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Can NTR Silence Haters with Devara?

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Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, better known by his initials N.T.R. or Junior N.T.R., is undoubtedly one of the finest performers of contemporary Indian cinema. Known for his versatility in roles, intense performances, and, of course, outstanding dancing skills, he enjoys a huge fanbase across Telugu states. In spite of all this, he is easily the most trolled or mocked actor of Telugu film franternity; this is particularly significant among hardcore fans on Twitter or movie buffs. The million-dollar question that surfaces in your mind after hearing this is “Why?”. What do they troll him?

Well, that requires you to take a deep dive into his history!

There are three main reasons behind this. First and foremost is NTR’s breakeven jinx! Tarak had to face a long string of box-office disasters, right from Sakhti (2011) to Rabhasa (2014); this was easily the worst phase of his acting career. He made a good comeback with Puri Jagannadh’s action drama film Temper (2015), which was followed by a series of successful films such as Nannaku Prematho, Janatha Garage, Jai Lava Kusa, and Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava. While fans claim all these ventures as ‘Blockbusters’, reality tells a different story.

Not a single film from these so-called ‘Blockbusters’ achieved breakeven in all the territories it was distributed in. Each of these flicks accumulated losses for distributers in at least one territory. So as per the trade standards, they aren’t ‘Hits’. This feels even more saddening considering the fact that all these films received positive reviews upon release; in spite of that, they’ve ended as loss-making ventures. Reason? Despite registering solid opening figures, these films crash on weekdays. Tarak has always had a strong inclination towards high-octane action films, particularly in faction backdrops, right from the beginning of his career, such as Aadi (2002) and Sihmadri (2003). This has unknowingly distanced him from urban or family audiences—those who contribute to a film’s success in the long run.

Secondly, Tarak has worked Jakkanna (S. S. Rajamouli) for a record three times before RRR (2022); despite this, he doesn’t hold a single ‘Industry Hit’ or a 100-crore-share film till date. Additionally, anti-fans claim that all or the majority of his fans belong to a certain social community or a certain political party. He is also mocked for his role, allegedly a less prominent one compared to Ram Charan’s in RRR. And admittedly, Tarak hasn’t got much global recognition for playing ‘Komuram Bheem’.

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The final reason is, of course, because of comparisons with ‘Mega’ heroes. Ever since Chiranjeevi emerged as the undisputed No. 1 hero of Tollywood, a rivalry between the ‘Mega’ and Nandamuri families has come into existence. Needless to say, Ram Charan and Tarak are the rivals of the present generation, which makes the comparisons inevitable. Charan, who did just half of Tarak’s films, is miles ahead in terms of box-office potential, stardom, and records. He received widespread critical acclaim for playing ‘Rama Raju’ in RRR.

These are the same reasons why Devara is an extremely special film for every NTR fan; it’s his best chance to prove his mettle and silence haters, to score a ‘Real Hit’, to reach the magical 100-crore-share mark, and the list goes on and on.

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