Unlike Tamil and Malayalam cinema, it is not a cake walk for an outsider to establish a strong foothold in Telugu cinema. If you look at the list of top stars in Tollywood, they either belong to any one of the big star or producer’s family. For example, Ram Charan and Allu Arjun come from Chiranjeevi’s family; as the name suggests Jr. NTR is the grandson of the legendary superstar NTR; Mahesh Babu’s dad Krishna used to be the superstar of Telugu cinema in the ‘60s and ‘70s; Prabhas’ uncle Krishnam Raju is a big star and the Baahubali actor’s dad himself is a producer, Naga Chaitanya is the son of Nagarjuna and Rana comes from the legendary Daggubati family.
Though there is no objection for actors without film background to achieve great heights in Telugu cinema, they should hit the bull’s eye by overcoming massive hurdles including the crowded market and then loyal fan base of each family. Considering all these factors, Vijay Devarakonda is definitely an exception among all the Telugu actors. The success story of the Arjun Reddy hero will definitely bring more aspiring actors in Telugu cinema.
Walt Disney once said, “To be successful you must be unique, you must be so different that if people want what you have, they must come to you to get it,” and if you observe Vijay Devarakonda’s career, he seems to have followed Disney’s route.
When Telugu heroes prefer the gallery pleasing elements like five songs, incredible dance moves, gravity-defining action sequences and punchy dialogues, here is an actor who actually roots for the story and doesn’t mind much about his heroic image.
In his recent blockbuster film Geetha Govindam, Vijay Devarakonda’s maximum heroism is to fall the at the feet of the heroine’s brother. All through the film, Vijay begs and request his ladylove to maintain the secrecy which no other Telugu hero would have done. After playing the angry young man in Arjun Reddy, Vijay has the image to pull off action sequences and mouth punchy dialogues but the actor only preferred lines which suit his character in Geetha Govindam.
There is a scene in Geetha Govindam where roadside romeos tease the heroine Rashmika. Despite having a scope to place a mass action sequence, Vijay handled it subtly in the film and yet brought the mass factor. The success story of Vijay actually started with Pelli Choopulu, a refreshing romantic tale between an ambitious young girl and a carefree youngster who accidentally meet in a matchmaking meet. Although Pelli Choopulu is a sleeper hit, Vijay achieved stardom only through Arjun Reddy, which was a surprise blockbuster at the box office.
Besides Vijay Devarakonda, Nani is another star hero who doesn’t come from any film background. Other than the genuine talent and sheer dedication, both Vijay and Nani chose the path less traveled. While Nani traveled in the romantic comedy route, Vijay cleverly chose unique storylines which offered a different experience to the audiences in Telugu cinema. Another interesting quality of Vijay Devarakonda is that he doesn’t feel insecure. He actually played a tiny part in Mahanati, which glorified Keerthy, Dulquer, and Samantha to an extent.
Trade pundits say that Vijay’s market has reached new heights with Geetha Govindam. The film has already crossed Rs 50 cr (gross) and if the momentum sustains, the Vijay Devarakonda starrer also has a high chance of touching the magical Rs 100 cr gross mark which is a remarkable achievement for the young star.
Thanks to Arjun Reddy, Geetha Govindam is also a big hit in Chennai. Vijay Devarakonda’s next political film NOTA is a Tamil – Telugu bilingual so, the talented actor is also eyeing to establish a market for himself in Tamil Nadu which is still a dream for many Telugu stars.
The only thing which Vijay Devarakonda should watch out for is that he should not get trapped into the typical mass hero image because being unique is his identity.