Is Devi Sri Prasad on the ‘Dusk of his career’?

Posted : March 2, 2022 at 1:55 pm IST by ManaTeluguMovies

There is no shame in accepting that one has been on the down trend as every peak will follow with a crust. It is important to climb up from the crust to next peak.Film personalities tend to lose sight of the down trend that takes them to the bottom of a pit and when they suddenly decide to rise from the pit back to reach the peak, they fail miserably. Only few manage to do so and they end up as legends.

When Chittor Nagayya kind of star actor hit a rock bottom in his career after reaching peak by taking Rs. 1 lakh per film, that too in 1940’s, he had to resort to accepting roles for daily wages to an amount to Rs. 100 or 150, by 1960’s. Many actors, filmmakers, music composers, technicians, big stars underwent severe mid-life crisis or mid-career crisis to end up in rented houses or on roads after hitting peak in their careers and enjoying lavish lifestyle.

We can attribute their financial struggle to many ill-fated incidents and bad habits, high trusting nature but they could have made a comeback in films had they took time off and re-accessed when their films started not working. If they had been watchful about the dip in their film’s business and their supposed demand, they would have controlled their expenses, would’ve tried to get help for getting rid of bad habits and focussed on the work. This would have let them to make a comeback for sure.

One might argue that in hindsight, many suggestions can be implied. Yes, true we are talking about something that happened in the past. We have the advantage of looking at things objectively also.

Still, actors like ANR, NTR, Gummadi learnt from others’ experience and they corrected their career paths whenever they hit bottom to make a roaring comeback. ANR worked literally till his last breathe and his last movie Manam turned out to be a classic.

Sobhan Babu retired at the right time. Krishna after several comebacks, finally decided to retire. When you compare them both, their final films have been biggest disasters but their classics remain timeless.

When anyone lose their head due to the “high” that success gives, they tend to lose their fear of failure and make many mistakes that result in losing their careers. This leads to frustration among them and further bad judgements hurt their credibility in the market.

Legends with great ability struggled financially due to their financial mismanagement but they couldn’t make a comeback due to loss of credibility. Simply they couldn’t update themselves due to success fuelled ego and then had to face the wrath of time to learn harsh lessons.

Definitely, today’s generation of stars and successful creative professionals will never have such bad times financially. But can they skip the “loss of credibility” factor?

Seems hard, doesn’t it? A composer like Mani Sharma, who delivered classical hits and worked for all three big releases that got released during Sankranti season in 2001, which released in one day gap each, also had to face loss of credibility.

His tunes became repetitive. His strong forte background score lost sheen and rise of new composers like Devi Sri Prasad and SS Thaman catapulted his decline further.

On the other hand, MM Keeravani who started a decade earlier to Mani Sharma, after having similar kind of success, had to ride the downward tide too. He did it with grace and started working only with his brother SS Rajamouli, his mentor legendary director Raghavendra Rao.

It is also true that other filmmakers preferred other composers to him but this forced limitation helped him save his brand. Today, he himself restricted his work but he has the distinction of composing for three big budget films like Baahubali franchise films and RRR.

His music reached to worldwide audiences which was only a dream for many for 8 decades in Telugu Film Industry. A legendary composer like KV Mahadevan remained contemporary till 1990’s from 1960’s, even though Chakravarthy, Ilayaraja, Raj-Koti waves had hit him. He could deliver Shankarabharanam in 1980 and Pelli Pustakam in 1990’s.

After his peak receded in 1970’s with emergence of Chakravarthy, he did not give any controversial interviews and did not resort to any politics. He just worked with those directors who preferred him over others like K. Vishwanath and Bapu for major portion of his career post 1970’s in Telugu Cinema.

Still, he delivered many hits whenever out and out commercial filmmakers like Raghavendra Rao, Dasari Narayana Rao, Kodi Ramakrishna, B. Gopal employed him over Ramesh Naidu, Chakravarthy, Ilayaraja for films like Gorintaku, Trisulam, Srinivasa Kalyanam, Janaki Ramudu, Muddula Mavayya, Nari Nari Naduma Murari, Alludugaru, Assembly Rowdy which turned out to be musical hits, in different decades.

Mani Sharma after some struggle is back into reckoning again. Now, Devi Sri Prasad and Thaman are at their respective career peaks.

Devi Sri Prasad seems to be at the end while Thaman has hit absolute peak. Pushpa is still a huge blockbuster audio but that is the only audio from Devi Sri Prasad that could really become huge blockbuster after Rangasthalam.

He did Maharshi, Sarileru Neekevvaru, F2 kind of big films and they all have become hits but they couldn’t reach even bigger hits due to mediocre albums.

Arya, Bommarillu, Anandam, Manmadhudu, Mass, Legend, Julayi, Singham 1 & 2, Ready albums took the content in the films to next level and songs of these films are popular even today while some are called classics.

On the other hand, during the same period, his albums for Arya 2, Nannaku Prematho, King, Jalsa, 100% Love, Bhadra propelled the films prospects at box office to regain average status. Songs from these albums still have fans.

After S/O Satyamurthy, Devi Sri Prasad music started declining in quality barring some occasional highs like Srimanthudu, Kumari 22F, Rangasthalam, Uppena, and now, Puspha to some extent.

Recently, his other audios have failed to even have one popular song. Khiladi, Rowdy Boys the two movies that released post Pushpa high, have songs that you no one even remembers.

On the other hand Thaman is in demand for Background score and albums too. His Ala Vaikuntapurramuloo, Akhanda and Bheemlanayak have been huge hits.

Devi Sri Prasad’s F3 single with Venkatesh and Varun Tej as leads doesn’t have even half reach as Kalavathi single composed by Thaman for Mahesh Babu’s Sarkaaru Vaari Paata.

Mahesh fans have directly abused, trolled Devi Sri Prasad showing this example and stated that his music for Maharshi, Sarileru Neekevvaru resulted in reduced box office returns when films needed blockbuster audios.

Well, no one can remain in form forever. Even A R Rahman, Ilayaraja, Mani Sharma, Koti, MM Keeravani, Chakravarthy, KV Mahadevan, Ghantasala, Saluri Rajeswara Rao kind of composers saw ups and downs in their careers.

But when big budgets are involved, when other composer who is a “friendly rival” has hit peak and fans referring it as Thaman era, it wouldn’t be wrong to put a pause or take a break for a season or a period of six months to re-access.

Anirudh Ravichandran from Tamil Cinema is also pushing the envelope with viral hits that are becoming world-wide sensations due to increased visibility.

If one ignores “constructive criticism” as negativity and only take “praises from blind fans” in the name of positivity then all we can do is hope that one succeeds against all odds, which seems highly unlikely but not unattainable.

Still, we would like to clarify one important thing, all this compartive analysis is being done with good intentions and love towards the artist, artform and craft, only.


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