If Chiranjeevi is absent, currently among those Tollywood stars who are doing cinemas professionally and regularly, irrespective of box office results, it is superstar Mahesh who takes the crown. Be it his acting talent (next only to N. T. R. Jr.) or good looks ( there’s no question, there’s no one beyond him as even Bollywood Naya superstar Ranveer Singh recently found out), or even recent box office form... he’s cut out for pan-India stardom.
And he has such following even without crazy and viral songs or action sequences, movie buffs all over India gush about him. But what makes him not going the route even the likes of Vijay Deverakonda are taking? Why doesn’t he set up a pan-India film till now? If he just moves his little finger, there are many producers who want him in their Bollywood movies. But he expressly rejected the offers right since his debut.
If you logically observe his career, he has done many experiments and all failed. Recently he changed his strategy and is doing safe projects. But those with eagle eyes can observe there’s a pattern in his selection of subjects. Each of his last three films trumped their previous ones to become his biggest hits till that point. Means, he’s improving his range in Tollywood without batting an eye. His next film will be with Darsaka Dheera S. S. Rajamouli. It’ll surely catapult him to international stardom like Prabhas.
Here is the interesting part. His strategy is: in general, those who work with Rajamouli, need to share the success credit with him. In fact, except for Prabhas in Baahubali 2, every actor was overshadowed by Rajamouli’s filmmaking stardom. But Mahesh is growing beyond such means without resorting to pan-India films. Means, he is in such a commanding position that, if things properly work out, it’ll be he who outshines Rajamouli (or at least won’t be under his shadow) when it comes to reputation post the film release.
As that film will push his star power to the stratosphere, he can choose and do whatever he wants to. That’s why he’s waiting. Just waiting for the right time such that even with a Rajamouli blockbuster nobody could be saying Mahesh benefitted too much from an SS Rajamouli film. For that, he needs another solid blockbuster which Sarkaru Vaari Paata needs to deliver. Fingers crossed.