For long, Akkineni Nagarjuna has ruled the hearts of cinegoers among the fairer sex. As ANR's son, charm and sex appeal came quite naturally to him. However, he refused to fall into an image trap by offering himself to lover boy roles, but decided to traverse on the difficult path by continuously trying new roles - the kind of ones which did not hold much special interest to his wide fan base among young girls and the women, but which he knew would endear him to the mass audience in rural parts of the state. He has always been one star who ingenuously tried to balance the demands of the class and mass audience. This explains why, even at 53, Nagarjuna comes across as someone irresistible.
Nagarjuna has always been adept at excelling in diverse roles. His choice of films used to puzzle many. His much-acclaimed accomplished performance in Annamayya (1997) made him an icon to reckon with. It was a revelation for many. His fan base only got enlarged. Unfortunately, good scripts did not come his way for long and he fumbled along (Chandralekha, Ravoyi Chandamama, Seetaramaraju, etc.).
Nag found it tough to bounce back after the insuperable Annamayya. He had to bite the bullet for some years and then luckily one day, Nuvvu Vastavani happened to him. It proved that Nag could completely transform into a sober actor who can emote profound grief and the pain of guilt with ease.
A few flops later, he decided to go for a remake. Azad, released in 2000, did a decent business. He was praised for electing a firebrand role in one of the first films dealing with the subject of fighting terror.
Santosham and Manmathudu helped him hold a sway over urban movie-goers. His comic timing in the latter seemed all fresh and gracious. Then, it was time for him to re-invent himself. However, he did not seem to see the writing on the wall and went about repeating routine stuff.
One find day, King helped the grounded Nagarjuna. Rajanna, Shirdi Sai, Damarukam, Love Story, the untitled mass flick with Veerabhadram and Vikram Kumar's film where he will act with his father and son go to show that he is here to experiment a lot.
As he said before the release of Rajanna, he wants to act in experimental cinema only from now onwards.
IndiaGlitz wishes the actor many happy returns of the day!