#DHRecaps | Fresh ideas keep head high for Sandalwood

KGF: Chapter 1 provided a fitting end to the year.

Every film industry witnesses a golden phase. There are chapters in history, where refreshing ideas and unique style of film-making have carried films of a particular language beyond the boundaries of their origin. 

The year 2018 certainly was a game-changer for Kannada film industry. There was a consistent flow of interesting films. Movies like KGF: Chapter 1, Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shale, Tagaru, Gultoo and Aa Karaala Ratri were indeed extraordinary efforts in their own right.  

The year’s first big commercial success was Tagaru. Suri understood the importance of creating appealing characters. The seasoned director upped his style and offered a first-rate crime thriller. 

KGF: Chapter 1 provided a fitting end to the year. Prashant Neel’s second directorial is a result of his ambitious thinking. For non-believers of masala films, he generates hope as he nicely blends story, the heart of any genre, with style, an essential ingredient in such movies.  

In both Tagaru and KGF, the directors didn’t shy away from indulging in their favourite themes. But it helped that they believed in their imagination and decided to push themselves with the process of film-making.  

Rishabh Shetty's Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shale held a mirror to the plight of Kannada schools in Kasargodu, Kerala. Anant Nag’s performance won hearts.

Gultoo, Katheyondu Shuruvagide and Aa Karaala Ratri gave mileage to the thought of ‘small is beautiful’. They stood out for their freshness. In Gultoo and Katheyondu Shuruvagide, the passion for the art was evident. They came like a slap on the face for those generalising Kannada cinema as formulaic. 

Gultoo and Katheyondu Shuruvagide were engaging affairs and they showed that technically good films are the way forward. Dayal Padmanabhan, who made the terrific Aa Kaarala Ratri, has developed a team that is focused on delivering small yet mostly-gripping affairs with dialogues being their biggest plus.

Films like Churikatte, Humble Politician Nograj, Vanilla, Ondalla Eradalla, Ammachi Yemba Nenapu, Jeerjimbe, Puta 109 and Naathicharami deserve special mention. They dared to tell fascinating stories and despite the financial limitations, these efforts were never half-baked.

Also, mindless capers like Ayogya, Rambo 2 and Raju Kannada Medium managed to hit the 100-day mark and rake in the bucks. Perhaps, the timing of the release was vital. It also reiterated the power of B & C centres.

In another huge change, the music was marked with the ‘coolness factor’. Charan Raj (Tagaru) and Ravi Basrur (KGF) experimented with sounds, oozed a never-before-energy to their works to unleash their best albums till date.

The stars too, encouragingly, have begun to not care for the big-small divide. Sudeep has signed a film with the promising Anup Bhandari (Rangitharanga fame).

The classy actor also met the team of Aa Karaala Ratri and later, on social media, urged people to watch the film. In another instance, Yash publicly praised Sarkari.Hi.Pra.Sha.

Rajaratha and The Villain were the biggest disappointments of 2018. Both films carried massive expectations, but failed to offer a wholesome movie-watching experience. Hardly entertaining, they didn’t become what they intended to. Orange, starring Ganesh, sank without a trace and it deserved the treatment. 

The year is ending with excitement. The talented Rakshit Shetty is again wearing the director’s cap. Yogaraj Bhat has announced a sequel to his classic Gaalipata. Kavaludhari, Nata Sarvabhouma, Bell Bottom and Avane Srimannarayana have peaked the interest. 

An industry must generate discussions with its films and produce new, yet gifted crops. Kannada cinema did just that this year. As we get ready for 2019, fans’ demand will remain the same: hosathana (newness).  

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#DHRecaps | Fresh ideas keep head high for Sandalwood

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