From the upcoming sensation RRR to the film of the decade Magadheera, veteran screenwriter KV Vijayendra Prasad has wooed the film industry with his numbing movies. The journey that started as a co-writer for the 1980s film Janaki Ramudu, has now reached the hall of fame as an internationally acclaimed director. While Mr. Prasad has seen equal shares of ups and downs, his constant passion for telling a story strode him up the galaxies of success. This celebrated screenwriter has been the recipient of various accolades including the prestigious Nandi Award, but even today, when the legendary filmmaker celebrates his 79th birthday, he still contains the niche and the zeal for a single-pointed goal- ‘to tell a unique story’.
Every Tollywood buff or a loyalist would agree that this man drew international attention with the Baahubali script. While 2020 was a lull before the storm, 2021 is bound to make up for it, with RRR and Thalaivi. The two movies that have already lined up to beat the box office have already garnered social attention and anticipation even before their release. While everyone awaits the release of RRR and Thalaivi, Mr. Prasad’s encounter with the action sequence in RRR that brought tears down his eyes has pushed the bar of expectations. Thalaivi, starring Kangana Ranaut, is no less a colossal project itself.
While his birthday is a celebration throughout the film corridors and cherished within the film fraternity, Yo! brings to you the 7 high-octane movies of KV Vijayendra Prasad.
#1. Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
Manikarnika is a period drama based on the life of Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi. While the film was directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, it was adapted from a screenplay by Vijayendra Prasad. Kangana Ranaut, who played the lead in the film, received the National Film Award for Best Actress at the 67th National Film Awards. The film also had a special screening for the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. A feather in the cap, the film was selected for the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
#2. Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a Salman Khan starrer Hindi language comedy-drama. The plot tells the story of Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi, an ardent devotee of Hanuman who embarks on the journey to unite a fortified child back to her parents in Pakistan. The film received appreciation from fans and critics alike. The film also was the recipient of the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the 63rd Film Awards and was nominated for several others.
Where to watch: Disney+ Hotstar
The film Baahubali: The Beginning was a popular hit, it left everyone asking a predominant question ‘why did Kattapa kill Baahubali’. This question led to the sequel Baahubali: The Conclusion’s worldwide blockbuster. SS Rajamouli is the director of the film, and the story was conceived by his father KV Vijayendra Prasad. The storyline owes its origin to the random stories that Prasad used to narrate to his son. It was a mix of narrations and Amar Chitra Kathas that fueled the fascination in director Rajamouli to make a film. The film was a record-breaker commercially, and a matter of pride for every Tollywood loyalist. KV Vijayendra Prasad has written a lot of movies in his career and Baahubali tops them all.
Where to watch: Disney+ Hotstar
Mersal is a Tamil original action thriller written by KV Vijayendra Prasad. The film stars Thalapathy Vijay in a triple role. The story revolves around two brothers. While one is a happy goer magician avenging the death of his parents, the other is a doctor with a golden heart. The film received various accolades and appreciation, earning critical acclaim both from fans and critics alike. The film was a commercial hit, grossing over 250 crores worldwide, and grew to become the fifth highest-grossing South Indian film. The film was also dubbed for the Telugu audience by the name Adirindhi. While many films crave a theatrical release, this Tamil original film had a 100-day theatrical run in 2018.
Where to watch: Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar
When a father childishly narrated a story of a housefly (Eega) seeking revenge on a human, the son didn’t wake up to doubt its possibility and instead created a film on that narration. KV Vijayendra Prasad had his initial rendition of any sort of story with his son Rajamouli, and only later did he go present it to an artist. The film was one of the firsts to receive a simultaneous release in both Tamil and Telugu. The plot also unravels with a father who tells his child a bedtime story and narrates the incident of a housefly, and the trials and tribulations the little creature goes through to protect his partner. The fantasy action film is something that has never been seen in Indian or worldwide cinema.
Where to watch: Disney+ Hotstar
Rajanna is a Telugu original period drama and inspired by the Razakar movement and freedom fighter Suddala Hanumanthu’s life. The film is set in a rural background and tells the story of a feudal society. The story features Sambayya, an empathic old man who develops a mysterious attachment to a basil tree which is worshipped by the villagers. The song sung by the small lad remains etched and stands the test of time, even till today. The film stars Akkineni Nagarjuna in the lead role. While Vijayendra Prasad is known for his cinematography, this film Rajanna was directed by him. This film also fetched him accolades and appreciation, establishing him as a versatile filmmaker. It’s truly one of the best movies from a long, illustrated career of Vijayendra Prasad.
Where to watch: YouTube and Disney+ Hotstar.
Magadheera is a fantasy action film, again by the son-father duo SS Rajmouli and KV Vijayendra Prasad. The plot revolves around four people who lust for the actress, and a warrior who wants to conquer their kingdom. In a sad state of affairs, all of them die before their wishes and the plot jumps 400 years to and fro. The film was during the beginning of an era when film commercialisation was just beginning. The film that was made with 35 crores, witnessed a turnover of 73 crores. The film also saw who is who of the industry coming together for making it. The film’s soundtrack was produced by MM Keeravani. Magadheera was widely acclaimed as the movie of the decade after its release in 2009.
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