry. He played Suryam, the son of a local farmer Venkateswarlu, who owes a large amount of money to Veerabhadraiah. Suryam falls in love with Madhulatha, Veerabhadraiah’s daughter. This leads to Veerabhadraiah killing Venkateswarlu with Suryam’s sister committing suicide later. Suryam is wrongly implicated in this suicide and is sent to jail. From there, Suryam begins his pursuit of vengeance for his family and his love.
8.3OTTplay Rating
This K Viswanath-directed movie earned Chiranjeevi a large fanbase with his poignant performance as Sambayya, an all sacrificing cobbler who lives only for his nephew Chinna and an orphaned girl. Later, he marries Ganga (Vijayashanthi) and works hard and becomes successful. However, Chinna’s father, a criminal, joins hands with Ganga’s drunkard father to blackmail and coerce Sambayya to get Chinna’s custody. Sambayya, who loves Chinna, will go to any lengths and sacrifice anything to be with him.
8.3OTTplay Rating
This musical had Chiranjeevi team up with Shobhana and Gemini Ganesan. Although the movie was deemed a disaster at the box office, it helped Chiranjeevi win a Nandi Award. The film eventually won three National Awards for Best Male Playback Singer, Best Music Direction and Best Feature Film on National Integration. Chiranjeevi plays Suryam, son of Bilahari Sastry (Gemini Ganesan). Suryam and Sastry are rivalling in their ideologies as well as talents. While Sastry considers music above all, Suryam gives importance to love, happiness and humanity. This eventually causes a rift between them as Sastry accuses Suryam of incompetence and selects a new successor. Suryam, disowned by his father, starts living with the villagers, gradually earning their affection.
Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari
7.8OTTplay Rating
This socio-fantasy that had the dream pairing of Chiranjeevi and Sridevi needs no introduction. Thanks to Ilaiyaraja’s music, K Raghavendra Rao’s direction and Jandhyala’s dialogues, the film is enjoyable even today. The film's premise takes off with Indraja (Sridevi), daughter of Lord Indra, who visits earth and loses her ring in the Himalayas. Raju (Chiranjeevi), a tourist guide and caretaker to orphans finds the ring and keeps it with him, unaware of its powers. With the help of the ring, he defeats KP, an arrogant millionaire and Mahadrashta (Amrish Puri), an evil sorcerer. Meanwhile, Indraja, having been denied entry to heaven, wanders around, until she is sheltered by Raju. Indraja and Raju fall for each other, but the former gets kidnapped by Mahadrashta as a ritual sacrifice. Now Raju will have to fight KP’s goons and Mahadrashta without the power of the ring.
Gang Leader
5.9OTTplay Rating
This is the mother of all action entertainers with Chiranjeevi and Vijaya Shanti at their massy best. The story charts the journey of Rajaram (Chiranjeevi), the youngest of three brothers, a slacker who prefers to be unemployed. His brother Raghupati is killed one day by Mafia leaders Ekambaram and Kanakambaram who proceed to infiltrate Rajaram’s household by a marital alliance with the middle brother Raghava. Latha, Raghava’s wife is a manipulative and scheming woman who hates Rajaram and his family. Later, Rajaram's friends are also murdered and he is implicated for the same. Rajaram is rescued by Kanyakumari, Ekambaram’s daughter who had fallen in love with him. Rajaram now has to prove his innocence as well as regain his brother’s trust.
6.9OTTplay Rating
The film directed by Suresh Krissna gave Chiranjeevi an image makeover in the 90s. He is cast as Rajkumar, a newly hired professor who is always one step ahead of students in creating a ruckus. He lives a carefree life with them all the while dutifully teaching them. Rajkumar is revealed to be an ex-convict who just completed his jail sentence. He was behind bars for a murder and is now back as a master. One day Rajkumar comes across the person he had supposedly killed. Bewildered, he is searching for answers while one of his students seeks his help. It turns out that the person whom he killed is the twin brother of a ruthless don called DR. To make things worse, Rajkumar’s student is in love with DR’s daughter. The rest of the movie follows how Rajkumar helps this couple escape from the wrath of DR.

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