Sandalwood hopes for a big leap this year

Sandalwood hopes for a big leap this year


The stupendous success of ‘KGF: Chapter 1’ has signalled the dawn of a new era for Sandalwood this year. The Yash-starrer has already entered the Rs 200 crore club by the third week of January. The film will inspire a few filmmakers in the industry to experiment more this year. 

Since KGF released in five languages, a look at the movies lined up for this year indicates that the trend of multilingual releases is here to stay. Producers of these flicks are attempting to tap into the opportunity created by Prashanth Neel (director of KGF) and expand the boundaries further. Industry experts believe that these attempts will boost Sandalwood’s revenue generating model.

No flicks of Darshan, Puneeth Raj Kumar and Sudeep hit the screens last year. But this year, the fans are in for a treat as they will soon see their heroes on screen. Puneeth Raj Kumar’s ‘Nata Sarvabhouma’, Shiva Rajkumar’s ‘Kavacha’, Darshan’s ‘Kurukshetra’ and ‘Yajamana’, Sudeep’s ‘Pailwan’, Rakshith Shetty’s ‘Avane Srimannarayana’   


and ‘777 Charlie’, Sriimurali’s ‘Bharate’, Dhruva Sarja’s ‘Pogaru’, Yogaraj Bhat’s ‘Galipata-2’, Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s ‘Seetharama Kalyana’, Ravichandran and Umashree’s ‘Byatraya’, Upendra’s ‘I love, Adhira’, and Ravichandra and Ganesh’s ‘Geetha’ are the most eagerly awaited movies of the year. 

Most of these are high budget and multilingual movies. Insiders believe that these flicks have enough potential to expand Sandawlood’s territory and market. The first three months of the year are likely to see more releases as many producers postponed their releases due to KGF. Among them, Darshan’s ‘Kurukshetra’ has evoked curiosity in fans for various reasons. Its release has been postponed due to technicalities involved in the production of the 3D format.

There is also some suspense about which will be Darshan’s 50th movie — ‘Yajamana’ or ‘Kurukshetra’. Shiva Rajkumar’s ‘Kavacha’ (which is a remake of the 2016 Malayalam movie ‘Oppam’) has also seen interest among movie buffs. With this movie, the hero has ended his vow of not acting in remakes. And for the first time in his career, he will be playing the role of a visually challenged person.

Similarly, ‘Byatraya’, the recently announced project, has left many fans excited. It marks the comeback of Umashree after six years. The film also features Ravichandran. The ‘Crazy’ star has teamed up with Umashree after 24 years; they were last seen in the super hit flick Putnanja (1995). The shooting will begin in January.


Sudeep’s ‘Pailwan’ has generated a lot of talk. The actor, who is cast as a wrestler, will be seen in six pack abs for the first time. It will also be the first Kannada movie to feature Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty. Ramesh Aravind’s ‘Butterfly’ (remake of the 2014 Hindi film ‘Queen’) will hit the screens in February.  One of the most anticipated projects, ‘KGF Chapter-2’, will also take off shortly. However, the film is likely to release only in 2020. 2019 is also likely to see more dubbed versions of major flicks.  Producer Jack Manju, the distributor of Rajinikanth’s ‘Petta’ for Karnataka, is planning to release the dubbed Kannada version as well.

There are also plans to release the dubbed Kannada versions of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and NTR’s biopic ‘N T R Kathanayakudu’ in Kannada. “There were about 240 films last year. The number will surely shoot up this year,” says Sa Ra Govindu, Karnataka Film Chamber Of Commerce.  Despite a busy line-up, the quality of the content and availability of theatre remain major challenges.

“Numbers are increasing, but not of classics and quality films,” says filmmaker Rajendra Singh Babu. He says the lack of enough theatres would affect prospects of Sandalwood. “The Chamber and the government should look into this matter.”