Nani has never let his popularity or stardom affect his consistency in terms of script selection
Last Updated: 12.21 PM, Sep 05, 2023
In Telugu cinema, which has long been a family-centric business across decades dominated by insiders, there’s always been an additional element of respect for self-made stars who’ve risen on their merit. If Chiranjeevi and Ravi Teja proved their mettle sans Godfathers in the 80s and the 90s, the late 2000s saw the emergence of Nani, who has relied on good scripts, to cement his stature in the industry.
With the 15th release anniversary of Ashta Chamma, Nani completes a decade and a half in cinema. We take a look at his five best films on OTT that showcase his range as a performer.
Bhale Bhale Magadivoy
Director Maruthi, in his career-defining film, made full use of Nani’s knack for comedy in a story revolving around a forgetful protagonist, who lands in a soup repeatedly while trying to impress his ladylove. Besides Nani, the film is aided by Lavanya Tripathi’s impressive screen presence, hilarious dialogues, catchy music and a solid supporting cast - Ajay, Naresh, Murali Sharma, Vennela Kishore.
Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
This beautiful coming-of-age tale revived Nani’s career after a series of setbacks. The story of a money-minded, self-centric employee realising the deeper meaning of life, friendship and companionship marked the directorial debut of Mahanati maker Nag Ashwin. Malvika Nair’s effervescence, Vijay Deverakonda’s enthusiasm and a heartwarming premise contribute to the film’s appeal.
Platform: Sun NXT
Undoubtedly, Jersey brought out Nani’s career-best performance. The film captured various dimensions of the performer in him - as the restless 20s something guy, a loving father, a lost middle-aged husband and a late-bloomer who finally takes charge of his career. It’s impossible to not be teary-eyed after watching this poignant father-son drama.
Shyam Singha Roy
Nani fulfilled his desire to be part of a reincarnation drama through Shyam Singha Roy, where he essays a double role as an aspirant filmmaker and a social reformer in the 70s. The film is a fitting showcase of his versatility with his assertive, affecting portrayal, ably complemented by Sai Pallavi’s stellar performance and Rahul Sankrityan’s poetic treatment.
There’s no doubt that this three-hour-long romance drama deserved more love from audiences. Perhaps, the Vivek Atreya directorial tried to deal with too many subplots and social stigmas, but its imperfections can’t take away its earnest attempt to address conservatism with a touch of humour in an appealing exterior. Nani, Nazriya Fahadh steal the show in this drama with great technical finesse.