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Home > Movies > Bollywood News

Johnny sinks, but Pawan Kalyan remains afloat

Vijayalaxmi | May 15, 2003 06:07 IST

Despite his latest release and directorial debut,the hugely expensive Johnny, faring disastrouslyat the box office,actor Pawan Kalyan's place among the top five stars in the Telugu film industry remains secure, at least for now.

Pawan KalyanKalyan, younger brother ofsuperstar Chiranjeevi,created a record in the Telugu film industry by selling Johnnyfor a record-breaking Rs 210 million and releasing it in more than 300 theatres. Viewers made a beeline for the first few shows, but the tragic tale of a young man running from pillar to post to save his cancer-stricken wifefailed to click with the audiences.

His fans felt that if Kalyan had madea youthful entertainer -- the sort he's known for -- the distributors would have laughed all the way to the bank. A few industry bigwigs praised his directorial ability, but others questionedthe choice of subject for his debut venture.

Kalyan's disappointed fans, however,are already looking forward to his next film, produced by his other brother Nagababu. Directed by Veerasankar, it stars Uday Kiron as his leading lady. He isalso working on a film directed by Karunakaran for ace producer Aswini Dutt. It remains to be seen which film reaches the theatres first.

Shy by nature, Kalyan dreamt of becoming a film technician. It was Chiranjeevi's wife Surekha who convinced him to become anactor. Chiranjeevi's brother-in-law Allu Aravind launched Kalyan with great fanfare inAkada Abbai Ikkada Ammayi, but the moviefailed to make an impact at the box office.

Suswagatham (1995), his second film,was a huge hit and made Kalyan a star. Then came another runaway hit, the remake of the Tamil hit Love Today, which made Kalyan a favourite with the youth.

Another remake, Gokulamlo Seetha (1996), established his acting credentialsas Kalyan essayed the role of a playboy who decides to reform.

His hat-trick came with theblockbuster Tholi Prema (1997). His pranks in the movie reinforced his image as ayouth icon. The success of this sensitive love story of an average student pushed Kalyan into the big league.

Thamudu (1998), loosely inspired by Aamir Khan's Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, followed. Itcaptured the imagination of both the youth and the masses and turned out to be another huge hit.Kalyan was officially a superstar now. Playing a student who lacks interest in studies endeared him to the youngsters, his pranks won him a female fan following, and his unique fights attracted the masses.

Kalyanteamed up witha new director, Puri Jagannath, forhis next film, Badri (1999). Hissuperstardom was evident when the movietraded for an astronomical sum, leaving the Telugu industry amazed and his critics carping. But Kalyan silenced them when the love story opened well and went on to make a huge profit.

Badri's action sequences were well appreciated by the audiences and added a new dimension to Kalyan's loverboy image. "I pick those down-to-earth characters to identify myself with a wider section of theyouth," said the superstar.He consciously began toincrease the gap between his releases.

Producer A M Ratnamsigned him for a remake of his Tamil hit Khushi. The movie exploited Kalyan's loverboy-cum-action heroimage. The ego clashes between the protagonists (Kalyan and Boomika) were widely appreciated and the film went on to become the biggest hit of his career, grossing Rs27 crore (approximately US $5.72 million).

By the time Khushi was remade, rumours about Kalyan ghost-directing most of his movies were rife. People began to speculate that he would soon direct a film. The grapevine had it that he would direct another big Telugu star, Venkatesh, but Kalyan announcedJohnny, starring himself.

By this time,he had stopped interacting with the local press and even skipped the press meets organised to cover his films. He only granted interviews to a few English magazines, but laterdiscontinued this practice as well. He shot his debut venture in a low-profile manner and shrouded itin secrecy. The media were warned againstusingstills of Johnny without permission.

Just before the film's release, Kalyan was in the news whenhe accused the Deccan Chronicle Group of publications of making baseless allegations against him and his brother, Chiranjeevi. He, Nagababu and Allu Aravind staged a dharna before itsoffice in Secunderabad, with fans organising arasta roko (road blockade) in his support.

Johnnywas eventually released amid high expectations and Kalyan received much critical acclaim for both his acting and directorial skills. Neither, however,could save Johnny from sinking.

The question Kalyan's fans are pondering over now is whether he willannounce another film as director -- after his next two films are completed --or decide to remain just an actor.

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Number of User Comments: 19

Sub: Good Work on Jhonny

Hey..Pawan Kalyan... U have done excelelnt work in Jhonny... The First Half is really Wonderfull movie.. The pblm is with the second half., even though ...

Posted by Raghu

Sub: director !

Hi Pawan pl do not spend time on direction but follow the directions of talented directors. You are a good player and not a good ...

Posted by ssrao

Sub: Pls see this urgent

I have keen observation on you, regarding direction skills. I felt that you would definitely come to direction side also when I watched "Thammudu" movie, ...

Posted by Yasin

Sub: vera abhimani(ur the best)

hai, hello sir i am ur fan i am not disopponited on johnny films bcoz i understand the film,ur direction i very good, ur phone ...

Posted by ANSARI

Sub: heartly wishes

hi! pawan kalyan.i am vivek,a resident of katnataka. i am a 18 year old B.E. student.i 've watched all of your movies and kushi is ...

Posted by vivek



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