For anyone who has grown up watching Telugu movies in the 90s, the rise of faction based stories came across as one of the major turning points in terms of having a larger than life experience in cinema halls. It began with Preminchukundam Raa and later, B Gopal took this to a whole new level with films like Samarasimha Reddy and Narasimha Naidu. In 2002, Chiranjeevi finally jumped on to this bandwagon and the result was spectacular to say the least. Upon its release, Indra rewrote several records, but more than the box-office collections, the film is best remembered for its epic moments and several other aspects including the background score, songs, choreography, dialogues and acting. The film released on July 25, 2002 and 11 years later, some of the scenes from the movie are still as epic as ever. Here are five such jaw dropping moments and other magical aspects from the film which gave us goosebumps.
Confrontation with Shaukhat Ali Khan
When Shankar Narayana (Chiranjeevi) comes to know that his nephew is being trashed by Shaukhat Ali Khan, he pleads the latter to punish him instead of his nephew. Shaukhat Ali Khan is angry that Shankar Narayana’s nephew has been writing love letters to his daughter and orders his henchmen to trash Shankar Narayana. When they finally stop, Shankar Narayana turns and says, “Shaukhat Ali Khan…thappu naa vaipu undhi kaabatti thala dhinchukuni velthunna, leka pothe ikkadnunchi thalalu theesukellevaadini (Shaukhat Ali Khan…the mistake is on my side, otherwise I would have chopped off a lot of heads from here).” Soon, Shaukhat Ali Khan realizes his fault and agrees to get his daughter married to Shankar Narayana’s nephew.
Chenna Kesava Reddy is shocked beyond belief 2
Chenna Kesava Reddy (Prakash Raj), the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, is shocked to know that his daughter Pallavi (Sonali Bendre) has been living in Shankar Narayana’s house. He takes a huge battalion of police to Shankar Narayana’s house in Varanasi and when the entire team is ready to fire, Chenna Kesava Reddy is shell shocked when he sees Shankar Narayana coming out of the house. He hints to his subordinates that Shankar Narayana has a glorious past and then describes him as God himself. Just before he is about to reveal the identity of Shankar Narayana, the latter pleads him to keep it a secret.
Snehalatha Reddy makes a dazzling entry 3
Who would have thought that a heroine would make a big impact in a faction based film and that too in a Chiranjeevi’s film? But, Aarthi Agarwal did just that and how! In Indra, she played the role of Snehalatha Reddy, an arrogant and head strong woman who wants to take revenge on Indrasena Reddy for the injustice that he had done to her. The entire sequence just before the film’s interval is a sight to behold. On one hand we have Shankar Narayana and his family busy with the wedding preparations and on the other hand, Snehalatha Reddy makes a dazzling entry and interrupts the whole event. She even manages to make Shankar Narayana tremble for a moment. In the second half of the film, she’s depicted as an NRI who falls in love with Indrasena Reddy and much to the dismay of her family members, she goes to Indrasena Reddy’s house to introduce herself and propose the alliance. The icing on the cake was Mani Sharma’s signature tune when Snehalatha Reddy makes her entry in the first half.
Indrasena Reddy threatens Veera Shankar Reddy 4
One of the best scenes from the film is a result of an ego tussle between Veera Shankar Reddy (Mukesh Rishi) and Indrasena Reddy (Chiranjeevi). After Indrasena Reddy saves Veera Shankar Reddy’s son from an accident, the latter kills his own son because he doesn’t want to be indebted to Indrasena Reddy in any manner. When Indrasena Reddy comes to know about this, he digs a pit right in front of Veera Shankar Reddy’s house, buries the boy’s body and installs a Thulasi plant on top of the grave. Just before leaving the venue, he threatens Veera Shankar Reddy, “Mokke kadha ani peekesthe peeka kostha. (I’ll slit your throat if you remove the plant).” It’s a highly emotional sequence and the punch dialogue in the end takes it to a whole new level altogether. Bravo!
Indrasena Reddy returns to Rayalaseema 5
From the moment Valmiki (Thanikella Bharani) reveals the true identity to Shankar Narayana to the point where Indrasena Reddy returns to Rayalaseema to give a strict warning to Veera Shankar Reddy, the emotional high which this film achieves is beyond words. Chiranjeevi’s look changes completely within a split second, he gets a rousing reception from the crowd when he lands in Rayalseema and then he heads to Snehalatha Reddy’s house. His opening dialogue – “Raanu Anukunnara…Raalenu Anukunnara (Did you think that I wouldn’t come or did you think that I won’t be able to come?)” sets the tone for the entire sequence. Indrasena Reddy even manages to pull a chair in the most spectacular way one can imagine. What followed next in the theatres was nothing short of delirium back in 2002.
While these are five of the most jaw dropping moments from Indra, no list related to the film will be complete without mentioning the famous - ‘Veena’ step 6
Perhaps, this is one of the most popular, imitated and spoofed dance move over the past 11 years and it was even featured in the film’s publicity campaign. Chiranjeevi’s grace, while doing this dance move in Daayi Daayi Daammasong, made this even more famous. Apart from the dance choreography, one of the most talked about aspects of Indra has been its music and background score. Mani Sharma had done a top notch job and several scenes were elevated to a cult status mainly due to the impeccable background score. VSR Swamy’s cinematography and B Gopal’s direction, along with Parachuri Brothers’ dialogues and Chinni Krishna’s storyline, made Indra one of the most memorable movies of the past decade.