Superstar Mahesh Babu. The name is enough for people to flock to the theaters. Being Super Krishna's son, Mahesh made his debut in Rajakumarudu in 1999 and has been entertaining us ever since. Known his amazing acting skills, scintillating action movies, excellent comic timing, and Greek god looks, Mahesh has garnered an immense fan following from the general audience as well as a legion of die hard fans which have made him the most Telugu popular actor in the world.
Here's a list of the 10 best movies of the Superstar's career.
*Notes these picks are purely subjective and I tried to rank them content wise and performance wise but it's definitely hard.
10) Businessman: To be honest, I'm shocked that this movie is so low to begin with but given the content, it makes 0 sense but for fans it's easily an all time favorite in their top 5 like me. About a literal nobody who comes to Mumbai and becomes a don, Businessman has 0 logic but Mahesh's performance is simply spellbinding. He carries the entire film powered by Puri Jagannadh's world class dialogues. This is the true definition of a one man show and a testament to superstardom at its fullest potential.
9) Another shocker but if this was a fans list, then is easily another top 5. Recently released blockbuster Sarileru Neekevvaru showed Mahesh in a new light since Dookudu and all around performance in every aspect be it comedy, fights, dialogues, emotional scenes and most impressively the grace and ease in Mind Block, Sarileru was a pure feast for fans with unlimited goosebump moments from throughout the movie. Content wise it was average from Anil Ravipudi but the movie was a true delight from start to finish barring some rape comedy which was in poor taste.
8) SVSC: A perfect family entertainer for all, SVSC is a simply beautiful and relatable movie about the Telugu middle class. Mahesh's performance is easily the highlight as a mischievous young man who girls are literally swooning over the entire movie. Content wise I wish it was higher but with a wafer thin story and at times unconvincing plot points, it's towards the lower end content wise. But that doesn't take away the fact of it's evergreen feel good factor and the pure ecstasy watching two superstars of Telugu cinema in one frame.
7) 1 Nenokkadine: Another movie that sort of has a cult following now, 1 Nenokkadine was a disaster during the initial release and shaky promotions and confusing narrative threw the audience off. But later on they realized the true intentions of this psychological thriller and the commendable attempt Sukumar and Mahesh were trying to pull off. If only the script was more compact and properly explained it would have had a different result, but one thing was unanimous in that Mahesh absolutely nailed the role of rockstar with a psychological disorder and carried the movie with his acting once again.
6) Khaleja: After agap of 3 years and production hell, Mahesh and Trivikram came back with a unique entertainer in Khaleja. The movie was unfortunately a flop during its release and that's probably due to the overly philosophical approach and the theme of a god being within man, and the entire story only being revealed in the last 20 mins. Content wise it was something new and fresh at the time, but the direction wasn't the best as the movie meanders around too much. But for fans, this is another top 5 performance and Mahesh was simply world class which brought a new dimension to his acting and famously gave birth to the word "Bhayya".
5) Srimanthudu: Another shocker maybe on this list but Srimanthudu was an industry hit and talked about the importance of altruism and village adoption. A perfect blend of class and mass, Koratala Siva's excellent writing skills along with Mahesh's performance and charm carried this movie to the next level. Along with the natural romantic track and superb action scenes, Srimanthudu was a new age content movie which struck a chord with every Telugu person. It should probably be higher on this list, but a top 5 Mahesh Babu isn't bad either.
4) Okkadu: If there's a movie that introduced Mahesh Babu as a star, it was Okkadu. The iconic shot of him confronting Obul Reddy with the Kondareddy Buruju behind him still bring goosebumps to this day and made for a very nostalgic moment in the interval of Sarileru. With its racy screenplay and unique storyline of Kabbadi player helping a girl on the run from a factionist, Okkadu proved Mahesh was here to stay along with a classic album by Mani Sharma.
3) Dookudu: Another industry hit, Dookudu is simply a laugh riot from start to finish. Directed by then star director Sreenu Vaitla, Dookudu capitalized on Mahesh's new found comic timing after Khaleja and made for another all around performance from the Superstar. Aided by hilarious performances from Brahmanandham and the late MS Narayana garu, Dookudu had 0 logic but the content was so entertaining that it has retained that repeat value over the years and is arguably a contemporary classic in Telugu cinema.
2) Athadu: I still can't believe that this movie was not a blockbuster in theaters. The first combo between Mahesh and Trivikram, Athadu tells the story of a contract killer who takes refuge in a family's house hiding from the cops. Little did everyone involved in the movie know that it would go on to become a unanimous Telugu movie classic. Mahesh's performance as a killer who learns to be human was endearing and is easily Trivikram's masterpiece. If you have Telugu family friends or relatives over, this or Nuvvu Naaku Nachav are 100% what most people put on.
1) Pokiri: My favorite Telugu movie of all time and Mahesh's best movie in his career, Pokiri changed the Telugu film industry forever. The first Telugu movie to ever get 40 crores share and a sensational industry hit, this Puri Jagannadh action entertainer remains Mahesh Babu's career best performance and probably will for the rest of time. His performance as a useless vagabond who will do anything for money is one of the best performances in Telugu movie history. The climax twist is still one of the greatest twists ever put on film and it's a movie you can rewatch over and over again. The movie that made Mahesh a superstar, Ileana an overnight sensation and Puri Jagan a star director, Pokiri will forever remain a classic in every Telugu person's hearts.