Sai Dharam Tej is the fifth hero from Mega Family in Telugu after Naga Babu, Pawan Kalyan, Allu Arjun, and Ram Charan. He is the son of Megastar Chiranjeevi’s sister Vijaya Durga.
Sai Dharam Tej Filmography (Movies List) & BoxOffice Analysis
The debut of Sai Dharam Tej has been an exciting journey in itself. The first film that Sai Dharam Tej signed to debut is Rey. YVS Chowdhary of Yuvaraju, Seetharamaraju, Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo, Seetayya etc. fame produces and directs the project. It got launched with good publicity for Dussera 2010.
Unfortunately, Rey turned out to be a production hell due to various reasons. The project was an on and off deal with long gaps between the shoot. Considering the ambiguity over the release, Sai Dharam Tej took up a new project with AS Ravikumar Chowdhary.
Sai Dharam Tej’s bad luck continued as actor Srihari’s unfortunate demise occurred during Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham. His portions were later reshot by taking Jagapathi Babu in his place.
These unexpected events were a blessing in disguise as Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham proved to be the right debut. It turned out to be average at the box office, but Sai Dharam Tej impressed the audience. His place got secured among the legion of stars in Telugu cinema.
Following the success of Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham, Sai Dharam Tej teamed up with Harish Shankar for his next. Meanwhile, the long delayed Rey made it to the theatres cashing in on Sai Dharam Tej’s newfound fame.
Subramanyam For Sale came with the best hype in Sai Dharam Tej’s career up until that point. It didn’t meet the expectations and ended its run as an average fare. However, the ease and mass presentation of Sai Dharam Tej won him appreciation.
Sai Dharam Tej quickly rose to the ‘mass’ star category in the second league of heroes after his first three films. At that point, he is the only young and upcoming hero, with a traditional mass appeal something that is seen with a star like Ravi Teja.
The expectations were proven right with Supreme helmed by the then-upcoming one film-old director Anil Ravipudi. The movie got a career-best opening for Sai Dharam Tej and became his highest grosser. Supreme’s huge success sealed SDT the moniker Supreme Hero.
Another delayed film followed Supreme. It is Thikka. This film came unannounced all of a sudden and then disappeared as quickly. After Rey, it is another disaster for Sai Dharam Tej and the first one after becoming ‘Supreme Hero’.
Winner is the first peak of Sai Dharam Tej. The Gopichand Malineni directorial presented Sai Dharam Tej as per the audience’s expectations. It’s opening highlighted the ‘Supreme Hero’ tag. It is the biggest opening among tier two heroes at that time by a distance. It didn’t get the desired word of mouth, and the movie fell apart after the weekend.
A spate of disasters came after Winner. Each subsequent film Nakshatram (is a supporting role). Jawaan, Inttelligent and Tej I Love You, is a new low for Sai Dharam Tej. The years 2017 and 2018 are the worst in recent memories for any star and brought Supreme Hero to the ground.
The lack of clarity with subjects proved to be a significant disaster step. Sai Dharam Tej got carried away by the ‘mass’ image of ‘Supreme Hero’. His effort to correct the mistake with different choices was right, but the content was weak.
After a brief introspection and some weight loss, Sai Dharam Tej finally bounced back with Chitralahari that hit cinemas in 2018. It gave the necessary makeover and change and put an end to the disastrous run. But, the damage was done as Sai Dharam Tej lost the opening pull.
The openings were bettered with Prathi Roju Pandaage, albeit marginally. The Maruthi directorial coasted along nicely take the top spot as the highest grosser in Sai Dharam Tej’s career.
There is visible growth in confidence in the subject selection, and it is confirmed when Sai Dharam Tej announced Solo Brathuke So Better with a new director Subbu. Even during the corona recovery times, its fabulous openings prove that Sai Dharam Tej is slowly winning the trust of the audience back. It is a hat-trick success for him.
Sai Dharam Tej’s forthcoming projects are with Deva Katta and an untitled project with another debutant Karthik Dandu. The former is a political drama, whereas the latter is a mystical thriller. The choices suggest lesson learnt and more importance given to content rather than combinations or names.
Will these new choices and refined acts and presentation of Sai Dharam Tej lead to the second peak? Let us wait and see.