Happy Birthday Ram Charan: 10 films, 10 years and we have a star

Ram Charan Teja Konidela, addressed as Cherry by people close to him, is celebrating his 33rd birthday on Tuesday. The actor who debuted in the Telugu film industry is only 10 films old, and that is including his only Bollywood film, Zanjeer. An actor who has been in the industry for a decade but has only 10 films in his repertoire – now that is not a common occurrence in an industry as prolific as Tollywood. Yet, he is a star who has a huge fan following in the Telugu speaking states and audiences are waiting to watch his upcoming film Rangasthalam on screen. What is the secret behind his success story?

Tracing Ram Charan’s career, I came across an interesting fact. This man has only one box office disaster to his name in Telugu film industry. If one has followed his films from the beginning, you would also realise that no two movies of his are along the same lines. He doesn’t stick to success formulas and neither does he hesitate to sign on the dotted line when it comes to an experimental role, case in point being Magadheera.

If we were to look back on his films, especially the first three projects of his career – Chirutha, Magadheera, Orange – there is variety there and Ram Charan proved himself with these three releases. And no, not all three were successful. Chirutha, a commercial action film, collected Rs 22.08 crore in 2007 and was declared a box office hit. The movie ran in theatres for over 50 days and marked a great debut by a star kid.

In contrast to his first film, Magadheera turned out to be a turning point for everyone involved in the project, including the director SS Rajamouli. By choosing a period romance film, Ram Charan went against the grain when his contemporaries were set on a path to project themselves as the next ‘mass entertainer’ or the billable commercial star. Magadheera turned out to be a path-breaking film and did great at the box office too. It completed a dream run at the theatres with 100 days.

Orange was one of the disasters of 2010, and Ram Charan saw what box office failure felt like. He tried the urban romantic look and the film failed to create any waves in the industry.

Racha was his next film and that, according to many in the trade, a Paisa Vasool release. Directed by Sampath Nandi, the film was one of the highest grossers of the year and yet, Ram Charan was in no hurry to sign multiple projects. This hit was followed by three hits in a row - Nayak, Yevadu, Govindudu Andarivadele – and they were all different genres. First was a social drama, second a revenge saga and the third one was a family drama.

Bruce Lee - The Fighter was neither a roaring hit, not a failure. The film’s collection put this action-comedy on the fence in 2015. Ram Charan was last seen in 2016 film Dhruva, which was a remake of the hit Tamil film Thani Oruvan. This film also performed satisfactorily at the box office, leaving just one box office disaster in his entire career.

Even his upcoming film, Rangasthalam, sees him in a new avatar, which is of a hearing-impaired engineer based in a village, who is hell bent on guarding his best friend. With every film, Ram Charan has managed to turn a new leaf, so to speak and has managed to keep the audience hooked to his work. Is it any surprise that one of the most sought after directors of Tollywood, SS Rajamouli is now set to work with Ram Charan again? Yet another character arc to look forward to! Here’s wishing the star a happy birthday!

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