Rao Gopala Rao
Rao Gopala Rao

Where are all the villains? Telugu films need ‘good’ villains, who can ooze villainy with their eyes and the twirl of their mouth. Hero’s elevation, after all, depends on the fierceness of the baddie.

Time was when we had Rao Gopala Rao, who was the comic villain who oozed cruelty and set a fierce faceoff with the protagonist. At the peak of his career, he was the villain in 90 per cent of the films released. Then Amrish Puri came. His baritone voice, terrifying height, menacing bald pate and fire-spitting eyes set the screen on fire. His act in Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari, Akhariporatam and Aswamedham became  reference points for villainy. 

Ankusam Ramireddy too had his stint. But now, we do not have good villains. Actors like Mukesh Rishi, Shayaji Shinde, Pradip Rawat, Ashotosh Rana and Ravi Kishan managed the show with the dubbed voice of Ravi Shankar. Ashish Vidyarthi, another famed villain has simply faded out. Even Jagapathi Babu, who began with a bang, has become very routine. So, there is a great crisis as far as villains are concerned.

One only has to see villains in films like Middle Class Abbayi, Raja The Great and Krishnarjuna Yuddham. They are so pale and unimpressive. Some don’t even look like a villain. Remember Chiru had to rope in Anjala Jhaveri’s hubby to play the baddie in his Khaidi No 150 and Mahesh had to pay a huge sum to rope in SJ Surya to play villain in Spyder. So, the Telugu industry is looking for a villain –Telugu villain like Rao Gopala Rao.

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