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Telugu star Nani’s top 5 performances you can binge-watch on his birthday

The RJ-turned-actor’s crackling chemistry with Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Sai Pallavi in romcoms and action thrillers is a treat to watch

Saikat Chakraborty Calcutta Published 24.02.23, 04:45 PM

Nani. Instagram

From a radio jockey to one of the most bankable stars in the Telugu film industry, Nani has come a long way. Best known for his power-packed performance as a bitter and ageing cricketer in Gowtam Tinnanuri’s sports drama Jersey, the actor has effortlessly portrayed a wide range of characters, including a serial killer with a conscience and a Bengali revolutionary writer, in his 15-year-old career.

On Nani’s 39th birthday, we pick five of the Telugu star’s most versatile performances that’ll keep you hooked till the end.


Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu (2012)

Nani plays a middle-class studious boy with high aspirations in Gautham Vasudev Menon’s 2012 coming-of-age musical romantic drama Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu. His crackling chemistry with Samantha Ruth Prabhu is one of the highlights of the film.

Varun (Nani) spots one of his old schoolfriends, Nithya (Samantha), during a fest at his engineering college. They were close friends at school but got estranged once they cleared the board exams. After their chance encounter at the fest, they rekindle the friendship and become romantically inclined towards each other. However, Varun’s determination to crack the CAT exam and refusal to spend enough time with her girlfriend becomes the stumbling block in their relationship.

Watch it on: YouTube

Eega (2012)

Nani portrays a lovestruck young man in S.S. Rajamouli’s 2012 Telugu-language fantasy action film Egga. His screen time in this much-loved film is shorter than you would expect, but it’s a landmark role in his early career. The blockbuster was also released in Tamil as Naan Ee and in Hindi as Makkhi.

The Telugu star plays a fireworks expert, also named Nani, in Hyderabad. He falls in love with her neighbour Bindu (Samantha). A sleazy businessman named Sudeepa (Kichcha Sudeep) is also attracted to Bindu and kills Nani to clear his path. However, Nani reincarnates as a housefly to seek revenge for his death and save Bindu from Sudeepa.

Watch it on: Disney+Hotstar

V (2020)

Playing a charismatic anti-hero, Nani grabs eyeballs as ex-Army officer-turned-serial killer Vishnu aka V in this Telugu-language action thriller by frequent collaborator Mohana Krishna Indraganti. It is one of his first major roles.

The film follows DCP Aditya (Sudheer Babu) who must stop four murders by a killer (Nani). After three gruesome murders are committed, it comes to light that the killer is actually seeking revenge on the masterminds of a communal riot which resulted in the death of his wife. Eventually, Aditya ends up helping the killer as he comes to know his true identity.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video

Shyam Singha Roy (2021)

Nani plays a double role in supernatural period romantic drama Shyam Singh Roy, helmed by Rahul Sankrityan. The Tegulu star plays both roles with utmost dedication and showcases his acting range in this film, which also stars Sai Pallavi.

Aspiring filmmaker Vasu (Nani) meets with an accident while shooting a short film. But he gets to finish the feature film and that turns out to be successful. However, he gets arrested for copyright infringement and must produce evidence in court in his favour. We then learn that Vasu is actually the reincarnation of Shyam Singha Roy (also played by Nani), an influential social reformer and revolutionary writer with communist ideologies from Kolkata whose famous novel was the subject of Vasu’s film.

Watch it on: Netflix

Ante Sundaraniki (2022)

Nani’s portrayal of a compulsive liar results in hilarity in Vivek Athreya’s Telugu-language romantic comedy film Ante Sundaraniki. The actor presents his comedic chops in this quirky take on family drama that explores the topic of interfaith marriage.

Sundar (Nani) hails from a traditional Brahmin family and falls in love with a Catholic girl called Leela (played by Nazriya Nazim). The film explores the struggles of this interfaith couple as they try to convince their parents about their marriage through a string of lies only to find themselves in more complicated situations.

Watch it on: Netflix

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