Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao aka NTR, the cult-icon was the original superstar of Telugu cinema. He was a genius in using the medium of cinema to carve his larger than life imagine. In the history of cinema, no other actor has ever played such a wide range of variety roles as NTR did.
The legendary actor has given an unalloyed delight to the audience in the roles of Hindu deities Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, the epiphany was so powerful that won him veneration as a demi-god and people started worshiping his photos in the form of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna.The thespian of Telugu cinema has played every role with great panache. He appeared in the roles of a King, thief, rebel, playboy, mythological roles, you name it and he has played every role to the perfection.
Besides his magnetic screen presence, he also knew how to get his people organized. NTR had made effective use of his fan clubs to do social service and act as his publicists. His constant portrayal as an ordinary worker who could take on the rich and powerful made him an idol to millions of poor people in Andhra Pradesh. He was truly the first mass hero by all means who demonstrated what power a person can wield when he becomes a darling of the masses.
NTR’s influence and the changes he brought to Telugu cinema and politics are still being felt directly and indirectly today. He certainly was one of a kind and one doubts whether we will actually see another person like him with his sway over the Telugu people all over the world. He was a master genius who controlled his image and his message to the people via a visual medium long before others in India realized how powerful cinema could be (nowadays it’s either TV or internet).
In this day and age of 24×7 Television and Internet where politicians, mostly rely on image consultants, publicists, stylists etc to create the “right” image for the public, NTR has done this already on his own way back and how his influence is still felt in Telugu movies today. In myriad ways, he was instrumental in bringing changes to Telugu movies where its real effect would not be seen until much later. He was not just a chief minister and founder of a powerful regional party, but a symbol, a phenomenon, a brother, and a legend.
NTR just not believed in hard work but also excelling everything he did, be it films or politics. He was often termed as synonymous to discipline. The legendary actor had always made sure to be present on the movie sets with makeup put on at least 15 minutes prior to the planned schedule. He was a 70 mm in real life too and a person larger than life.
Just like the famous painter Raja Ravi Varma depicted the Hindu Gods through his paintings, so was NTR who made believe the Hindu gods look just like he be it, Lord Rama or Lord Krishna. He holds the distinction of playing the role of Lord Krishna for over 17 times, a record which is still intact.
On his 93rd Birth Anniversary, thetelugufilmnagar.com remembers the brightest star in the Telugu cinema firmament called NTR.