Happy Birthday Samantha: Five films that are proof of her underrated versatility
On the occasion of Samantha Akkineni’s 33rd birthday, we take a look at five films from her illustrious career.Updated: Apr 28, 2020 07:06 IST
Like most of her contemporaries, Samantha Akkineni rose to stardom by taking the quintessential heroine roles in star-studded projects before going on to experimenting with roles that were a proof of her untapped talent. On the occasion of her 33rd birthday, we take a look at five films from her illustrious career.
Ye Maya Chesave
One of the earliest films of her career, Ye Maya Chesave gave a glimpse of Samantha’s potential in a very unorthodox role of a mainstream heroine stripped bare of the glitz and glamour. The film, which was a runaway hit, marked the maiden collaboration of Samantha and her future husband Akkineni Naga Chaitanya. The film follows the story of a young Mechanical Engineer Karthik, who aspires to become a film director and falls in love with Jessie, who is older than him. Jessie will remain as one of the most iconic roles in Samantha’s career even today because she played it so early on in her career with barely any experience. One can only imagine how challenging it would’ve been to pull off.
If you’re under the assumption that heroines don’t have much to do in SS Rajamouli’s films, you have to watch Eega to realize how much scope the film offers Samantha to perform and shine. In a role that sees her take revenge for the murder of her boyfriend, who returns to life in the form of a housefly; the film saw Samantha bring out the vulnerability of her character very effectively. If we are talking about one of her underrated performances, her role in Eega definitely deserves a mention.
Even though a remake of a Kannada film, I’d personally rate U-Turn as one of Samantha’s best performances. It’s special because it truly unleashed a never seen before kind of performance from Samantha, who was seen playing a crime journalist whose life turns upside down after she volunteers to find the reason behind the mysterious deaths of motorists on a flyover. The film allowed Samantha to own a film completely on her shoulders and she succeeding in the attempt by delivering a knockout performance.
Super Deluxe is Tamil cinema’s most eccentric and boldest attempts in recent years. What’s interesting is that the film saw Samantha take up her boldest role yet. She played a wife who ends up in an awkward situation when the man she’s having an affair with ends up dead while in the act. It’s not easy for a mainstream heroine to play something so bold, especially when the film happens to be her first release after marriage. Built on the premise of morality, the film questions what is right and what’s wrong and in the process, makes us understand that what’s right for someone need not be necessarily wrong for others. It’s also a terrific social commentary on life, sex, gender, science, religion, spirituality, marriage and faith.
Samantha’s Oh Baby, a remake of South Korean comedy Miss Granny, is based on a very simple premise - what if we got a second chance to relive life and change everything we couldn’t the first time? This is Samantha’s maiden attempt at a full-length comedy and it works so well thanks to the energy she brings to her character. It’s extremely challenging to play a 20-something character but adopt the body language of a 69-year-old and Samantha nails the dichotomy with ease, bringing so much exuberance to her performance and she couldn’t have played it any better. If not for Samantha’s really refreshing performance, Oh Baby wouldn’t have made so much difference.
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