2016: Revisiting The Best Performers (Male)

The year 2016 has been a heroes' one, as much as it was the content's. From big stars like NTR, Nagarjuna, Bunny and Charan (in the order of the release of their movies) to others like Nani and Vijay Devarakonda, they all made this a special year. And yes, it was not limited to Tollywoodians. Mohanlal and Aravind Swamy walked away with laurels, no less.

IndiaGlitz presents a review of the best performances of the year.


The versatile actor did it again. Delivering career best performances in two films in a row is no joke. If in 'Nannaku Prematho', Sukumar experimented not only with his looks but also the baritone (remember the subdued dubbing?), in 'Janatha Garage', he was an environmental activist putting out a fight for the woods as well as the dad. Such an achievement that the Nandamuri actor pulled it off in two of the challenging roles.


It's three roles in two films. In 'Soggade Chinni Nayana', he was at ease playing two contrasting roles: a geeky yet brilliant professional, and a philanderer out to woo the women. That's Nag for you. If this was not enough, he excelled in the role of a poignant yet positive-minded paraplegic in 'Oopiri'. The bromantic comedrama once again stated that here is an actor with a lot of convictions.


Before 'Oopiri' released, many thought that Nag would overshadow Karthi. But that was not to be. Watching Karthi perform earnestly, striking instant brotherly rapport with Nag's character, the audience started rooting for him from the word go. This film will be remembered as the ultimate hit for the Kollywood actor, who had been familiar for years.


In an under-rated film titled 'Terror', Srikanth was the biggest surprise package. Right from his adept facial expressions to dialogue delivery and demeanour, he was bang on in the role of a cop. An author-backed role, it didn't demand of him to shout or dance in outdated numbers. And that was only one of the best parts of watching him.

Allu Arjun

Right from the time he said 'Tannulu tannulu', slapping himself, Bunny became a potential BO force to reckon with. Not for nothing it's said that he is not only a terrific dancer, but also a mind-blowing action hero. The interval bang scene where the hero conveys a lot of emotions with just three words: 'Naku artham aindi', as the damsel in distress looks on, bears testimony to the fact that Bunny betters himself with every film.


Although his act didn't go unnoticed in 'KVPG', it was his 'Gentleman' act which came to be more critically-acclaimed. "A reason why Nani is most apt for the story is not because he successfully creates doubts about his character's bona fides. The reason is that his persona is best leveraged by the climax," we said. The Natural Star got into the skin of a complicated character with elan.

Vijay Devarakonda

The happiness-seeking spiritual rich son of 'Yevade Subrahmanyam' was now a lackadaisical youth with a knack for cooking. That's in 'Pelli Choopulu'. It conclusively catapulted Vijay into a different league altogether. Don't be surprised if, in near future, a role that would have gone to Nani goes to this guy. Such is his potential. We are yet to see his versatility and hope 2017 make sure that happens.


It's an absolute delight to note that the Complete Actor, this reigning star of Mollywood, was a prime reason why 'Janatha Garage' went on to become such a massive hit. In the role of a Sarkar-like saviour, Mohanlal had terrific combination scenes with NTR. If some of the best lines went to him, he looked every bit domineering doing action. In 'Manamantha', he was that middle-class guy next door whose vulnerability and weakness sucked the audience into the narrative. In 'Manyam Puli' ('Pulimurugan'), he was at his ferocious best. In 'Kanupapa' ('Oppam'), he is more than 'Complete' as a blind elevator operator.

Naga Chaitanya

This should be the best-ever year for Chay. While the gains in personal life have made him a happier person, working with Gautham Menon years after 'Ye Maya Chesave' has certainly and admittedly made him a better actor. If he was phenomenally under-stated in 'Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo', Chay turned into that bearded, rough-n-touch college-goer in 'Premam'. He won't look back. Ever.

Ram Charan

Here was a multi-dimensional cop who stole the show with his smartness. Here was a strategist who won the hearts of the masses without having to pull off gravity-defying fights. That was Cherry in 'Dhruva'. Easily his best performance after 'Magadheera' (and perhaps 'Orange', if you would have it), Cherry transcended the conventional trappings of heroism in this remake of 'Thani Oruvan'. After his tryst with Sukumar, expect Cherry to become one of the best performers in 2017 as well.

Aravind Swamy

In Aravind Swamy, we had yet another trendy, suave onscreen villain, someone to fall back on if Jagapathi were to seem too small or unexciting. A villain who matched up to the subtlety of the protagonist. A villain who didn't shout and screamed his way into our hearts, without fail. One of the main reasons why 'Dhruva' became such a hit.

The year 2016 has been a heroes' one, as much as it was the content's. From big stars like NTR, Nagarjuna, Bunny and Charan (in the order of the release of their movies) to others like Nani and Vijay Devarakonda, they all made this a special year.