Is kannada film Prithvi is produced by Kumaraswamy?

The anti-BJP and anti-mining angle in kannada movie Prithvi triggers rumours in Sandalwood that H D Kumaraswamy is the film’s benami producer.

Afew months ago, the audio album of Devanahalli, a film based on the land mafia around Bengaluru International Airport, had lines that hit out at the Deve Gowda clan. Interestingly, the film was ‘presented’ by BJP minister and Bellary mining lord B Sriramulu.

The film’s songs had references to a ‘maha mantri’ and his relationship with ‘Radhavva.’ It was not lost on the listener that it was a reference to HD Kumaraswamy and actress Radhika. Another song referred to Deve Gowda’s statement that he would rather not be born in Karnataka. These were seen as the mining lord’s attack on JD(S) politicians through a film.

If the buzz in Sandalwood is to be believed, former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has hit back with another film at the Bellary mining bigwigs. Last week’s release Prithvi, which has Puneeth Rajkumar in the lead, is the first film to directly refer to the ill-effects of mining and indirectly lampoon BJP politicians. Though Ram Babu is the producer of the film, rumour mills have it that HD Kumaraswamy funded it.

What makes it sound plausible is the fact that till its release, it was not revealed that the film was about the mining in Bellary. The shooting was done in Vishakapatnam instead of Bellary to keep things under wraps.

“I have heard that Kumaraswamy wants to see the film. But I have no contact with him. There are people in Sandalwood who say that he funded the film. Why should he? He is a producer himself and could have made the film himself. I have nothing against the mining politicians. I know about them only by reading about them in newspapers and seeing them on television,” said Ram Babu.

In Prithvi, the protagonist is a district commissioner who fights the misdeeds of mining lords of Bellary. More than a masala movie, it goes on to make references to many politicians. A minister is shown giving everyone visiting him ‘ganga jala.’ People watching the film exclaim Krishnaiah Shetty, knowing well the Cabinet minister’s penchant for distributing water from the Ganges during festivals.

In another scene, the same character says that despite doing politics wearing a ‘chaddi’ (RSS shorts) for 40 years, he has to listen to outsider mining lords with money and that miners become MLAs and threaten to dislodge their own chief minister. Throughout the film, mine owners are depicted as the villains and the cause for all ills of Bellary.

“Many people have told me that if the film had been released before the BBMP elections, the BJP would have lost 25-30 seats. But, I have nothing against any political party,” says Babu.

Sources say that it made sense to hide the fact that the film was on the controversy surrounding iron ore mining and politics in Bellary. “A film allegedly based on H D Kumaraswamy and actress Radhika, Mukhyamantri I Love You, is caught in legal tangle and not released. Someone could have brought a court stay on Prithvi before its release, if its subject was known,” said a Sandalwood producer.

Babu says that he did not reveal the story as it would have meant giving up on the curiosity about the film.

Kannada film makers are testing promotion of new films online first

Until recently it was only television grab of Kannada film songs and trailers that were available on YouTube. Not anymore. Increasingly technology savvy directors are premiering promos and songs of their films on YouTube rather than on television. Online has become the new testing ground.

The two yet-to-be released kannada films, Krishnan Love Story and Naanu Nanna Kanasu directed by Shashank and Prakash Rai respectively premiered on YouTube recently. “The idea was to bombard audience from everywhere. The promos were first put up on YouTube as there are a large number of audience updating themselves there. On the very first day there were hundreds of comments. This is a very good response and the interaction of these potential audience creates the necessary buzz for the film,” Prakash Rai said.

“I wanted the feedback of the audience before going to television. There are a variety of comments, some negative also. I will get to know why people would like to see this film. Is it because of Ajay, Radhika or the director. We can stress on what is liked in future promotions elsewhere. There are five songs but on YouTube one or two of them will be viewed more. These particular songs will be promoted more on television. The comments by the audience is better than asking my friends to watch and give me feedback. They usually say it is good as they don’t want to hurt me,” says Shashank.

Ullasa Utsaha starring kannada acotr Ganesh has been delayed for a few months now. This seems to have created a big audience for it online. Songs of this film are so popular that on YouTube they have seen hits nearly 20,000 each.

Kannada Movie Review - PRITHVI

DIRECTOR: Jacob Varghese
ACTORS: Puneeth Rajkumar, Parvathi, Avinash, CR Simha, Achyuth Kumar

For the first time, kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar essays a role where his character gets to say something about current issues. Prithvi portrays the struggle of a honest bureaucrat against the corrupt mining lords of Bellary. Loaded dialogues, breathtaking stunts and eerily realistic depiction of situations sets the foundation for what could have been an awesome film. Unfortunately, in the second half of the film, only the stunts remain and the film rushes to a hurried climax. Nonetheless Prithvi has enough ammunition to more than satisfy his fans.

Prithvi, (Puneeth) like any good on-screen hero, is the embodiment of truthfulness. He is an IAS officer who is dispatched as the DC of Bellary in a jiffy. Now, it does not need a film to tell what Bellary is famous for these days. But Jacob tells it anyway with enough cinematic masala. A mining lord who controls the state politics, runs it like a fiefdom, altering state borders and killing people at will. Prithvi’s clean up task is unenviable.

Some witty (‘Every son-of-the-soil cannot become the prime minister’) and charged dialogues (‘After 40 years of politics wearing shorts, I have to listen to some outsider’) add the necessary punch to the story. To make the narrative realistic, the director makes the film look like a documentation which partly fails the purpose for what could have been an insightful entertainer. A bold conclusion eludes the film and easy machismo finds the answer for all the troubles of Bellary. Jacob does a good job but Puneeth’s ‘power star’ image building exercise in the latter half of the film somewhat dilutes the effectiveness of Prithvi.

Puneeth and Parvathi share great chemistry but their interaction throughout this film is repetitive. Puneeth is never out of any scene. He seems to be there in almost every frame making the other characters look like far flung specs of mining dust. Prithvi is still worth a watch. Fans can look forward to multiple viewing.

ANTHARATHMA - Kannada movie review


ACTORS: Mithun Tejaswi, Vishaka Singh, Umashree, Rangayana Raghu, Rohan

There is a great deal of difference between Indian and Hollywood ghosts. Our ghosts and supernatural beings have a single-minded devotion to scaring the living. Hollywood ghosts, however, come in all shapes, sizes and attitudes. Antaratma is first-time director Shankar’s Kannada version of Hollywood’s G h o s t . He proves he is upto task. He does one better by claiming the credit for the story for which Bruce Joel Rubin won an Oscar way back in 1990.

Kannada actor Mithun Tejaswi turns into a ghost very early in the film after he is killed for his money. Only one other person (his colleague Rohan) knows that Rs 14 crore has been mysteriously deposited in his account. The ghost of Mithun has to save his w i f e (Vishaka Singh) from bad elements who are after the money. The poor thing, however, finds that he has a lot to learn as a ghost before he can be of any help or threat to the living. A fake ghostbuster (Umashree) is the only person who can hear him and reluctantly helps him. Rangayana Raghu, a train obsessed dead man helps him learn the tricks of the ghost trade.

This Antharathma is unlike any other atma Kannada audience have seen before. For this and the fact that Shankar manages never to falter in the narrative makes this a very enjoyable watch. Kannada actress Umashree takes over the film with her brilliant performance, especially in the second half. It is worth watching the film again for her alone. Her comic timing is unbelievably perfect. The lead pair chemistry is good and Rohan Gowda proves a future kannada actor. The songs are good. Enjoy watching.

Yograj Bhat's new kannada movie 'Pancha Rangi'

After having wrapped up the talkie portions of his latest offering at breakneck speed, kannada hitmaker Yograj Bhat is now in Mangalore to wrap up the film. “We just have a couple of songs to finish and then we’re done. They’re being choreographed by Murali,” says the director. After showcasing the hilly regions of Malnad, this time around, the director will shoot the lesserknown spots in Karavali. “I wanted to capture the pristine beaches of South Kanara on the big screen like never before,” says Yograj, who’s shot major portions of the film in and around Mangalore.

The maverick kanada director is working with his blue-eyed boy, kannada actor Diganth, for the fourth time in this movie. “There’s so much difference in the Diganth I met during the making of Mungaru Male and now. He’s matured so much that I find it hard to believe it myself. He was a kid back then. But the way he’s transformed into a serious actor today is unbelievable. Avnanna nodode ondu majaa,” observes Yograj. As for the lead actress, Nidhi Subbaiah, the director wonders why her talent remained untapped all this while. “She’s a face to watch out for. I’m sure Diganth and Nidhi will be the next hot pair. It’ll be tough for me to get their dates,” he laughs.

His other favourites like Sudha Belawadi, Padmaja Rao and Anantnag will team up once again in this film after Gaalipata. “The audience loves them and can’t get enough of all three. Besides them, there’s also Raju Talikote from Manasaare to provide comic relief. It’s a huge supporting cast of 17 people,” explains Yograj.

Kannada film Pancha Rangi has been shot in sync sound, a fact that the director is proud of. “This, coupled with Mano Murthy’s music, is bound to leave viwers spell bound,” says a confident Yograj. “The youngsters in particular, will relate to it wholeheartedly. I make movies mainly for youth and will do so even when I’m 70,” he tells us. But that doesn’t stop the family audiences coming in droves to the theatres. When he made Mungaru Male, it rescued the industry from a dry spell. “My team tells me Pancha Rangi will evoke a similar response as the industry is once again going through a bad patch. Let’s hope history repeats itself,” he tells us.

The kannada movie, which has also been produced by the director, is slated to release in August. Listen to Pancharangi songs online and download Pancharangi movie song lyrics.

Kannda Movie Antaraatma Released today

New Kannada movie Antaratma, starring Mithun Tejasvi and Vishaka Singh, is releasing today. “I’m the ghost in the film,” reveals Mithun, adding that it’s not a remake of the Hollywood film, Ghost.

“It’s just an inspiration,” he says. And it was quite challenging to play a ghost, says the actor. “There’s a lot of graphics involved. Also, enacting a scene imagining someone opposite you is quite tough. But I got a lot of inputs from my director, Shankar, with whom I had many discussions throughout the film,” he says. The graphics for Antaratma were redone seven times. “We wanted to get it just right,” justifies Mithun.

Kannada actress Aindrita Ray is not part of the Nannavanu anymore

Is kannada actress Aindrita Ray morphing into Sandalwood’s wild child? Only 21 and a handful of films old, the petite actress is never out of the news, be it for her slapgate with Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar, her party hard ways, her constant sightings with actor Diganth and now the latest controversy. Some time ago Andy had made it clear that she was no longer part of kannada film Nannavanu and would not be attending promotional meets of the film. She had, a year ago, complained to the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, that her payment was due.

The film is releasing this week and kannada Director Srinivas Raju has opened a new can of worms. He says that Aindrita was an integral part of the film and though she is arrogant, she is innocent too. “She did not attend three days of the shooting after giving the dates. Luckily, those scenes just required her presence. We have paid her 80 per cent of the remuneration but she is still not cooperating with us. There is enough proof to show that she has caused losses of Rs 12 lakh by not attending the shoot. But I am not filing any complaint against her,” he said at a press meet.

sexy Kannada actress Aindrita took on each gripe. “I was informed about the press conference only on Monday morning. I had complained more than a year ago about non-payment and the director had accepted it in front of Jaimala (KFCC President). My remuneration was much lower than Rs 12 lakh, the amount they are accusing me of wasting now. They had to come up with something negative against me anyways. It is true that I did not attend the last two days of shooting as they avoided paying me 50 per cent of my remuneration. It was the patch-up shooting and they used a stand-in,” she says.

Aindrita goes onto regret her decision to go-ahead working on the film. “It was dumb of me to complete shooting the film even after being paid only half of my fees. The producer has suffered losses because extra two hours of film were shot and had to be cut from the final version and not because I did not attend two days of a patch-up shoot. I stand by my words that I will not attend the promotional events of the film. I am not part of Nannavanu,” she says. After Meravanige, Prajwal Devraj and Aindrita Ray are paired together in this film again.

Kannada actress Neethu cheated by noted director

Neethu who lost the lead role in kannada film Huli to Jennifer Kotwal says it was because of director Omprakash Rao’s foul play. “When I was signed on for the film, I was told that I would be playing the role of a television journalist. Without assigning any reason or informing me, the director then signed on Jennifer Kotwal for the same role. He cheated me,” she says. The film has Kishore playing the lead role for the first time in Kannada.

Yet the chubby kannada actress neetu need not worry much for a lost role as April is turning out be a month for a 'Neetu Film Festival.' April 9 will see the release of her film Krishna Nee Lateaagi Baaro, followed by Aithalakadi on April 16 and Thyagu on April 23.

After shimmying with Baba Sehgal for a song in Punit rajkumar, Neethu shared the stage at the State Film Awards 2009 last Sunday with Puneeth Rajkumar. “I am so happy that my programme at the awards was with Puneeth. He was busy and rehearsed for just one day. But everyone is appreciating us for the dance,” says Neethu.