Dream teams hint at bright future for Kannada cinema

Dream teams hint at bright future for Kannada cinema

Pawan Kumar is back with a crowd-sourced film. Raj B Shetty and Rishab Shetty team up for a gangster flick. Hemanth Rao is making a love story, the genre that hadn’t worked for him earlier

'Super Deluxe’, the 2019 Tamil film, will live long in the memory of moviegoers. Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s path-breaking effort was his second film. The time taken to make the rare gem was eight years. It’s unusual to see directors taking such a long time for their second film.

But Kumararaja’s first flick ‘Aaranya Kaandam’ wasn’t a great success. It was a terrific gangster film nonetheless, noticed only by critics and hard-core moviegoers. For the rest, he was a nobody. So the eight-year period wasn’t a big deal for those who only became aware of Kumararaja’s skills through ‘Super Deluxe’.

The most frustrating thing for a movie buff is to wait for his or her favourite director’s works. Pawan Kumar, the poster-boy of Kannada cinema’s new-age chapter, hasn’t made a film since 2016. That year, he had brought ‘U Turn’, a worthy successor to his 2013 film ‘Lucia’.

While the promising film gave moviegoers hope that Pawan may continue to make films more frequently, he decided to take a long break, save for the Tamil remake of ‘U Turn’.

He was seen supporting films that he believed should reach a greater audience or acting in small content-oriented ventures (‘Gultoo, ‘Alidu Ulidavaru’, ‘Chambal’). Seeing his name in the director’s list of Hindi web series ‘Leila’ ruffled some feathers.

So it was a huge sigh of relief for fans when Pawan took to social media to talk about his next. Staying true to his unique ways, Pawan invited movie enthusiasts to be part of the project.

In a video message, he called for people to fill a form and mention their area of interest in filmmaking. “People still remember so many things about ‘Lucia’ and it’s a special film. So this time around, I thought I will do something special again. ‘Lucia’ was crowd-funded but we have a production house now. But I am planning to crowd-source this film. I want to expand my team and involve you guys in the project,” he said.

The lengthy break should give Pawan enough motivation to make a film worth the wait and knowing his talent, it appears to be a strong possibility.

Kannada cinema witnessed some major announcements recently. The biggest, perhaps, was made on Thursday. Hemanth Rao’s third film, titled ‘Saptha Sagaradache Eello’, will see Rakshit Shetty in the lead and be bankrolled by Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah. The last time the three of them had come together was in 2016 for the acclaimed ‘Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu’ (2016).

The release of the film’s posters on social media has pleasantly surprised many. Hemanth’s first and unreleased film was the love story, ‘Love Churumuri’. While that attempt at a love story bore no fruit, with ‘Saptha Sagaradache Eello’, he has a chance to deliver a hit in that genre.

The other important release that was announced before ‘Saptha Sagaradache Eello’ was from Sandalwood’s most desired bald man, Raj B Shetty. After the smashing hit that he delivered with ‘Ondu Motteya Kathe’ (OMK) in 2017, he is all set to wear the director’s cap again.

Raj will star in his second film as well, breaking into the exclusive club of directors  who also star in their film.

The film, titled ‘Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana’, will also star Rishab Shetty (director of ‘Ricky’, ‘Kirik Party’ and ‘Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shaale’).

Being a film that stars proven directors has raised the bar for the film very high.GGVV is touted to be a gangster flick, a drastic shift in subject compared to OMK, which was a light comedy about a bald man’s struggles. 

‘Simple’ Suni and Ganesh have also decided to come together. The duo’s  ‘Chamak’ was a sleeper hit. Although a flawed love story, the film had struck a chord with people thanks to the performances. Perhaps the amount of acceptance by the audience was more than what it deserved but in the movie industry, it’s futile to question success.

The romance genre perfectly suits Suni and Ganesh and it would be better if they not just match the high production values of ‘Chamak’ but also have a better script than the 2017 release. One common thread that runs through these announcements is the surprise factor. Nobody saw them coming because all the artistes were either busy working or had spoken of different projects. Pawan had a complete makeover for his role in Yogaraj Bhat’s ‘Gaalipata 2’.

Hemanth was still basking in the success of his sophomore flick ‘Kavaludaari’ (2019) while Rakshit, busy shooting for ‘Charlie 777’, had begun to pen the script for his second directorial ‘Punyakoti’.

Rishab was in news for his fourth film ‘Rudraprayag’ while Raj had his hands full as an actor. Suni, too, is giving final touches to ‘Avatara Purusha’. 

Suddenly, there is a lot to look forward to in Sandalwood and fans aren’t complaining.

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