Monday, March 4, 2024

Reinventing their image back in 2022

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Self-image! It is something that we all struggle with. The stronger the image, the harder it is to break out of it. If you’re a common man, your struggle to come out of that horrid image is personal, but for a celebrity? It is a first-world problem. Even more so in the case of a film star because people walk into theatres to watch the persona they’ve created over the years. Hence, the suffering takes the public stage.

Over the years, dozens of celebrities couldn’t bear the pressure of being typecast for their roles. There is this innate desire to see them in a certain way. Show them something remotely different, they shower their matinee idol with resistance, not love. However, people are kind enough to give their favourite stars the benefit of doubt to indulge in a new avatar once in a while. In the process of reinventing their image, some stars flourish, and a vast majority languish. Yes! Here are the top 5 celebrities who’ve successfully managed to break out of their cocoons.

Nandamuri Balakrishna with Unstoppable with NBK
In the last decade, with the advent of meme culture, trolls have capitalized on Balayya’s behavior on and off the screen. His outbursts at political rallies, unreal stunts in films, reckless comments on stage, slapping fans, and singing like no one’s in the auditorium, all of which have acted as a treasure trove for meme pages. Until he signed up for AHA’s Unstoppable with NBK, a celebrity talk show where the who’s who of the industry are invited as guests.

Who would have thought, the god of the masses as his fans call him would host a talk show? To his fans, he’s always been this icon who’d appear once or twice a year on a Friday to give their festive dose of massy entertainment. With Unstoppable with NBK season 1 that premiered on November 4, 2021, people of the Telugu states got to see a new version of the star every single week. The success of season one propelled the makers to come up with season 2. With celebrity guests like Mohan Babu, SS Rajamouli, Rana Daggubati, Mahesh Babu, Chandra Babu, and Vijay Devarakonda, the talk show has racked up millions of views. Not just that, it is currently the most-watched show on AHA. It is safe to say that this masterstroke from Balayya has made him a lot more likable and lovable in all ways. What’s he gonna host next? Oscars? (haha)

Kamal Haasan with Vikram
Known for experimenting with different genres and touching souls with his marvelous performances on screen, the flawless Kamal Haasan spiraled downward post-Vishwaroopam (2013). Although critics and die-hard fans were always in his court, the magic he once created on the screen seemed to wade into oblivion. His appetite for risk is humongous and he hit the ball out of the part with Lokesh Kanakaraj’s Vikram. The dialogue in the film, “I’m known by my failures,” stands true to his choice of films over decades. His so-called duds are now considered masterpieces for film students. Thankfully, after a series of underwhelming choices, his association with fanboy cum director Lokesh Kanakaraj turned fruitful making Vikram one of the highest grosser of 2022. Right from kids to aged people, the Ulaganayagan has earned the approval of a section of the demographic which was not akin to his previous commendable work.

Megastar Chiranjeevi with Godfather
Star, Star, Megastar… Star! We are dealing with some serious stuff here. The megastar announced his retirement from films in 2008 to concentrate on his political career. Despite being such a big star, his attempt to give a strong comeback didn’t materialize until the release of Godfather(2022). Films like Khaidi No.150, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, and Acharya left the fans wanting more. Considered as the Godfather in Tollywood, Chiranjeevi was simply confined to giving long speeches at audio events for a long time with no real success. It was indeed a wise decision to remake the Malayalam original Lucifer(2019) under the watchful guidance of director Mohan Raja(Remake King). Catering to his existing image as the leading hero, Godfather portrayed Chiru in a strong role of a respected politician. In fact, the numbers did the talking after a hiatus of two decades. The curse of #Bossisback can now go rest. until the next debacle.

Samantha Ruth Prabhu with Yashoda
Just when people thought it was all over for the lady superstar, she put on a stellar performance and stole millions of hearts with Yashoda. Personal struggles coupled with a life-threatening health scare, nothing stopped Samantha from making a killer come back. The groovy hit Oo Antava Oo Antava from Pushpa: The Rise lead to a lot of criticism for her choice of films from the conservative naysayers, but little did they know that the Yashoda star was on a journey of her own. Yashoda, which is centered around surrogacy and how the medical mafia lures underprivileged women into the procedure won Samantha all the accolades. It was her firm statement to the haters that she could seep into any role at any given time. The critical and box office success of Yashoda catapulted the actress into super duper stardom putting an end to negativity.

Rishab Shetty with Kantara
After struggling in Sandalwood for years, the Pan-Indian success of Kantara made Rishab Shetty a global star. Reinventing himself is not new for the actor. He had done it once at the ripe age of thirty-six by making his debut as a lead actor in Bell Bottom(2019). Collecting above 400 crores worldwide against a budget of 16 crores is no joke. However, in a recent interview, the actor jokingly said, “I thought I was making the most expensive film in my career. After the success of Kantara, people are still calling it a low-budget film!” With his acumen for film-making, the actor is aging like fine-wine.

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