Kannada cinema: 2010 onwards

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Information regarding the previous decades is awaited




'Best films'


The five best films of 2010 according to Rediff

1 Jackie

Cast: Puneet Rajkumar, Bhavana, Rangayana Raghu, Ravi Kale, Harshika Poonacha

Director: Suri

A social message on human trafficking combined with entertaining action sequences and chart topping music is what Jackie is all about. With famed director Suri and numero uno hero Puneet Rajkumar coming together for the first time, expectations were high. Luckily for their fans, the duo didn't disappoint.

Jackie was lapped up by the audience for its fights and songs. Puneet's explosive action sequences by action directors Ravi Verma and Different Danny was the highlight of the film.

Harikrishna, who composed the music deserves no less credit. Yograj Bhat's lyrics added to the popularity of the songs.

Jackie was a movie for the classes and the masses.

2 Aptharakshaka

Cast: Vishnuvardhan, Komal, Avinash, Lakshmi Gopalswamy, Vimala Raman, Sandhya

Director: P Vasu

Aptharakshaka was a perfect last film from late actor Vishnuvardhan. The actor's last and 200th film was a combination of original and gripping storyline, powerful performances, narration technique and high end graphics.

The film is a sequel to Apthamitra which starred Soundarya, who passed away following the film's release. While Soundarya's absence was felt, Vimala Raman as Nagavalli created a niche for herself. Komal too held his own and his comic timing in the film can be rated as his best this year. Lakshmi Gopalswamy was also aptly cast in the role of a dancer. Vishnu's different getups and varied performances were also worth commending. Music by Gurukiran was however better in Apthamitra.

Aptharakshaka was a perfect goodbye present for Vishnu's fans.

3 Super

Cast: Upendra, Nayanthara, Tulip Joshi

Director: Upendra

Karnataka in 2030 that was the subject matter of superstar Upendra's directorial comeback. After delivering blockbuster directorials like Tharle Nan Maga, Shh..,Om, A, the actor-director had a lot at stake when he chose to go with a futuristic film without a title (his fans named it Super).

Upendra's looks and fast racing cars gave the film that added edge. Nayanthara, who made her Kannada film debut was the perfect fit in this stylishly shot film.

Two songs -- Kai Kai Uppinakai and Sikappate Ishatapatte -- composed by Harikrishna rocked. The film had all the necessary ingredients to make the film really Super!

4 Pancharangi

Cast: Diganth, Nidhi Subbiaha

Director:Yograj Bhatt

After Manasaare, star director Yograj Bhat and his blue eyed boy, Diganth got together for Pancharangi. Education, love, profession, marriage, family... Bhat tackled these serious issues in a fun and non-preachy way in the film.

Like Bhatt's previous directorials, Pancharangi is a tale about life and its various facets. Diganth plays Bharath, a student passionate about his language and land.

Diganth and Nidhi scored well in the acting department and so did Ninasam Satish and Ramya Barna.

Bhatt's beachy locales and breezy numbers were a hit with the audience. Lifeu ishtene in fact walks away with this year's youth anthem tag.

Pancharangi added colour to the Kannada industry that was on the verge of hitting a dark patch.

5 Krishnan Love Story

Cast: Ajay Rao, Radhika Pandit

Director: Shashank

At a time of 'happily ever after' love stories, Krishnan Love Story came as a reality check. The film that was partly based on a real incident touched a raw nerve. It brought out the 'head versus heart' dilemma most girls face while choosing their 'Mr Right.'

The film starred Shashank's muse Radhika Pandit who gave yet another stellar performance. This love story also gave Ajay Rao his much needed break. Comedian Sharan acted well too.

Jayanth Kaikini's lyrics and Shreedhar's music complemented each other. Camera by Chandrashekar was good especially in the climax scene.


The hits

2011: Success rate of Kannada films increased


Dec 29, 2011


The biggies Darshan's 'Saarathi' and Punith Rajkumar starrers 'Hudugaru' and 'Paramathma' set the cash registers ringing. The success of medium budget films also took the success percentage up to 10 this year from the average of eight to nine in the past few years.

As many as 122 films were released and about 13 did well and the producers recovered their investment through advance sales.


Darshan starrer 'Saarathi', directed by his brother Dinakar Toogudeepa, was the blockbuster of the year. The theatrical collections of the film have already crossed Rs.15 crore mark and trade analysts are expecting it to reach Rs.20 crore by earning revenues from the sales of satellite and audio rights.

Made for Rs.7 crore, the film has broken records of previous Darshan films. 'Saarathi' also marks the debut of K.V. Sathya Prakash as a producer.

"Many industry veterans advised me not to release the film when the film's hero Darshan was in jail. I sought Darshan's advice and he said that the film can be released and I won't be put into a difficult spot. The audiences liked the film. I thank Darshan and his brother Dinakar Toogudeepa for delivering such a good product for me," he said.

Other hits

Saarathi's success was followed by other big grosser like Puneet Rajkumar starrers 'Hudugaru' and Paramathma'; Sudeep's Kempe Gowda' and Only Vishnuvardhana; and Vijay's Johny Mera Naam.

The year was particularly good for Sudeep whose two films received lot of appreciation. On the other and Vijay churned out three damp squibs - 'Kanteerava', 'Jarasandha' and 'Veera Bahu'. Even Ganesh delivered two flops in 'Maduve Mane' and 'Eno Onthara'.

Real Star Upendra, who had a rollicking time last year with blockbuster 'Super', had only one release this year - Srimati, which turned turtle at the ticket window.

Among the heroines it was Ramya who stole the show with two super hits - Johny Mera Naam and Sanju Weds Geetha.

Radhika Pandit delivered one hit in Hudugaru, while debutant Deepa Sannidhi had two hits in Saarathi and Paramathma.

Raagini was appreciated for her performances in Kempe Gowdaand Kalla Malla Sulla.

Ganesh's release Shyloo did well.

Low budget successes

The success percentage was evenly shared between big budget-star-studded movies and medium budget films made with known artists of lesser charismatic appeal.

"Even some non star cast medium and low budget films like 'Bhadra', Sanju Weds Geetha', 90', Kirataka, and Lifeu Ishtene earned profits through revenues from theatrical collections and satellite rights," said Kumar.


The year's biggest disappointment has been Shivaraj Kumar's 100th film Jogayya directed by Prem; Ganesh's directorial venture Kool; Vijay's Jarasandha; Upendra's Srimathi, in which he acted with his wife Priyanka and Bollywood actress Celina Jaitley; Chiranjeevi starrer Dandam Dashagunam; and Yogi's home production Yaksha.

At the same time 'Olave Mandara' ran for 100 days in theatres, but couldn't recover its cost because of the huge production outlay.


The hits


Sandalwood's top ten hits of 2012, in the alphabetical order.


Addhuri saw the debut of Dhruv Sarja, nephew of Arjun Sarja. The film had Radhika Pandith starring opposite him and was a surprise hit. It got a good opening and sustained the audience’s interest for quite long. The film had a successful 50-day run and made good money for both, its producer and distributors. Dhruv Sarja, who shows a lot of energy in action and dancing, seems to have arrived.

Anna Bond:

Directed by Duniya Soori and produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, Anna Bond starring Puneeth, Nidhi Subbaiah and Priyamani, opened to full houses because of Puneeth’s loyal fan following. Despite getting mixed reviews from the press, the film went on to become a commercial success.


Chingari was a typical Darshan film, with liberal doses of action and romance. The film was lapped up by Darshan’s loyal fan circle and he laughed all the way to the bank. It completed a successful 100 day run at the box office. The film’s collection records were broken only by Darshan’s next which was Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna.


Based on the notorious “Dandupalya gang” of robbers and murderers, the film opened to positive critical reviews. Realistic performances by the ensemble star cast of Ravi Kale, Makarand Deshpande and Ravishankar were applauded. Pooja Gandhi went topless for a particular scene and created quite a stir. The film went on to be a commercially successful venture for the producers and Srinivas Raju


After average fares like Paramathma and Pancharangi, director Yograj Bhat came up with Drama, a huge year-end hit. Starring Yash, Radhika Pandith and Neenasam Sathish in the lead, the film hit bulls-eye with the younger audience. Catchy one-liners and peppy music supported by some good acting by Yash and Sathish contributed to making the film a hit. The song, “Thundhaikal saavasa…” is quite a rage amongst the

Govindaya Namaha:

Directed by debutant director Pawan Wodeyar, Govindaya Namaha was successful in bringing the audience to the theaters, all thanks to comedian Komal and his antics. “Pyarge agbittaithe…,” the song with the Urdu slang caught on like wildfire and garnered a huge number of hits on YouTube.


A remake of the Tamil-Telugu hit Kanchana, Kalpana was a money spinner from the Uppi stable. His histrionics as a man possessed by the ghost of a transgender was much appreciated. Dialogue king Sai Kumar also turned in a powerful performance. The film is considered one of the top hits of Sandalwood this year.

Katari Veera Surasundarangi:

Katari Veera Surasundarangi is one of the first Kannada films to be made in 3D. Starring Upendra, Ramya and Ambareesh in the lead, the film opened to packed houses. It is partly a sequel to the hugely successful Uppi film, Rakta Kanneeru. The film ran into trouble with some Kannada groups for its portrayal of great Kannada poets in a bad light. But the film, nevertheless, was hugely

Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna:

Producer Anand Appugol’s magnum opus Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna starring Darshan in the lead, raked in the moolah this year. People were skeptical about Darshan being accepted back after the domestic violence case slapped by his wife. But he proved his detractors wrong and made a strong comeback and that too with Nikitha Thukral. The film supposedly grossed a whopping 20 (CRORE?)


Sharan, brother of actress Shruthi, known for his comic roles, starred in the comedy-thriller Rambo. It was the actor’s 100th film and one of the first in which he had the lead role. Sharan managed to get a thumb up from his audience and the film had a successful stint at the box office.


Professionals in Kannada cinema

Techies and doctors invade silver screen in Karnataka

GS Kumar, TNN | Aug 25, 2013

The Times of India

Sakshi Agarwal

When Sakshi Agarwal, an engineer with an MBA in marketing, joined Infosys in Bangalore as a consultant in 2010, being a movie star was nowhere on the horizon.

An unexpected call from Tejaswi, director of the Kannada movie 'Heddari' (Highway) offering her the lead role in his film took Sakshi — a gold medallist in B-tech in information technology from the Anna University — completely by surprise.

Sakshi, who models, was bowled over by the script. "I liked the story and accepted the offer, though the language was new to me. The role was that of a bubbly girl. I took it as a challenge and have completed the shooting except for a song sequence. I quit the Infosys job in January this year to take up acting and modelling as a fulltime job," she says.

A trend

Sakshi is among the rising list of engineers and doctors who are throwing up safe, 9-5 jobs to don the grease paint and face the arc lights. The Kannada movie industry - known as Sandalwood - is witnessing a rush of hot, young professionals like Nisha Yogeshwar, Kavya Shetty, Akhila Kishore, Prajwal Poovaiah, Dr Bharathi and Dr Nandini who trading programming and white robes for the lustre of silver screen.

Nisha Yogeshwar, daughter of a prominent local politician, who has bagged the lead role in 'Ambareesha,' has statistics & business degree from the University of Illinois. "I was getting offers for the last one year. Though I had the option of picking any field, I chose films as it's creative and helps in image-building. I know there will be ups and downs in every field. I liked the role in Ambareesha, that of the girl next-door. I am serious about my acting career."

Akhila Kishore, a BE in Computer Science from the Global Academy of Technology, Bangalore, wanted to act from a young age. Her first Kannada movie 'Pade Pade,' brought her good reviews. "Now I am acting in two Kannada movies; Kalabhairava and Boys. I know Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music. I also model as I am tall (5' 8"). I am sure about wanting to make it my profession."

Another computer engineer, Kavya Shetty, who is a model and walks the ramp, was selected as a heroine by director Preetham Gubbi for his Kannada movie Nam Duniya Nam Style. Before that she had worked with a software company in Chennai for a couple of months.

"I had camera sense as I had done a lot of commercials as a model. I am acting in a Tamil-Telugu bilingual movie Shivani and another Telugu project which is yet to be named. It is not easy to make a name in the film field. I have taken acting as a full time profession. Hope I will shine in this field," says the young girl.

Praju Poovaiah, a third-year engineering student from Mysore has landed the lead role in the Kannada movie Adarsha. She was selected by producer Anaji Nagaraj after seeing her portolfio . "I am a model for print media. I am not a ramp model . Besides Adarsha, I have two more movies: Love Story and Patharagithi, on hand

Dr V. Bharathi, heroine of Jayammana Maga isn't yet fully committed to the movie career. Says she, "I don't know how it happened (becoming an actress). I am not really inclined towards the glamor path. The film industry is not my destiny. For me time is important. I am studying for IAS examinations also. I will act only during my free time."

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