The year that was

Yet another year has passed and it’s time, once again, to take a look at the entertainment industry and see which movies have made an impact on the audience and got the box-office ringing. This year was special for artistes and technicians all over because it also marked the 100th year of Indian cinema. The Kannada films took a bit of a dip in number with only 101 films releasing, compared to the 120 last year. But the success rate has been far more this year, with a total of 15 movies doing very well at the box office as well as with the critics.

A scene from Anna Bond.The first blockbuster success was Anna Bond. A straight subject directed by Suri with ‘Power Star’ Puneeth Rajkumar in the lead, the flick saw a good response and set the ball rolling for more good movies like the Darshan-starrer Sarathi, Vijay’s Bheema Theeradali, Upendra’s Katari Veera Surasundarangi and Yash-starrer Drama. Upendra’s movie Katari Veera Surasundarangi was also the first three-dimensional movie. A surprise hit was from Komal, who has become the current star attraction with his film Govindaya Namaha. The story and its narration was fresh for the audience and adding spice to it was the super-hit song, Pyarge Aagbittaite.

Another film that did very well was Addhuri starring Dhruv Sarja and Radhika Pandit and directed by Arjun. Jaanu, a youth-oriented film, directed by Preetham Gubbi with Yash in the lead, was packaged with good songs, fights and a romantic theme, which did well.

The Darshan-starrer Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna marked the comeback of the historical film. The movie was highly-anticipated and pegged as a big-budget production — of  Rs 22 crore. The film didn’t do as well as expected. A trade analyst says, “Though it was a well-made film and did attract a lot of crowd, it got a collection of only 15 to 16 crores. The movies that really got the crowd and the cash register ringing were Drama, Anna Bond, Addhuri and Yaare Koogaadali.”

But one thing that is still lacking in the Kannada film industry is original scripts. Majority of the films this year have been remade, with very few original storylines.

While heros like Puneeth, Yash, newbie Dhruva Sarja and Darshan top the charts, there is no clear winner among the heroines. Very few of them have managed to give two to three successful films. This year also saw many actresses going the item-girl way,
including Aindrita Ray, Charmee, Nikita Thukral and Neettoo.

Radhika Pandit tops the charts with Drama, Addhuri and Sagar, followed by Ramya with Katari Veera Surasundarangi and Lucky. Priyamani did well with Anna Bond and Charulatha, Bhavana with Yaare Koogaadali, Deepa Sannidhi with Sarathi and a hard-hitting performance by Pooja Gandhi in Dandupalya also had an impact on the
audience. “This has been special for the heroines in terms of woman-oriented films. The role of the heroine has become far stronger and less about the glamour quotient. It doesn’t matter who is number one or two; what matters is that the film industry, as a whole, has seen good success this year,” says Radhika Pandit.  
 The situation isn’t too different in other industries. The Tamil films that did well were Marina, Attakathi, Pizza and Oru Kal Oru Kannadi.

Vijay’s new avatar as an army commando in the Tamil action-thriller Thuppakki
was the year’s biggest hit with a star actor.

Meanwhile, in Telugu, one of the earliest releases was the Mahesh Babu-starrer ‘Business Man’. Eega and Julayi were the only big-budget films that managed to break even and earn some positive response from the audience. The Malayalam film industry had quite a few surprise hits this year. Films such as Usthad Hotel, 22 Female
Kottayam, ‘Ordinary’ and Thattathin Marayathu did well. 

Bollywood saw movies like Barfi!, Ek Tha Tiger, Rowdy Rathore, Jab Tak Hain
Jaan etc. Akshay Kumar, whose movie Rowdy Rathore has crossed Rs 100 crore this year, sums up, “Compared to last year, 2012 has been a golden year — not only for Indian cinema but also for artistes all over the country.”

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