There are very few unanimous things in Telugu film industry. One of them is the unquestioned pedigree of Naga Chaitanya - A huge production house, studios and an actor uncle from the maternal side. Two actors, a studio and a production house from the paternal side too. And we are not even talking about the cousins here. It’s no wonder then that the expectations weigh heavily on him. In a nascent career, he hasn’t had the turning point that every star son looks for early in the career.
He veered off the beaten track by opting to debut with a movie based on the education system- Josh. He showed flashes of brilliance in the movie- the scene where he addresses the audience from behind the podium and his scenes with Prakash Raj. As with any star son debut, it was imperative that his deficiencies were spoken about more than his strengths.
He delivered a hit with his second movie, Ye Maaya Chesaave. Gautam Menon managed to extract a very good performance from the tyro. It did a world of good for the female protagonist, Samantha. That he didn’t flinch in the scenes when the camera solely focussed on his face and facial expressions would’ve been counted as a victory. Not for this star son. The opinion most heard was that there ‘something’ missing from his performance in the movie.
His turn as an egoistic protagonist in 100% Lovewent unnoticed because of the star turn by the female protagonist. Though he could stand on level terms with Tamannah in terms of performance, he was no match to her in the glamour department. An irony indeed, considering that he is the son of the most glamorous person Telugu Film Industry has ever known. There was a thing unique to the film- it was only the second instance of a movie not featuring a hero whose surname didn’t read Konidela or Allu for Geetha Arts. Also, this was the movie where his poor dancing skills didn’t go unnoticed.
Dhadawas the first time he tasted a disaster. It was unmitigated failure for him. This movie was the beginning of what can be called as ‘Brother trilogy’ for him. What it taught him was that slickness can never replace lack of content. It was an error on his part to give a go-ahead for the movie. It came at a time when entertainment was becoming the catch phrase in the industry and the movie lacked that very aspect.
Bejawada was his second disaster in a row. It was also his second movie where the movie plot was based on him and his brother. If Dhada was an eye opener, Bejawada was the reason for introspection. Enough reason for him to not have a release for 17 months? He went through the entire year of 2012 without one. Of course, circumstances played a major part in not having one.
Thadaka gave him a lot of respite. One, it gave him a hit and there was no scathing criticism to follow the release. He put in a lot of effort on every front and it showed. His movements were no longer gaunt and his body language improved drastically in the action scenes. This was his third movie with the ‘brother’ thread in the movie and it proved lucky for him.
2014 was a phenomenal year for Naga Chaitanya. With the confidence given by Thadaka, he started the year and delivered a very improved performance in his family Multistarer Manam. The movie ended up as a classic and the biggest grosser of any Akkineni hero. However the immediate release after Manam, Autonagar Surya did not give him a decent commercial outing but Chaitu scored good marks as an actor in the intense subject.
Finally he ended the year on a positive note with Oka Laila Kosam. The film ended up like a no loss/ no profit venture in most of the territories of the state owing to the bad season release.
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