1. Student No 1(2001): Once upon a time S S Rajamouli was known for more than Baahubali. In fact he made his directorial debut with this campus action film . NTR Jr’s breakthrough as a leading man, Student No 1 featured him as a convicted criminal who is given permission to attend college. Now don’t ask, Yeh kaha hota hai.? NTR Jr is one of those Telugu superstars who can get away with murder. That’s what he does in this entertaining far-fetched flick . The film was a blockbuster and set both Rajamouli and NTR Jr on on their path to superstardom.
2. Simhadri(2003): An out-and-out NTR Jr vehicle, this one is again directed by S S Rajamouli and shows the director’s roots in the traditional South Indian family drama. NTR plays an orphan who would go to any lengths for his adopted family, bailing them out of impending bankruptcy and disrepute with the celerity of a sharpshooter determined to win gold at Olympics in archery and gun shooting. The twists and turns in the plot are mindboggling. NTR fans saw the film repeatedly to ingest the convoluted plot.
3. Yamadonga(2007): The third collaboration of NTR Jr and Rajamouli was the most absurd and (hence?) the most successful of the trio. NTR Jr plays an orphan in love with a wealthy girl(Priyamani, Manoj Bajpai’s wife in The Family Man). Her greedy relatives capture all her wealth and treat her like a househelp until NTR rescues her. He then dies and goes to Heaven(where else can the celluloid God go?) . In Heaven NTR has long dialogues with Yama Raj, played by Mohan Babu. The other film where I saw the hero conversing with Yama Raj was Lok Parlok where Premnath played the God of death.
4. Baadshah(2013): Moving away from his lucrative collaboration with Rajamouli, NTR Jr delivered a roaring hit with this pee brained potboiler about a gangster on the run. The film’s USP was its various foreign locations and elements of glamour so far missing from NTR’s crowd-pulling grammar. NTR Jr featured in a double role in this slick flik. One of the characters was named N. T Rama Rao after his legendary father. Srinu Vaitla directed the film which was originally titled Mafia then Action.Both titles were rejected as too dark and aggressive for NTR Jr fans.
5. Jai Lava Kusa(2017): The biggest of Bollywood superstars have failed in triple roles: Dilip Kumar in Bairaag, Amitabh Bachchan in Mahaan, and much lower down the scale Saif Ali Khan in the execrable Humshakals. Telugu cinema has its own more-the-merrier fan ideology for superstars. NTR Jr was a roaring hit in three roles in this K S Ravindra masala dosa where the superstar played the three title roles leaving not even breathing space for other actors. But who cared! As long as Junior kept the proceedings perked up, three times over.