Naveen Babu Ghanta, popularly known by his stage name Nani, is one of the most sought-after actors in the South Indian film industry. He has starred in several critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies, winning accolades for his natural acting style and versatility. From romantic comedies to intense dramas, Nani has played a wide range of roles in his career, showcasing his acting prowess and leaving audiences captivated. Top 10s Only brings you the Top 10 Best Movies Of Nani that have cemented his position as a talented actor in the South Indian film industry. These movies are a must-watch for all movie lovers who appreciate quality cinema.
The Ultimate Nani Movie List For South Indian Film Fans
Naveen Babu Ghanta, aka Nani, is known for his natural acting abilities. He was born on February 24, 1984, in Hyderabad, India. He has starred in over 28 movies and has already received four SIIMA Awards, two Nandi Awards, and two Filmfare Awards South. He worked as a radio jockey before entering the film industry. His film career began with him working as an assistant director. He ultimately caught the attention of director Bala, who chose him to play the major role in his movie Ashta Chamma in 2008. After this, there was no turning back, and Nani became well-known in the Telugu film industry.
Critics note his acting style as being ‘completely natural’, and he is often thought to be ‘living the role’. He has a knack for presenting fun lover-boy roles as well as serious mature roles. Nani’s Top 10 hit films list feels incomplete without mentioning one of his most popular films – ‘Eega’. Despite his brief appearance in the film, he received widespread acclaim for his performance in it. In the few scenes where he appeared, he was noted to be sizzling as the lover boy. Nani became a producer for the movie ‘D for Dopidi’ in 2013 and also lent his voice to the movie. Subsequently, he started his own production house, Wall Poster Cinema. In 2018, he made his television debut by hosting Bigg Boss 2. Nani’s acting talent is destined to take him to even greater heights in his career.
List Of The Top 10 Movies of South Indian Actor Nani
1. Ala Modalaindi (2011)
B. V. Nandini Reddy wrote and directed the 2011 romantic comedy Ala Modalaindi for the Sri Ranjith Pictures label. It stars Nani, Sneha Ullal, and Nithya Menen, along with Ashish Vidyarthi, Rohini, etc., in pivotal roles. One of Nani’s blockbuster movies, the movie premiered to positive reviews from reviewers and was a financial success.
In the movie, Nani plays the role of the lover boy Gautam who is travelling to a wedding venue to stop the wedding of the woman he is in love with. Unfortunately, he ends up being kidnapped by John (Ashish Vidyarthi). The kidnapper asks him to narrate his story, and he relates the series of hilarious events that led him to meet Nithya (portrayed by Nithya Menen) and the several misunderstandings that stop them from declaring their love for each other. The kidnapper then ends up helping him unite with his lover. This hilarious rom-com is filled to the brim with numerous twists and turns, and the audience found Nani’s performance in it to be immensely entertaining.
The chemistry between Nani and Nithya Menen is sweet and worth watching. Nani keeps true to his boy-next-door image in this movie, and you can’t help but fall in love with him. He is shown in several versions throughout the movie, and he does it with ease. He uses his voice to great advantage, effectively.
2. Pilla Zamindar (2011)
If you’re looking for a nice feel-good movie to watch this weekend, try this film from South Indian actor Nani’s blockbuster movie list! G. Ashok wrote and directed the comedic drama movie Pilla Zamindar in 2011. It mainly stars Nani and Haripriya. This hilarious laugh riot has some of the best comedians from Tollywood – M. S. Narayana, Vennela Kishore, Dhanraj, and so on.
The story revolves around Praveen “PJ” (Nani), a conceited and pampered young man who is due to inherit his grandfather’s wealth but must first fulfil three conditions that are laid down in his grandfather’s will. Unbeknownst to him, the aim of this is to transform him into a responsible and competent person who understands that people are more valuable than money.
One of Nani’s movies that you should not miss, the movie did extremely well at the box office. Nani has a talent for making the characters he plays immensely likeable. The character of a spoiled child growing up to be a responsible young person is not unusual in Indian cinema. But via his impressive portrayal, Nani ensures that this particular character is unique and memorable. He makes sure he brings life to such characters.
3. Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu (2012)
South Indian actor Nani’s most popular film, Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu, is sure to captivate you with its beautiful storyline, exceptional performances, and soulful music. This musical romance movie was co-written, co-produced, and directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon. Nani & Samantha Ruth Prabhu are the lead stars of the movie. The movie was well received by the audience. The movie is packed with dramatic sequences and dialogues that showcase one of Nani’s best performances in South Indian cinema.
Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu chronicles the romantic journey of Varun (Nani) and Nithya (Samantha) from their school days to adulthood as they experience the highs and lows of their relationship. They repeatedly fall in love and split up over little things. However, with each encounter, they constantly give themselves another opportunity since they are so much in love with one another. The film explores their relationship at each stage of their lives and how it affects them. The climax of the movie focuses on the decision they make regarding their relationship.
It’s no surprise that Nani won the Nandi Award for Best Actor, thanks to this film. Nani’s performance is very realistic and convincing in the movie. He goes from being a schoolboy to being a college guy to being a working adult with ease. His chemistry with Samantha was also remarkable and added to the overall impact of the film. When he plays the emotional scenes, you too can feel it in your heart.
4. Bhale Bhale Magadivoy (2015)
Bhale Bhale Magadivoy is one of South Indian superstar Nani’s top 10 films, earning him the Critics Award for Best Actor in the 63rd Filmfare Awards South Awards ceremony. An award that he richly deserved! Ace director Maruthi directed this romantic comedy film that had audiences in splits with all the hilarious scenes, especially those with Nani in focus. This mass entertainer has Nani and Lavanya Tripathi in the main roles. The movie was a box office success, earning favourable reviews from critics.
The story centres on Lucky (Nani), an easily distracted botanist, and his attempts to conceal his memory problems from Nandana (Lavanya), a kind Kuchipudi dancer. The film is a laugh riot, and Nani’s portrayal of the absent-minded scientist is spot on! Filled with situational comedy scenes, Bhale Bhale Magadivoy is one of the best Nani movies of all time!
The film is held together by Nani’s antics from the very first frame. Nani once more demonstrates his immense talent and succeeds in creating a memorable and entertaining performance that carries the film forward. These kinds of movies are Nani’s specialty. In addition to creating excellent comedy, Nani makes you feel for his character. This is one of Nani’s career-defining movies that created a “U” turn in his stardom, elevating him into the elite group of performers.
5. Gentleman (2016)
The film Gentleman is one of Nani’s top 10 movies that showcase his acting prowess. A Sivalenka Krishna Prasad production, the screenplay was written by R. David Nathan. Directed by Mohan Krishna Indraganti, this film features Nani in dual roles alongside Surbhi and Nivetha Thomas.
The movie tells the tale of two women, Aishwarya and Catherine (portrayed by Surbhi and Nivetha Thomas, respectively), whose lovers, Jayaram and Gautham (Nani in a dual role), look identical. When Gautham perishes in an accident, Catherine suspects Jayaram’s involvement and surveils him, learning more about Jayaram and those around him, including Gautham. The film moves at a brisk pace and keeps the audience engaged with its twists and turns until the very end.
This thriller film contains several action-packed scenes that highlight the immense acting potential of Nani. Nani deserves praise for choosing such a different project rather than sticking with secure commercial comedies. Nani needed to maintain his cool throughout the entire part to keep the audience guessing until the very end. This movie amply demonstrates his acting prowess. This is one of Nani’s movies that proves his versatility.
6. Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha (2016)
Rom coms dominate the list of actor Nani’s best movies, and Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha, directed by Hanu Raghavapudi, is no exception to this! This film stars Mehreen Pirzada and Nani in the key roles, while actors Harish Uthaman, Murali Sharma, etc., play important roles in the film.
The story is of a simple youth Krishna (played by Nani) who is suddenly entrusted with the dangerous task of saving three kids from some political goons. The successful completion of this task will ensure he gets his lady love’s hand in marriage. There are plenty of comedy scenes in the film that give Nani the chance to show off his comedic skills.
Nani does a fantastic job portraying the young coward Krishna. He gives an honest performance and carries the entire movie on his shoulders. Nani is excellent at pulling off his naive act in key scenes and has great comic timing. This is definitely the best of Nani’s top 10 movies to watch.
7. Middle Class Abbayi (2017)
Action comedy Middle Class Abbayi was jointly directed by Venu Sriram and Hrishikesh Bhargava. Nani, Bhumika Chawla, Sai Pallavi and Vijay Varma all play pivotal roles in the movie. This movie is one of the most popular top 10 Nani’s box office hits in the south.
The movie is a bit unique in the fact that the lead couple, Nani and Sai Pallavi, retain their own names in the film. Thus, Nani takes on the role of a carefree young man named Nani, who lives with his sister-in-law, Jyothi (Bhumika). He has a carefree life with his girlfriend, Pallavi (Sai Pallavi), but all that abruptly changes when his sister-in-law, a government employee, runs into issues with a feared criminal. The rest of the narrative describes how a regular guy like Nani takes on the dreaded thug and manages to save his sister-in-law.
Nani’s performance in MCA was widely appreciated by audiences and critics, and the film is considered one of his most successful films.
8. Jersey (2019)
Jersey is one of Nani’s top 10 movies that will leave you spellbound, as it is packed with euphoric sports sequences that will have you sitting right at the edge of your seat! This sports drama explores the true depth of a sports player’s dedication, with the resonating theme being “it’s never too late to dream.” Jersey, directed by Gowtam Tinnanuri and produced by Suryadevara Naga Vamsi under the Sithara Entertainment banner, also starred Shraddha Srinath, Sathyaraj, and others. The film was a huge commercial success and received several awards and nominations, including multiple wins at the 67th National Film Awards.
Jersey is a film that truly showcases actor Nani’s versatility as an actor. He played the lead role of Arjun, a talented cricketer who gave up his dream of playing for the Indian cricket team due to personal reasons. However, he decides to make a comeback at the age of 36, hoping to prove to himself and the world that it’s never too late to follow one’s dreams. The film features some intense and well-executed cricket sequences that added to the film’s overall appeal.
This is one of Nani’s critically acclaimed films in South Indian cinema that you shouldn’t miss. Nani’s performance in Jersey was widely praised by audiences and critics alike. He portrayed the emotions and struggles of his character with great depth and sincerity. For his outstanding performance in this movie, he was awarded the Critics’ Choice Film Award (Best Actor), the South Indian International Movie Award (Critic’s Choice of Best Actor) and the Zee Cine Award (Favourite Actor).
9. Nani’s Gang Leader (2019)
Vikram Kumar wrote and directed the action comedy movie titled Nani’s Gang Leader in 2019. The movie, which was made by Mythri Cinema Makers, has Nani, Saranya Ponvannan, Priyanka Arul Mohan, Shriya Reddy, Kartikeya, Lakshmi, and Praanya P. Rao starring in it. The reviews from critics were generally favourable, especially with regard to the unique storyline.
Gang Leader is an entertaining movie that showcases Nani’s versatility as an actor. In the film, Nani plays the role of Pencil, a crime fiction writer who plagiarises foreign films and uses the stories in his novels. He is approached by five women who seek vengeance against the man they believe murdered their loved ones during a robbery. The plot follows this “gang” of vigilantes as they plan and implement their revenge.
The film’s humour and seriousness are expertly balanced by Nani, which led to the film being a huge commercial success at the box office. He has absorbed the seriousness of the role very well and acted it out thoroughly. Many believe that this film is one of Nani’s movies that redefined the South Indian film industry, as it had a unique storyline supported by the exceptional acting skills of all on board.
10. Shyam Singha Roy (2021)
Shyam Singha Roy is rightly deemed as one of the top 10 highest-grossing Nani movies of all time. Rahul Sankrityan is the director of the supernatural period romantic drama movie Shyam Singha Roy from 2021. It is centred on the idea of reincarnation and is partially set in Kolkata in the 1970s. Along with Sai Pallavi, Madonna Sebastian, and Krithi Shetty, is Nani, who plays dual roles in the movie. At the box office, the movie became a hit. Nani won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for this movie. This is one of Nani’s award-winning movies in South India you simply cannot miss.
In the story, Vasu (Nani), a short-film maker, keeps seeing memories that are not his. Upon diving deep into these memories, he understands he is the reincarnation of Shyam Singha Roy, a famous Bengali writer from the 1970s. The quest to find why he keeps getting these memory flashes form the crux of the story.
The performance by Nani in Shyam Singha Roy is undoubtedly his best to date. He is excellent and appears in two different avatars. His chemistry with Sai Pallavi was celebrated for many days. Nani primarily does Shyam Singha Roy’s character justice. Everything about him is excellent, including his body language, dialogue delivery, and command demonstration.
Nani has still got a long way ahead of him and great heights to reach. In his career span of 13 years, his movies and fan power are proof that he’s got it in him to make it even bigger. His natural acting ability and knack for adapting to mature roles are a boon. We hope you enjoyed reading through the top 10 must-watch Nani movies of South India, as much as we loved writing them. Enjoy!
Looking for more great movies to watch? Check out this article that lists the Top 10 Award-Winning Movies of Telugu SuperStar Chiranjeevi!
If you’re a fan of Tamil films, check out our Top 10 Tamil Comedy Movies of Dhanush article!
Frequently Asked Questions About South Indian Actor Nani
1. What is the full name of Nani?
Nani’s full name is Naveen Babu Ghanta. He was given the nickname “Nani” when he entered the movie industry.
2. How many movies has Nani acted in?
He has acted in over 28 movies to date. The long line of successful films is testament to this young actor’s immense acting potential. Take a look at the top 10 films of Nani listed on this page to know more.
3. Why is Nani called a ‘Natural Star’?
Nani can fit into any role given to him with utmost ease. He makes it look lifelike without any difficulty. This talent brought him the name “Natural Star.”
4. Why is Nani famous?
The actor has contributed significantly to Telugu cinema’s commercial success during his 13-year career span. In various blockbusters, including “Bhale Bhale Magadivoy,” “Eega,” “Gentleman,” and “Jersey,” Nani has played the lead. His supporters often call him the “Natural Star,” with affection.
5. Where was Nani born?
Nani was born on 24th February 1984 in Hyderabad. Before receiving his Wesley Graduate degree, he completed his secondary education at St. Alphonsa’s High School and his intermediate studies at Narayana Junior College in S. R. Nagar.