It’s Prakash Raj’s birthday! What a nice man he is. Seems generally hard working, respectful, and decent. Produced out of his own pocket a movie about AIDs, speaks up and says the politically unpopular thing, and everyone likes him and wants to work with him.
Prakash Raj started in Tamil cinema as a young well-trained talented actor with slightly unusual looks. He did a good job in his first few roles and became a regular hire pretty quickly. Within 10 years of his first role, he was dominating all three major southern industries (Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu) alternating between the main Father role and the main Villain role in movies. Really it’s the same thing, it’s the older male lead part, father in a romance and villain in an action film. Once his action films started being remade in Hindi, Prakash came along to Hindi film too playing the same villains he played in the southern originals (no fathers that I can think of though, I guess Hindi already has enough father actors).
Over the course of his very very busy and very very long career he has made easily over a hundred movies. I have only seen a small number of them, but pretty much everything I have seen, I have enjoyed. On the occasion of his birthday, here is a list a variety of Prakash Raj movies with descriptions. Pick one and watch it today, to celebrate!
Prakash’s first movie. Directed by K. Balachander, the genius of Tamil cinema, in the autumn of his career. And music by AR Rahman. Prakash plays a selfish movie actor who briefly becomes involved in a Cyrano style love triangle between a chubby saxophone player and a his more handsome brother. A small part, but a good one, and a chance to work with a really talented director.
3 years later, Prakash was getting really juicy main roles. In this film, he plays the intense poetic political best friend of Mohanlal’s sweet young aspiring movie actor. As the years go by, Prakash and Mohanlal turn from friends to political rivals, each have their own marriages and affairs, and watch the sweep of Tamil history go by. The film is a thinly veiled story of the friendship turned political rivalry between MGR and M. Karunanidhi.
Minsara Kanuvu (1997)
The humorous villain role! Prakash plays the wealthy suitor of our heroine Kajol who constantly interferes with the plans of her two suitors, Prabhudeva and Arvind Swamy.
Kannathil Muthamittal (2002)
A small part, really below Prakash’s level at this point in his career, but a great role and a favor for his old friend director Mani Ratnam. He plays the local host in Sri Lanka to the visiting family of Madhavana, Simran, and their daughter.
Now this is a classic Prakash Raj role and performance! The older lustful gangster who terrorizes our innocent young heroine Bhoomika Chawla, until she is rescued by freshfaced and decent young Mahesh Babu.
Allu Arjun’s first movie! Which started a nice relationship between Allu Arjun and Prakash, you will see them together later in this list too. Of course onscreen they were enemies, Prakash being the heroine’s proud father and Allu Arjun being her humble servant suitor.
Prabhas movie! Once again, Prakash plays the heroine’s evil father. This time he is greedy, wanting her to work and make money for him instead of marrying Prabhas.
Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (2005)
Change of pace, Prakash is the HERO’s father! Also, this is a classic light young love story, Trisha and Southern Sid meet at a wedding, but Southern Sid’s super wealthy father Prakash does not approve of Trisha’s humble farming background. What will happen?????
Prakash has a smaller role in this movie, but it must have been fun for him to play a police officer for once instead of a father or villain. Our hero (Mahesh Babu again) is an assassin escaping the city who ends up being mistaken for the longlost son of a landed family. Prakash is the police officer chasing him.
This movie is so awesome! And Prakash is awesome in it as a disturbing unpredictable and weirdly sexual gangster. The hero has to cross all lines in order to bring Prakash down, but Prakash is so icky that we forgive him. Also, Prakash was so great in this role, they had to bring him up to Bombay to reprise it in one of his first big Hindi parts in the remake Wanted.
Another super cute young love story with Sid M. I actually like it better than the more famous Nuvvostanante. This time, Prakash is the hero’s father who always thinks he knows best and has a hard time accepting when Sid M. finds his own girlfriend, Trisha, instead of the girl Prakash picked out for him.
Abhiyum Naanum (2008)
Such a cute film, SUCH A CUTE FILM!!!! It’s a remix of Father of the Bride, but with more background. Prakash is the doting father of Trisha, until she brings home a weird guy from college to be her husband. Prakash is over-whelmed with relatives and people for the wedding, misses his daughter, just generally distraught in a humorous way. Oh, and the whole thing is set up with a framing device of Prakash meeting young father Prithviraj at a park with his tiny daughter and telling him this story. Also, it’s set in a gorgeous hill station small town. Really, watch it!
Mr. Perfect (2011)
Cute cute Prabhas film! Prabhas is an ambitious up and coming video game designer in Australia, comes home to find his father Prakash trying to force him to get engaged to the neighbor girl Kajal Aggarwal. The two young people bicker, then fall in love, but how will this work if she loves her small Indian town and his dreams are in Australia?
Another southern action remake, another reprise of a Prakash villain role! This time he is a powerful gangster who is protective of his dignity and thinks he is untouchable. Until humble village cop Ajay Devgan brings him down.
Okay, who knows the movie Good Bye Lenin? This is the Telugu remake of that, kind of! Mahesh Babu plays the tough cop hero going after his nemesis, the gangster who harmed his innocent noble father Prakash Raj. But then Prakash wakes up from his many year coma, and Mahesh has to pretend it is still the 90s, he is a noble government officer, and so on and so forth. While still trying to solve his case. It involves people thinking they are in a reality TV show, other folks being threatened to act correctly, and just generally a tissue of lies with the tough cop storyline still going on in the background.
Un Samayal Arayil (2014)
I haven’t seen this movie, but I’ve seen the Malayalam original and it is a perfect Prakash Raj role. Grumpy middle aged man gets a new cell phone and accidentally calls grumpy middle aged woman, they end up bonding through sharing recipes over the phone, but then are embarrassed to meet in person and so send their younger relatives to the face to face meeting. Younger relatives fall in love with each other, complications ensue, it’s all very light and happy and funny.
Tiger Shroff’s first movie! Prakash Raj, once again, plays the heroine’s mean father. Tiger is the young man accidentally caught up in their village issues, and also coincidentally falling in love with the heroine.
S/O Satyamurthy (2015)
Prakash reunited with Allu Arjun! For an extended cameo only, but one that sets the tone for the film. Prakash is the saintly wise father of Allu Arjun who dies suddenly, leaving Allu Arjun with big shoes to fill (thus the title, “Son Of Satyamurthy”).
O Kadhal Kanmani (2015)
Prakash and Mani Ratnam again, of course he is brilliant and has a fantastic part. He plays the grumpy but kind landlord to the young couple Nithya Menon and Dulquer, whose loving care for his wife with alzheimers teaches the young folks what love really is.
Golmaal Again (2017)
Silly silly movie. 4 conman return to save the orphanage where they grew up, Prakash Raj is the evil developer who wants to tear it down, also there is a ghost. Everyone has fun.
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018)
Most recent Prakash Raj-Mani Ratnam collaboration! This time he plays a father, but a different kind of father, more of a wise wealthy gang leader/unappreciative demanding father type. It’s a gangster saga, big and epic and deep with a ton of characters, if that is your kind of thing you should check it out.
These movies are all scattered through various streaming services, or einthusan in a pinch, if one of them catches your eye, now is a good time to watch it! And sing a little “happy birthday” under your breach when you see Prakash onscreen.