'Athadu' was released in 2005 and was a smashing success. In 'Pokiri' (2006), Mahesh played a tight-lipped cop masquerading as a goon to wipe out mafia elements. The film is considered one of the biggest hits in the history of Tollywood. Mahesh, however, couldn't continue this success run with 'Sainikudu' and 'Athidhi'.