This leader made his presence felt

Nayakudu
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Nayakudu

Highlights

After a series of releases at the turn of the new millennium, with five films hitting the silver screens all over in 2000, followed by seven more till 2005, Dr Rajasekhar, the lone ranger kind of an action-hero had his major venture ‘Nayakudu’ released in the same year

After a series of releases at the turn of the new millennium, with five films hitting the silver screens all over in 2000, followed by seven more till 2005, Dr Rajasekhar, the lone ranger kind of an action-hero had his major venture 'Nayakudu' released in the same year. A political thriller reprised from the 2004 Malayalam original 'Runway' which had Dileep as the hero and a blockbuster, the Telugu film too had its impact among the niche fan club of the Tamil Nadu- origin star. Directed by Kodi Ramakrishna, it went on to be a success at the box office.

Interestingly, a close look at the filmography of the star (whose star wife Jeevitha too had a brief run of fame in southern cinema) throws up the fact that during the first decade of this century, he had mainly survived on a staple diet of remakes, more from Malayalam than Tamil, where his image and market was otherwise quite impressive. It was also notable that it was Kerala cinema which gave him a leg-up time and again by allowing him to repeat the success of the original. This, despite, his Tamil remake films picking up the hit formulae from films of stars like Ajith Kumar and Vikram, yet failing to convert the hit status into Telugu.

An action thriller which survived on a cocktail of family sentiment, masala twists and turns and circumstantial actions which enable the film to achieve momentum, ' Nayakudu' carried itself on the aggressive action of Dr Rajasekhar who had the buxom Namitha as his lady love. Having earlier been featured with Ravi Teja and Srikanth, Namitha continued her sporadic roles in Telugu and her oomph appeal worked reasonably well for the patrons of the hero.

Kodi Ramakrishna, whose directorial flashes were clearly ebbing during that phase still managed to come up with a watchable entertainer, which had dollops of action to keep the audience engaged till the end. Ramakrishna too had had 11 films released in the new millennium, one of them being the much-delayed 'Anji' starring the megastar. 'Nayakudu' thus reassured the late director's stature as a leading helmsman in Telugu cinema, who went on to score big with the 2009 hit 'Arundhati' four years later.

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