Megastar Project 1/152. (I really shouldn’t start this huge projects until I’ve finished the Superstar Project. But the Megastar Project is definitely going to happen someday so I can as well start right away.)

mrugaraju-poster WPIMDbLB

Mrugaraju is a 2001 Telugu film directed by Gunasekhar (who is also known from Varudu and Rudhramadevi) and starring Megastar Chiranjeevi as “tribal tiger,” the lion hunter Raju. The film is set in some kind of interesting hybrid of Africa and India. It is apparently based on an American adventure film The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) that is based on a true story about lion attacks in Kenya during the construction work of a railway bridge over the Tsavo River in 1898.

Simran plays the heroine, engineer Aishwarya who tries to finish the construction of a railway bridge which is located close to Raju’s tribe. The supporting cast includes Chiranjeevi’s brother Nagendra Babu and Prakash Raj who plays the tribal leader and Raju’s father. Brahmanandam and M. S. Narayana are in small and somewhat unnecessary comedy roles.


The story is simple: A lion is frequently killing bridge construction workers and Raju from a local tribe is needed to hunt it down. In the first half, there are also evil forest officers but they don’t have that much to do with the main story as they are defeated as early as in the interval fight scene (Chiranjeevi’s boomerang blade is also worth mentioning), and the real antagonist is the lion. The storytelling follows the usual format that there is a dramatic revelation just before the intermission which is then explained in a long flashback in the second half. The rest of the story is all about killing the lion and clarifying the misunderstandings that happened in the flashback.

Mani Sharma’s songs are mostly average and unmemorable with the exception of the chai song in which Raju explains the pleasures of tea drinking to Aishwarya’s bridegroom.

The film’s background music also has a recurring melody that I think is totally copied from the castle defense fanfare of the 1999 video game Heroes of Might and Magic III.

There are some stupid moments, for example in the falling-from-the-bridge scene, and the lion scenes aren’t very convincing either, but overall the movie is surprisingly entertaining and definitely worth watching!

Mrugaraju on YouTube The movie with English subtitles has been uploaded to YouTube by iDream Movies.


I’ve very much wanted to see Chiranjeevi’s 1993 film Mutha Mestri after I saw the fabulous video of “We Are Flowers” song. According to a research done by Cinema Chaat, the song is included only in the EVP version and the DVD by Moser Baer doesn’t have it. The EVP DVD has been somewhat difficult to track down but some time ago I noticed that it is included in EVP’s 12 DVD Tri Star Superhits Pack that Bhavani DVD sells for $47.99. The box has twelve oldish Telugu movies by “Tri Star” which means the three big stars of Telugu cinema: Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh, and Nagarjuna.

The product’s description page at Bhavani doesn’t have very detailed information about the pack so I thought that I could make a simple list and take a few photographs of the contents of the pack in case that someone is considering whether to buy it or not.

The pack includes the EVP versions of the following DVDs:

  1. Chiranjeevi: Mutha Mestri (1993, 158 min) – English subtitles
  2. Chiranjeevi: Alluda Majaka (1995, 166 min) – English subtitles
  3. Chiranjeevi: Big Boss (1995, 153 min) – English subtitles
  4. Chiranjeevi: Mogudu Kaavaali (1980, 125 min)
  5. Nagarjuna: Allari Alludu (1993, 165 min)
  6. Venkatesh: Sankranthi (2005, 160 min)
  7. Nagarjuna: Rakshana (1993, 150 min)
  8. Nagarjuna: Shiva (1989, 145 min)
  9. Venkatesh: Nirnayam (1991, 164 min) – English subtitles
  10. Chiranjeevi: Kothala Rayudu (1979, 127 min)
  11. Venkatesh: Shatruvu (1990, 140 min)
  12. Venkatesh: Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu (1996, 153 min)

Four of the 12 DVDs, including Mutha Mestri, come with English subtitles. Unfortunately the songs in Mutha Mestri aren’t subtitled but it’s of course more important to have subtitles in the actual dialogue. (I haven’t checked the song subs of the other movies.) I knew that not all of them would come with subtitles but it’s a pity that Shiva isn’t subbed, as Shiva DVD by Shalimar has the subs. Four of 12 isn’t a very good subtitle ratio but I think it was worth it for Mutha Mestri. The pack also includes Alluda Majaka which is YouTube-famous for a miraculous tractor fight and horse-sliding under a truck.

The case that contains the 12 DVDs is about the size of two regular DVD cases. It would solve all my storing space problems if all movies were packed like this.

The inside and the outside of the case.

The inside of the case with and without the discs. I hadn’t seen a DVD case mechanism like this before.

The diversity of different print styles on the discs is interesting…