When it comes to performance, three things... are of foremost importance.
Angikam means the usage of body parts to create an effect on the audience. The way hands are moved. The way one walks. Or even the way one twists his facial muscles to express joy, grief, anger, hatred, and many more emotions.
Vaachakam means the way one uses his voice. How one modulates voice, the tone, the way of pronunciation, and everything related to speech. An actor must have proper command over his speech to become a master of performance.
And finally Aaharyam. Aaharyam means how one is made up. Dressing sense. How they present themselves in the screen. And the styling. Not just in person. But as appropriate to the character.
When it comes to all these, we cannot think beyond Young Tiger N. T. R. in Telugu Cinema. As an actor who has a background in classical dance, he’s just beyond ordinary when it comes to histrionics. He knows how to get into the skin of the character and how to underplay it when needed. From the loud style in his younger days to his subtlety and nuanced performance as an urban youth in films like Naannaku Prematho and Janatha Garage, N. T. R. has come a long way and proved himself to be the complete actor of this generation.
None can beat his Angikam and Vachikam. When it comes to Aaharya (style) he’s among the best. The way he delivers dialogues is unmatched. He’s perfectly suited for mythological characters. The way he uttered dialogues in Yama Donga proved him as the true heir to Anna Garu when it comes to mythologicals.
Now the biggest thing. Being a classical dancer, he might have closely studied Navarasas. Let’s observe how he displayed his mastery in the 9 rasas in his films till now.
1. Hasya (comedy) - Adhurs
Do we need to say anything about the comic timing displayed by N. T. R. in this film as Chary? Right from the body language to dressing style to dialogue delivery, he delivered a punchy performance.
2. Shrungara (Romance) - Brundavanam
He has shown this in several films but in Brundavanam as the quintessential lover boy, N. T. R. proved his credentials as a romantic lead. Hope someone explores this angle more in one of his future films.
3. Karuna - Rakhee
There are many scenes in this film one cannot help but use kerchief to clear their wet eyes. He excelled in sentiment scenes. And when his sister dies...
4. Bhayanaka - Simhadri
Just one image. Just one image where he kills one of the villains when actress Sita (his foster sister) is murdered. Wow for an actor who was barely 20.
5. Bheebhatsa - Temper climax/Rakhee
Ah! Ah! Ah! The climax still gives goosebumps. None of the other actors who played the role in remakes matched his performance in this scene. Rohith Shetty had to alter the script to avoid that scene in Simmba.
6. Shantam - Janatha Garage
The cool looking guy. He displayed anger too with subtlety and mostly appeared as classical Lord Vishnu. He’s peaceful even when he’s destroying the world of the villains. And his love for the nature too.
7. Roudram- Jai Lava Kusa/Aadi
As Ravana. Especially the pre-climax drama scene with his brothers. His anger was terrifying.
8. Adbhuta - Yama Donga
He showcased his complete talents for a mythological role as Young Yama. And the scenes involving him and Yama in Yamaloka are examples for Adbhuta rasa in modern Telugu Cinema at that time.
9. Veera - Aravinda Sametha
One image. Just one image. The thigh slapping with the sickle in the opening action sequences. Enough said.
So, who will dispute his credentials as Navarasa Taraka Rama? None in their sane mind.