Happy birthday Anushka Shetty: Four films that made her a pan-India star, and we are not talking about Baahubali
Anushka Shetty is not just another mainstream Telugu cinema heroine. In spite of starring in quite a few hero-centric projects, she has over the years charted her own path with a few female-centric films that have appealed to audiences as well as clicked at the box-office. On the occasion of her 39th birthday, we list four films from her career that made her a pan-Indian star.
Kodi Ramakrishna’s Arundhati is one of the biggest female-centric hits in Indian cinema. The film not just shook the box-office but introduced audiences to a never seen before acting dimension of Anushka Shetty who had so far predominantly worked in hero-centric commercial potboilers. Arundhati maybe a decade old but the film still makes for a very engaging watch even today. With its perfect concoction of horror and fantasy elements, the film still holds great pan-Indian appeal and can be remade in any language even today. The film went on to establish Anushka as the next big female superstar after actor Vijayashanti.
Gunasekar’s Rudhramadevi is the lesser-known story of a fearless queen from Kakatiya dynasty of Telangana. Mounted on an epic scale, the film saw Anushka play the titular role with ease and she went on to prove nobody else can play such characters like she could. The film may not have turned out to be as successful as Arundhati, but it sure managed to inspire audiences by narrating the story of unsung warrior queen Rudhramadevi. Despite dubbed and released in multiple languages, the film didn’t have a wide release and therefore went unnoticed beyond Telugu states. For all those who loved SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali franchise, here’s a film that will surprise you and stay relevant even after many years.
Size Zero/ Inji Iduppazhagi
Written by Kanika Dhillon and directed by Prakash Kovelamudi, Size Zero is the story of a young woman with major weight issues and all the problems that are born out of it. The film’s core theme of embracing oneself is relevant even today and will resonate strongly in years to come. However, the film’s comical treatment of the subject didn’t quite convey what it intended in the most effective way. The film, which was simultaneously released in Tamil and Telugu, bombed at the box-office but as a subject Size Zero is solid Bollywood material. It needs some tweaking in the treatment but its strong core can appeal to audiences across languages.
G Ashok-directed Bhaagmathie proved once again why Anushka Shetty can headline a female-centric project more convincingly than most of her contemporaries. A horror-thriller, the film featured Anushka in the role of an IAS officer who gets wrongly embroiled in a case. The film takes the tried-and-tested horror route using several popular genre tropes to entertain, but what it is at the heart is a well fleshed-out thriller that manages to deceive and entertain the audience at the same time. It’s strange that the film still hasn’t been remade in any language despite its mega box-office success.
Follow @htshowbiz for more