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Memorable films

Anushka

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Upperstall profile by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

Anushka is today the reigning actress in Telugu cinema and has proved with her strong performance in the heroine-centric blockbuster, Arundhati (2009) that she can go beyond mere glamour and carry a film successfully, given the chance.

Anushka was born Sweety Shetty on November 7, 1981 in Mangalore and she did her education, both school and college, in Bangalore. She began her movie career with the Puri Jagannath directed Telugu film, Super (2005). Though Ayesha Takia was the main heroine of the film, Anushka more than left her mark on the film playing Nagarjuna's co-gang member, who has unrequited love for him and is bumped off by the baddies when she overhears their double-crossing plans.

With Rendu (2006), Anushka made her Tamil film debut opposite R Madhavan who played a double role in the film. The film did well at the box-office and, in particular, the song Mobila Mobila picturised on Madhavan and her became a big hit. Strangely, Anushka did not sign any more Tamil films following its success and preferred to concentrate exclusively on Telugu cinema only.

Anushka had a steady flow of releases through 2006 - 8 in Telugu filmdom opposite the major leading men of the day - Nagarjuna, Venkatesh, Ravi Teja, Gopichand and quickly became one of the top female stars in Tollywood. However, these roles were largely typical heroine roles, concentrating on her glamour and eye candy good looks and made no real demands on her as a performer.

Arundhathi (2009) changed all that. Finally, getting a meaty role to work with, Anushka made the most of it giving a highly charged performance that made audiences notice her acting for once and not her looks or height (She is almost 5 feet 8 inches tall) or glamour. The film sees Anushka convincingly play a dual role separated by centuries. Arundhati is the brave scion of the legendary Gadwal Samsthanam (royal dynasty). An expert in the Fine and Martial arts, Arundhati (Anushka) takes it on herself to punish the evil Pasupati (Sonu Sood), her sister's husband who torments the subjects and molests innocent women in the kingdom. In a fit of rage, Arundhati punishes him in the most ghastly way. Pasupati makes a harried escape only to comeback several years later on the day of her wedding to abuse and kill her on the big day. This time around, Pasupati comes armed with occult knowledge to beat her in a big way. So, now even if he is killed, he will live as a ghost until his scores are settled. However, he can carry out his evil plans only when his soul is released from a box that has been lying unopened for over 500 years. Arundhati frequently feels his evil presence but decides to teach his avenged soul a lesson. For this, she will have to wait for five more generations to come, when she will be reborn, and put an end to Pasupati. The film, along with Magadheera, became one of the biggest Telugu hits of the year.

Post Arundhati, things only got better and better for Anushka. She had a huge box hit with Billa (2009), a re-make of the Tamil Billa (2007), itself a remake of the Rajinikanth starrer Billa (1980), itself a re-make of Don (1978). She scored heavily in the role played by Zeenat Aman and Priyanka Chopra in the Hindi versions and Sri Priya and Nayanthara in the Tamil versions. What's more, she carried off a bikini in style and looked every inch a woman who could really kick ass if she had to.

Anushka re-entered Tamil cinema with two huge films, Vettaikkaaran (2009), opposite Vijay, and Singam (2010), Suriya's 25th film. She is at the same time busy with a whole lot of films in Telugu including the tentatively titled Kaleja (2010), where she is paired with Mahesh Babu for the first time.

Besides films, Anushka has also worked as a Yoga instructor, having trained under Bharat Thakur.





 

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