The real winner is the one who knows when to quit- is a famous saying. Though it’s mostly related to gambling, it applies to other fields too. As far as Telugu Film Industry is considered, Shoban Babu and Akkineni Nageswara Rao were real winners. They quit the movies at the right time and chose their roles wisely in the second half of their career. In Cricket as well, we did see a few stars like Sunil Gavaskar or MS Dhoni or AB Devillers who hung their shoes even though they are in their prime.
You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain
– Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
One requires a huge strength and sheer willpower to announce the retirement from the field they have loved for decades. Seems Megastar Chiranjeevi is approaching that phase. Not that there is a lack of dedication from his side, but somehow, there is a lack of appreciation for his movies that is propping up. Acharya’s debacle isn’t the reason for this deduction. His comeback Khaidi-150 was not as sensational as everyone expected it to be. More or less, the film was considered a musical hit. And then comes the most anticipated Sye Raa. Megastar again put the hard yards for the movie. Riding a horse at 60 plus age is very difficult but he managed to pull it off. Though there were no dances, he did a few fights without dupe. Being a historical biopic and properly taken care of, there was no wrong to point out in the movie and yet, it ended in financial losses.
After a 3 years gap from Sye Raa, Acharya is released. Let’s put aside the collections or talk for a moment. There was not any rush for tickets or milk worships near the theaters on the first day of the first show. On the contrary, the antagonist of the movie, Sonu Sood cut out was given a milk bath. Where have all the megafans gone all of a sudden? This is definitely not about the quality of movies. There are still a lot of people who root for Chiru, but they are not the section that throngs to the theatres on FDFS which is reflected in Mega movie openings. The generation has changed. Today’s FDFS audience are mostly late 90’s borns who didn’t have much to relate with Megastar while they were growing up. Chiru had a long gap of 9 years away from the movies, which contributed to the spiraling down of the craze too.
Chiru is killing away whatever the craze that’s left by choosing remake films. Thalapathy’s Katthi was already seen by a lot of Telugu people yet chiru decided to make it. After Sye Raa and Acharya, now Megastar is again lined up with remakes of Vedhalam and Lucifer. As the OTT platforms are very widened now, movies of all languages are being seen. Since the story of both those movies is known too, there is not much Chiru or whoever starring in the movie can do. Remakes are a thing of the past when there was not much known about the films in other languages. Megastar still wants to go on the same path rather than encouraging new stories or new directors. Giving chances to flop directors like Mehar Ramesh and Bobby is puzzling as well. On the other hand, successful directors like Surender Reddy and Koratala Siva faced flops with Chiru.
Even Rajinikanth is facing similar problems akin to Chiru. At least, he is giving chances to new-age directors and not depending on remakes. Other senior heroes in Tollywood too are facing the same problems as Chiru. Venkatesh, Nagarjuna, and Balakrishna are looking at the sunset of their respective careers. Venkatesh and Nagarjuna understood this a while ago and are mostly doing multi-starrers to pull the audience. They are choosy about the roles they select. Balayya, being Balayya.. will try to fight the circumstances and may take some time to come to terms with them. Is it time for these stars to relax and pass on the baton respectfully to the next galaxy of stars? Maybe.. maybe not. Let’s wait and see.