The Top Five Kannada Films of 2011
Like last year, the Kannada audience had plenty of options to choose from in 2011, as there were many remakes and big budget films.
Though there were some notable failures, such as Joggaya (sequel to the blockbuster Jogi), the Yograj Bhat-Puneet Rajkumar project Paramathma, and the much-hyped Jarasandha that brought together director Shashank and actor Vijay, there were several films like Sarathi that did very well and had the cash registers ringing.
Here's our pick of the top five Kannada films of the year.
Director: P Kumar
Cast: Sudeep, Bhavana, Priyamani
Vishnuvardhana, a racy action-comedy made a lot of noise before it's release, with the title war between producer Dwarakeesh and the widow of the late actor Vishnuvardhan, who did not want the film to be named after her husband.
The incident ensured sufficient publicity and, for a change, the film justified all the hype.
Directed by P Kumar and starring Sudeep, Bhavana, Priyamani and Sonu Sood, it is the story of a man who is a big fan of actor Vishnuvardhan.The stylishly shot Vishnuvardhana appealed to all kinds of audiences.
Image: A scene from Vishnuvardhana
Sanju Weds Geetha
Cast: Ramya, Srinagara Kitty
Much was expected of the film that had such haunting songs--the title track became a popular ringtone. With music and lyrics having done half the job, director Nagshekar had to only come up with a touching love story.
Ramya as Geetha gave this year's best performance, while Srinagara Kitty gave her adequate support. Arun Sagar and Sharan contributed their bit. One of the themes of the film was child molestation and it was sensitively handled.
Camerawork by Satya Hegde enhanced the appeal of the film. There were some well-written dialogues and the chemistry between the lead pair, the music, and visuals came together to create a film that audiences won't forget easily.
Image: A scene from Sanju Weds Geetha
Director: B Suresh
Cast: Shruti, Prakash Raj
B Suresh's Puttakana Highway narrates the plight of farmers who have had to sacrifice their land in the name of development. The effects of displacement and development are brought out well in the film. The film also hints at the impact of this so called development on women.
Lead actor Shruti carries the film on her shoulders. Veena Sundar, Achyutha and Ninasam Ashwath do a great job too. Prakash Raj as the diplomatic Shani Krishna gives a good performance.
Dialogues by Suresh, lyrics by Yograj Bhat, and music by Hamsalekha help carry forward the mood.
Image: A scene from Puttakana Highway
Director: Pawan Kumar
Cast: Diganth, Samyuktha Belawadi
In his debut as director, Yograj Bhat's assistant Pawan Kumar drives home the point that that mistakes happen but the trick is to learn from them and move on.
Blue-eyed boy of the Bhat camp, Diganth, is the one getting across this message. The film captures the spirit of the youth of today who tend to fall in and out of love, and so naturally it went down well with the college-going crowd.
The lyrics of the title track are by Yograj Bhat and became the youth anthem of the year. The film introduced Samyuktha Belawadi and re-launched Sindhu Loknath.Here's looking forward to more such entertaining films from Pawan.
Image: Movie poster of Lifeu Ishtene
Cast: Puneet Rajkumar, Yogish, Srinagara Kitty, Radhika Pandit
Much was expected of this eagerly awaited remake of the Tamil trend-setter Nadodigal, and it delivered the goods.
The film is about the value of friendship, love and marriage. The humour, dialogues and music made the film distinctive. In fact, the film gave the industry a rocking item song, Pankaja.
Yogish walks away with all the honours. His comic timing, dialogue delivery and body language fit the character to the hilt and he is the true hero of Hudugaru.
Image: A scene from Hudugaru