Allu Arjun: The Stylish Star Of Tollywood With Unconventional Looks

From a shaky start in ‘Gangotri’ to a National Award-winning performance in ‘Pushpa’, he conquered many hearts over the years.

Starting from Gangotri in 2003, Allu Arjun has done 26 films so far. Among these is a short film titled I Am That Change (2014) directed by the star filmmaker Sukumar.

There are special appearances, too, like the one in Shankar Dada Zindabad (2007). Before Gangotri, he played a small role in Megastar Chiranjeevi’s Daddy (2001).

Gangotri was a prestigious project in more ways than one. Apart from the film being Allu Arjun’s debut as a leading man, it was also K Raghavendra Rao’s 100th movie.

Gangotri was a success at the box office, but the actor’s performance got mixed reviews.

There was a visible rawness. The film also didn’t have any of the stylish dance steps that have become a trademark of Allu Arjun now.

In short, there was no indication of the pan-India superstar he would become one day.

As Stylish Star

Post Gangotri, Allu Arjun went through a rough patch for a year or so. But he reinvented himself both as a performer and as a Stylish Star with Sukumar’s directorial debut Arya (2004).

In Arya, the actor played a free-spirited guy who falls in love with an introverted girl Geeta (Anuradha Mehta).

Geeta is already the love interest of someone else. But Arya doesn’t give up. He pursues his love.

What made the film work were the fresh treatment and the positive attitude of the protagonist. For the most part of the movie, Arya keeps asking Geeta to just feel his love. This was a new approach that struck a chord with the audience.

Through the character of Arya, Sukumar also explored the concept of one-sided love. In fact, there is also a song that celebrates one-side lovers. His performance was a far cry from his shaky start in Gangotri.

He not only proved himself as a performer, but his dancing skills also caught the attention of the moviegoers. Since Arya, there has been no looking back for the actor. He conquered many hearts across the demographic of India.

What makes Allu Arjun’s success even more special is the fact that he doesn’t have the conventional looks of a hero, unlike Prabhas or Mahesh Babu.

Before the latest Pushpa: The Rise (2021), some of his more prominent movies included Happy (2006), Vedam (2010), Son of Satyamurthy (2015), Julayi (2012), and Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo (2020).

An early movie that showed Allu Arjun’s potential as a serious actor was Vedam directed by Krish Jagarlamudi. In the film, he played the role of a cable operator who isn’t particularly likeable.

He pretends to be a big shot in order to marry a rich girl. There is a transformation that the character goes through and Allu Arjun doesn’t miss a single beat in capturing the different nuances.

As a stellar performer

In Happy, he is mostly a happy-go-lucky guy named Bunny. At the same time, there are some scenes that show his capability as a performer. A case in point is the scenes that he shares with Manoj Bajpai.

In one particular scene, Bunny cooks up a story of how he and Madhumati (Genelia) are madly in love and won’t be able to bear separation. He leaves the police station crying, which also leaves Manoj Bajpai in tears.

But the minute he comes out he becomes his normal self. The merger of grief and laughter was done seamlessly.

I am sure everyone in the theatre would have noticed and appreciated his talent in that particular bit. He also shined in an emotionally charged pre-climax.

Trivkram and Allu Arjun

Before Son of Satyamurthy, Trivikram and Allu Arjun teamed up for Julayi.

It was a stylish entertainer about an intelligent youngster who wants quick bucks and would take any risks to achieve his goal.

The film had many witty one-liners in trademark Trivikram style, which Allu Arjun delivered effortlessly.

Son of Satyamurthy was a different outing from Julayi. Here, he played the younger son who undergoes a life-changing transformation after the sudden death of his father.

The actor showed his versatility with an emotional performance, particularly in the scenes where he remembers his father. It was a welcome restraint from the actor.

Ala Vaikunthapurramulo, also directed by Trivikram, is a key milestone in the actor’s career.

Before Pushpa: The Rise happened, Ala Vaikunthapurramulo announced the arrival of the Stylish Star in the Hindi Market.

At its core, Ala Vaikunthapurramulo is a movie filled with regressive undertones. However, what made it work was the skilful treatment of Trivikram and Allu Arjun’s charisma.

The script relies heavily on the charisma of Allu Arjun and the actor didn’t disappoint one bit.

He excelled in portraying all the shades of Bantu. He was particularly good in his combination scenes with Murali Sharma.

He also shined in roles where the focus was not always on him. For example, in Gunashekhar’s Rudhramadevi (2015), he played a fearsome warrior called Gona Ganna Reddy.

His screen presence coupled with his dialogue delivery proved to be a much bigger attraction than Rana who had more screen time. His Telangana dialect was also an absolute delight.

Allu Arjun as Pushparaj

Now let’s come to the film that has given Allu Arjun his National Award — Pushpa: The Rise. His role in Pushpa is very different from what the actor did so far.

There is no trace of the Stylish Star even in the dance sequences. What you see is only the character and not Allu Arjun.

The role of Pushparaj is challenging in many ways starting from a particular body language to a specific dialect that the actor speaks.

He did a fantastic job of portraying a rustic and downtrodden character. On the outside, Pushpa is a tough soul, but there is also a strong vulnerable side.

Allu Arjun delivered an immersive performance that made the viewers root for him.

In these 20-odd years, Allu Arjun’s journey went from strength to strength and made him a huge pan-India Star. Here’s hoping that Pushpa 2 lives up to the massive expectations that have only increased after the national award win.

(PS: Many fans are hoping to see Allu and Aloo (Alia Bhatt) working together in a feature film. It would be a treat to watch the two National Award winners in the same frame.)

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