'Radhe Shyam', 'Adipurush' and 'Salaar': Decoding Prabhas' strategy to consolidate his standing in 2022 – Deccan Herald

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Actor Prabhas, the face of the Baahubali franchise, had a relatively quiet 2021 as his eagerly-awaited movie Radhe Shyam failed to keep its date with the audience due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He, however, remained in the limelight as he signed quite a few high-profile movies. Based on what we know about his upcoming projects, here is a look at his likely strategy to consolidate his standing in 2022.
Also read | No change in ‘Radhe Shyam’ release date despite increase in Covid-19 cases
Mixing it up
Prabhas garnered attention with his work in the 2010 release Darling, which featured him in the role of a heartthrob. The film revolved around the love story of two childhood friends and catered to a family audience. The actor, who played a ‘massy’ role in his last release Saaho, is set to turn lover boy again with Radhe Shyam, a grand love story about the ‘flirtationship’ between the protagonist and his ‘Juliet’.
Post Radhe Shyam, he will play a larger-than-life character in Adipurush, an adaptation of the Ramayana. He will subsequently be turning action hero in Salar, a actioner about the life of a ‘violent man’. He also has the fantasy drama Project K and Spirit in his kitty. He clearly is open to experimenting with his reel image by doing films that belong to different genres.
Ready to back ‘Gen Y’ filmmakers
Prabhas surprised fans when teamed up with one-film-old Sujeeth for Saaho even before Baahubali 2, directed by ace filmmaker S S Rajamouli, hit the screens. The gamble paid off as the film did well in the Hindi belt. He is set to repeat the formula as his upcoming films Radhe Shyam and Project K are directed by relative newcomers Radha Krisha Kumar and Nag Ashwin, respectively, Adipurush (Om Raut), Salaar (Prashanth Neel) and Spirit (Sandeep Vanga) too will be helmed by younger filmmakers.
Established actors  leading ladies
Saaho managed to create a great deal of buzz among fans as it featured Bollywood A-lister Shraddha Kapoor as the leading lady opposite the mass hero, Prabhas, who enjoys a strong fan following in Hindi,  is set to use the same formula to help Project K reach a wider audience. Nag Ashwin’s magnum opus features Deepika Padukone, the star of blockbusters such as Bajirao Mastaani and Padmaavat, as the female protagonist.  
Salaar and Adipurush as no exceptions on this front as they star established actors Shruti Haasan and Kriti Sanon, respectively as the leading ladies. While Pooja Hegde–who plays Prabhas’ ‘Juliet’ in Radhe Shyam— isn’t considered to be a big draw in Bollywood, she enjoys a strong fan following in Telugu cinema.
Pan-India is the name of the game
The Baahubali franchise established the Mr Perfect hero as a pan-India star. He consolidated this image with he starred in Saaho, which was released in four languages– Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. He is set to do justice to the ‘pan-India’ tag with Adipurush as the mythological saga will be shot on a budget of around Rs 300 crore and deal with the ‘victory of good over evil’, a universal theme. Salaar with its action sequences and Radhe Shyam with his romantic setting too are likely to appeal to fans industries. The same might apply to Project K and Spirit if their content packs a punch.
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