We know SS Rajamouli, the guy who made the biggest motion picture of India. But most of us are unaware of SS Rajamouli, the man who made 11 movies without making one bad movie. Yes! 11 movies without a box office failure. And not only box office successes, every movie of his is lauded by the critics too. In a movie culture where star worship is a common phenomenon, Rajamouli, being a director, has created a fan base of his own. That is the kind of impact he has created, but way before Baahubali series. In fact, audience never seem to give enough acknowledgement to the actors or star. The emotional quotient in any of his movies is extremely high. His ability to enhance a simple scene with his direction is brilliant.
He follows a simple old school technique, a protagonist is as strong as an antagonist – whether it is a movies with a fly as a protagonist in ‘Eega’, or the mighty Prabhas in ‘Baahubali’. It’s almost impossible to rank his movies from average. But despite that, here is the list of top 11 S.S. Rajamouli movies, ranked from average to best.
11. Yamadonga (2007)
‘Yamadonga’ is one of the best movie in respective careers of everyone involved with it, but not Rajamouli. It’s arguably his weakest film. The fantasy drama is about a small time crook who, in the quest for quick cash, ends up dead, and land up in “Hell”. And that is where all hell breaks loose, no pun intended. He rebels against “Yama”, the god of death, who is in charge of “Hell” and returns to life. Only to realize that escaping fate is not that easy. The movie stars Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Jr. and is his second outing along side Rajamouli after an epic called ‘Simhadri’, which we’ll get to later. If some stellar performances including stunning monologues, concept of eternal love, some breathtaking action sequences along with epic background score, and a bit of fantasy is all you seek, catch this flick immediately.
10. Student No. 1 (2001)
Rajamouli just cannot make a bad movie, even if it’s his first. ‘Student No. 1’ also stars Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, but this was before the aforementioned epic ‘Simhadri’. You’ll see ‘Simhadri’ in one of the top spots of this list. Coming back to this movie, Rajamouli manages to convince a then chubby and slightly out of shape NTR Jr. as a top class actor. The way he emotes characters in this movie is an art Rajamouli is a master at. The story of a good student who ends up in an unfortunate series of incidents, finds himself an inmate. His fight against an ever-judging society, his will to complete his education and to prove his worth to his family and to the world is ‘Student No.1’ in a nutshell. Despite some over the top sequences, the movie is definitely worth your time.
9. Maryada Ramanna (2010)
After an epic success of his magnum-ops ‘Magadheera’, all eyes were on Rajamouli’s next adventure. But to the shock of many, he choose to direct a comedy with a comic in the lead. Which is actually very much unlike him, because his movies are generally high octane dramas with loads of action. However, this fact doesn’t effect the movie one bit. ‘Maryada Ramanna’ is set up in an area called Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh, and the area is known for the violence and family feuds. But Rajamouli decides to add one more characteristic of people who live there, it’s their hospitality. Now the screenplay is set hilariously in a huge mansion of the protagonist, and the comic protagonist who is struck in the mansion. But he cannot set a foot outside, if he does, he is dead. This hilarious flick is a must watch.
8. Sye (2004)
Rajamouli follows a pattern, after making a large scale epic, he resorts to something simple. Just like he made ‘Maryada Ramanna’ after ‘Magadheera, he made ‘Sye’ after ‘Simhadri’. The movie is set up in an undergrad school where gang rivalry is predominant. And American Football is the common sport played there, as it is suitable for the two gangs to state their dominance over each other, due to the physicality of the sport. But things take a turn when their institute is struck in the midst of bigger things. The students’ life, culture of youth and the spirit of sport is brilliantly showcased by Rajamouli. With a bunch of up and coming actors, Rajamouli once again excels in cooking up emotional scenes in an effective way.
7. Vikramarkudu (2006)
‘Vikramarkudu’ is your routine story of one doppelgänger replacing another one. One of them is obviously important, who’s unfinished tasks are completed by the less important one after replacing him. In this case, the essential one is a police, breaking feudalism victims from their shackles in a small region. Despite the abundance of action and thrilling scenes, the driving factor of the movie is the emotional crux between the male lead and his daughter. After the kid-hating duplicate replaces the original, the original’s kid mistakes him for her father. And that relationship is the focal point of the movie. Rajamouli is a master in bringing out the best from protagonist by strengthening the antagonist. He does it efficiently with this movie. Bollywood audience recognize the movie as the original version of ‘Rowdy Rathode’.
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