The Top Kannada grossers of 2012
The year 2012 saw little change in Kannada films. There were about 100 releases, which is less than in 2011.
The Kannada film industry reported a success rate of about 14 to 15 per cent with returns on investment being less than half of the Rs 250 crore that was invested during the year.
Only about eight films released in 2012 reaped profits for their producers and distributors.
Some upcoming directors showed promise and made a sincere effort to be different from the usual formula-based films that Kannada cinema has been churning out for many years now.
Adhoori and Rambo were the surprise hits of the year. The historical film Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna became the biggest hit of the year as it created history in terms of box-office collections.
Dandupalya, Chingari, 12 AM Midnight, Jaanu, Snehitaru, Paarijaatha, Kalpana, Godfather and Anna Bond were other Kannada films that kept the box-office registers ringing.
Film: Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna
Cast: Darshan, Jayapradha, Nikitha Thukral,
The film was a biopic, its subject the freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna, who was also the army chief of Rani Chennamma's kingdom of Kittur. Billed as one of the costliest Kannada films ever made, it was a sincere effort to showcase history in all its splendour.
Jayapradha played the role of Rani Chennamma while Darshan played her trusted lieutenant. The film was directed by Naganna, had splendid camerawork by Ramesh Babu, and superb background music by Harikrishna.
Despite several flaws in the picturisation and songs, the film stood out for its rich production values.
Image: A scene from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna
Cast: Dhruva Sarja, Radhika Pandit, Tarun Chandra,
Director: A P Arjun
A love story with some hummable songs, this film was a surprise winner at the box-office. The film had just two protagonists with the rest of the characters making guest appearances.
The film was in the making for more than a year. It introduced Dhruva Sarja, nephew of Arjun Sarja, in the lead role opposite Radhika Pandit.
Audiences found the director's narrative more appealing than the story itself. Harikrishna's music, which had Amate Amate as one of the songs, became a big hit with the young audiences and Surya Kiran's camera work enhanced the movie's appeal.
Image: A scene from Adhoori
Cast: Yash, Neenasam Satish, Radhika Pandit, Sindhu Lokanath, Ambareesh,
Director: Yogaraj Bhat
Director Yogaraj Bhat managed to pull audiences back to the theatres with Drama after seeing mixed results in his earlier film Paramatma.
Drama is a clever blend of social, cultural and sexual elements, set against the backdrop of the underworld.
Ambareesh makes a special appearance as an astrologer and the narrator, which enhanced the appeal of the film for audiences young and old.
The film uses Mandya dialect to the hilt. Harikrishna's songs are a big hit.
Image: A scene from Drama
Cast: Sharan, Tabala Nani, Madhuri, Umashri,
Director: M S Srinath
This is a surprise winner at the box-office. The film marks comedian Sharan's foray into production in his 100th film. The film transformed Sharan into a hero although there is no heroism in the movie.
The film had a lot of comical and entertaining elements, including the scenes where Sharan and Tabala Nani play two touts involved in selling cars.
The film is about how a car becomes the hero's villain. Audiences enjoyed the twists and turns that went into the narrative.
Image: A scene from Rambo
Cast: Komal, Rekha, Parul, Madhulika
Director: Pavan Wadeyar
This was the first hit of 2012. It generated terrific publicity much before its release, with the song Pyarge Agbuttaithe going viral on the Internet.
The film boosted Komal's career as an actor and pushed its director Pavan Wadeyar, a protege of Yogaraj Bhat, into the limelight.
Parul, who danced to the popular song, became an overnight sensation. For the first time, all the elements in a Komal film fell in place. The film had comedy, romance, and good music, all of which made it an enjoyable film.
Image: A scene from Govindaya Namaha