29 films as director, 8 as producer Puri Jagannath knows what audience wants. The self-professed film maker is not only good at writing iconic characters but also making them over. The only reason you see the characters beyond the stars when you watch his films, is because he writes, moulds and fabricates them step by step. The loves breaking the standard clichés and enjoys erasing the tags of heroes. By the time shoot begins he recreates the Actor he met while narration, into his character.
For the first five films, Pawan Kalyan has played a sweet, shy guy who barely has guts to walk up to a girl and talk. In lightening speed, Balu of ‘Tholiprema’ and Subrahmanyam of ‘Thammudu’ became roaring Badri, Badrinath. Though the tag ‘Family hero’ sounds good, it secretly echoes ‘Not a commercial hero’. People have either saw Jagapathi Babu in color blocked patch work pant-suits or deep dyed browns and grey rough looks till then. If there is a film that made Jaggu Bhai look stylish even as a Cop that is ‘Bachi’. Still one of his best appearances on screen. Can you ignore Prakash Raj in that film?
All these days a hero is always a default nice guy, with amazing ideology and smartness. Suddenly after ‘Idiot’, every random guy from every middle class family started feeling like a hero. Raviteja’s character as Chanti was so influential that those dialogues are still being used as s bench marks of sarcasm. In the initial days of Raviteja’s solo hero films, Idiot is un-deniably a film that set his rank high. Right after that ‘Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammai’ was a classic in it’s own way. Again after a series of same old wine bottle films, ‘Neninte’ was the one that reminded Chanti from ‘Idiot’ to everyone.
Though the heartthrob Akkineni Nagarjuna is not new for make-over and transformations, Shivamani set a new trend for Cop characters. Nag as tough police and a heart broken lover, steals the show single handedly. Do you remember his number? 98480 22338. I do.. I still do..
Pokiri, a well needed break for Super star Mahesh Babu. Though he did films like Athadu and Takkari Donga, Puri’s ‘Pokiri’ unleashed the real caliber of Mahesh. It was an add-on for the ‘Super Star’ that is emerging from ‘Prince’. He is totally a different actor all together after Pandu gaadu. Tee shirt on shirt was trending as long as the movie was screening. By the way, that is not a small number. 500 days!
May be that works in Bollywood, but here a hero has to look well groomed, short hair and trimmed beard. But that is only till Desamuduru. The gutsy journalist, who flirts with a nun, is what you see on screen. The style siren took it up from there. ‘Iddarammailtho’ was probably one of the films that justified Bunny’s Stylish Star tag. Same with Bujjigadu, Prabhas. A much needed change over and much needed hit.
When it was Cameraman Ganga tho Rambabu time, it was almost impossible to any other film maker to make Pawan act as liberal as Puri did. He has loosened up his nerves and you can see the after effect clearly, just like the magic happened for Badri.
If am not wrong, Nitin played the first ever hero role which was a Hippie. A drifter who falls in love with a traditional girl was hard to digest at first, but as always worked like charm as time goes on. He did 10 films after he lost weight but Daya of Temper made that six-pack worth a while. NTR was truly merciless in killing with his looks.
When he can do wonders with stars that got used to a standard image, what else he could do with a raw diamond? The answer is Loafer. Two films old by then, Varun Tej showcased enough acting skills already. Loafer made him a Star material that is more than ready for Tollywood. It is like a carpet he can walk on for the next decade.
If you think the make-over classes are only for guys, you are so wrong. The privilege was given to Charmi too. Lot of heroines would dream for doing such bold role in a female centric film. But many can look ravishing like her in Jyothi Lakshmi? Puri gives some customized special course to everyone.
We’ve seen Kalyan Ram changing his looks recently. Assuming it is for his next with this un-predictable film maker. So, what is his next one ‘Jana Gana Mana’ going to showcase Mahesh as? That is one question everyone has in their minds. Now, don’t feel bad already that we missed a chance of seeing Mega Star as a Puri’s protagonist?