A walk in 2017 with the stars...

Monday, December 25, 2017 - 10:00


The audience welcomed Megastar's comeback by collectively singing 'Boss is back'.  'Khaidi No. 150' has since stood out as the biggest Non-Baahubali hit.  In dual roles, Chiranjeevi showed different shades.  He looked more glamorous in VV Vinayak’s film than most of us would have expected.  And he danced with grace. 

If the beginning was a bang, Chiru ended the year on a high note when he started shooting for 'Sye Raa', a biopic on Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy for which he has teamed up with Surender Reddy.   

Nandamuri Balakrishna: 

The trailer of 'Gautamiputra Satakarni' positioned Nandamuri Balakrishna as a lodestar of dialogue delivery in his own right.  Director Krish and writer Sai Madhav Burra took creative liberties in designing the Satavahana ruler so that it fit Balayya's image.  And not so unexpectedly, the actor delivered his career's biggest hit. 

'Paisaa Vasool' was a picture in contrast.  The only similarity it had with 'GPSK' was that it had some awesome punchlines, thanks to Puri Jagannadh.  Otherwise, the film was a flop.   

The energetic star later teamed up with KS Ravikumar to deliver yet another mass entertainer in January.  This time his fans will alternate between 'Jai Simha' and 'Jai Balayya'.   

Pawan Kalyan:   

In 'Katamarayudu', Power Star was seen in a power-packed role and the 'Pancha Kattu' look was a stylish highpoint.  As a righteous villager who is his own muscleman, the 'Agnyaathavaasi' star did well in entertaining the mass audience to a decent extent in this remake of the Tamil movie 'Veeram'.   

For the rest of the year, he found himself shooting for his 25th film amidst some political activity.  On January 10, his film with Trivikram Srinivas is expected to become his career's biggest hit.   


The Rebel Star had a flabbergasting year.  ‘Baahubali-2’ became India’s biggest blockbuster after ‘Dangal’ and Prabhas was the only Telugu hero to receive glorious space in national and international media. 

It was said that he even postponed marriage for the five years during which the ‘Baahubali’ franchise was in the making.  

He has spent a good part of the second half of the year shooting for ‘Saaho’, a multi-lingual slick actioner directed by Sujeeth.  What’s more, he will also shoot for Radha Krishna’s period romance sooner than we would have expected.  

Allu Arjun

‘Duvvada Jagannadham’ was a one-man show.  Allu Arjun in the role of a Brahmin guy with two contrasting body languages was, as many said, ‘Raccho.. racchasya.. racchobyaha’.  ‘Sabhya samajaniki em message iddamani’ became the year’s big punchline.  It was heard everywhere.  On YouTube and satellite, it became a big hit in Hindi.  

Surprisingly, he chose debutante director Vakkantham Vamsi and declared that he is an army man named Surya.   ‘Na Peru Surya’ is set to be TFI’s biggest summer release in 2018.  


'Jai Lava Kusa' made a huge pre-release business.  As the stammering Jai, a baddie inspired by Ravana's character, NTR was original.  

By winning the Best Actor Nandi for 'Nannaku Prematho' and 'Janatha Garage', the Young Tiger was in the news for a glorious reason.  

But it was Bigg Boss that really came as a fantastic surprise.  The successful show was much-watched thanks to NTR's superstardom.  

Mahesh Babu

'SPYder' was Mahesh Babu's costliest movie that raked in about Rs. 160 Cr even before its release.  The superstar was poised to take the BO but it didn't happen.  But the scale of the film's release proved that Mahesh is one of the biggest Southern stars without a doubt.  A trade analyst would say that Mahesh is easily leagues ahead of Bollywood's Khans overseas.   

Amidst shooting for ads and 'Bharat Ane Nenu', the much-loved star won the Best Actor Nandi for his performance in ‘Srimanthudu’ and has garnered 5 million followers on Twitter.  His film with Koratala Siva may have been postponed from January to April, but when it arrives, the wait will bring ultimate entertainment in its wake. 


‘Guru’ may have been a remake, but Venkatesh was utterly original in this Sudha Kongara-directed sports drama.  Bearded and rugged, tough and decisive, Venky was an actor with marbles in the role of the kick-boxing trainer. 

After much forethought and not without a delay, he lapped up Teja’s film, in which the natural actor is expected to play a dignified and lucrative role. 


If ‘Nenu Local’ was a clear blockbuster, ‘Ninnu Kori’ was a clean hit.  The Natural Star sparkled without a trace of nervousness after having delivered three hits in a row in 2016.  He is one of the rare stars to have got to work under Dil Raju's banner twice (read 'Nenu Local' and 'MCA') in the same year.  'MCA' is expected to be a crowd-pulling family entertainer to reckon with.  

And this is also the same year when Nani silently produced 'AWE', a film that features an ensemble cast.  

Ram Charan:

'Rangasthalam' was awaited in December, but it will release only on March 30.  Nevertheless, the Mega Power Star made his presence felt as the producer of 'Khaidi No. 150' and 'Sye Raa'. 

His looks from his next movie with Sukumar have sufficiently made an impact.  When the FL of 'Rangasthalam' released, the 'lungi' avatar was the talk of the town.

Rana Daggubati:

As Bhallaladeva in 'Baahubali-2', Rana looked like a frightening villain.  He won nation-wide acclaim much like his colleagues associated with the film.  'Nene Raju-Nene Mantri' was the right one to succeed it.  As a sarpanch who rises to political superstardom, Rana's character in the Teja-director movie was unscrupulous, domineering and more.  

Earlier in the year, it was 'Ghaazi' which cast him in the role of a super-alert, patriotic naval officer.  Besides gaining in popularity on Twitter, Rana also accepted Prabhu Solomon's 'Haathi Mere Saathi', a multi-lingual thriller.  Also, '1945' is in the making.  A Hollywood period drama is in the offing.  


The veteran made a comeback in the thriller 'Garuda Vega'.  This one happened at a time when he was looking at starting new innings in cinema with meaty roles.  Praveen Sattaru's Sekhar, an NIA officer, was tailor-made to suit the good doctor's image.

Nikhil Siddharth:

'Keshava' released as a summer special and Nikhil didn't disappoint.  For the first time, he was at his most serious self, hardly looking relaxed.  

He awaits the release of 'Kirrak Party' on February 9 and this could well be his most cheerful film in a long time.  


'LIE' may have been a flop, but Nithin still remains one of the promising stars.  For a good part of the year, he saw himself doing the Hanu Raghavapudi in the US and later, the Krishna Chaitanya movie whose story is by Trivikram Srinivas.  

Vijay Devarakonda:

After Prabhas, it is Vijay Devarakonda who won all the praise for his performance and box-office stamina. "Arjun Reddy" was a cult hit in 2017. Although his 'Dwaraka' didn't become successful, he turned out to be a huge star with 'Arjun Reddy'.

Sundeep Kishan:

It was a great going in Tamil, with 'Maanagaram' and now 'Maayavan' reporting good BO figures.  'C/o Surya' in Tamil had some positive reviews for his performance.  In Telugu, 'Nakshatram' and 'C/o Surya' misfired badly and 'Shamantakamani' was just about OK.

But the year was eventful also because of the making of 'Manasuku Nachini' (Jan 26th release) and 'Naragasooran', the Tamil film directed by Karthick Naren.  He also signed a Hindi-Telugu film with director Kunal Kohli.