There was a time in the 1960s and 1950s when movies revolved only around mythological stories and historical facts. Or else it would be family entertainers usually a tear-jerking story. But in the middle of 1960s, the plot revolved around romantic relationships and in the aftermath of Pakistan and China wars, on patriotism. But the 1970’s introduced a new wave of cinema called as art movies which had acclaimed theatre artists and actors at the helm in Kannada such as Girish Karnad, M S Satyu, Ananth Nag and directors such as Girish Kasaravalli.
Then came the 1970s when the angry young man role began to get accepted in Kannada films. Everyone has played the role to the hilt including Dr. Rajkumar, Sahasa Simha Dr. Vishnuvardhan but the person who got the title “Rebel Star” was Ambarish. In fact, the films proved to be the turning point for his political career. However, even with a huge fan base, Dr. Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan declined political careers. But in recent times, the reverse had happened. Barely, three years ago, almost every popular Kannada politicians’ son acted in movies such as Nikhil Kumaraswamy, Anup Revanna, Sachin Cheluvaraya Swamy etc. Almost all the movies in the list depicted the then tumultuous times the films were directed. In this article, we are going to inform you on Kannada films which had politics as the central theme.
1. Bara (1980)
The period where the art movies became popular. Directed as well produced by M S Sathya, the plot is based on the UR Ananthamurthy’s story. When you have a seasoned performer such as Ananth Nag, little needs to be written. The social and political situation depicted in the movie fetched it the National Film Award for Kannada. One of the foremost art movies to have Karnataka politics as the central theme.
Ambarish became a superstar with this movie. The title “Rebel Star” was coined to him only after this movie. The success of the film made Amitabh Bachan act the same role in Hindi (Inquilaab – 1984). The climax of the film – when the hero shoots all the winners in the election. A twist at the end that made the political and cop film of Kannada a blockbuster.
Another masterpiece directed by Shankar Nag. A rare film in which starred his elder brother Ananth Nag and his wife Arundhati Nag. The film delves into corruption and the issues an investigative reporter faces for exposing the truth. Have you ever seen Nagabharana, the doyen director in a movie? He also plays a prominent role. It got the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues. In fact, this movie brought to light on corruption and can be hailed as one of the movies that depicted Kannada politics.
Another movie from the Ambarish rebel star stable. The same story. Dishonest politicians and how the hero wins over them by his sharp wisdom.
Another film based on student politics and caste by T S Nagabharana. It is based on the novel Ayana by Manu. The film has Sridhar and HG Dattatreya in prominent roles. Ultimately, the truth wins in the pedestal of our Father of Nation statue, Mahatma Gandhi.
6. Harakeya Kuri (1992)
The film which featured Prakash Rak in the lead role. Dr. Vishnuvardhan played a prominent role in the movie. A political drama film. The plot revolved around the adaptation of a novel of the same name. Writer – Chandrashekara Kambara. It got the National Film Award for Best Feature Film In Kannada.
7. Marana Mrudanga
An Indian political drama film, it is a remake of the Telugu film Marana Mrudangam (1987). The highlight of the film, Karnataka’s former CM Ramakrishna Hegde played a prominent role in the film. The film also had major roles for Ananth Nag and Malashri.
8. Golibaar (1993)
A political and cop film to the core. Blockbuster. It was based on the real incidents that happened to Ms. Jayalalitha when the popular CM M G Ramachandran expired. Watch this movie for a thrilling finish. Arundhati Nag acted in a prominent role.
9. Rajakeeya (1993)
The next film after Golibaar by Shivamani. It is the second film for this director and Dynamic Hero Devaraj. This story is based on the murder of a lawyer by a prominent politician. A similar incident had occurred in Mandya at the same time.
10. Mathadana (2001)
The film that was directed by one of television’s well-known directors T N Seetharam. It is based on the novel of the same name by S L Bhyrappa. It got the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada.
So many films have come with the same plot. But it is Kiccha Sudeep who does the role effortlessly. The story revolves around unemployed youth and politics. In climax – he dies from gunshot wounds.
The name conveys the meaning. And this film has the producer Ramu and his wife Malashree acting the lead role. The others in the cast are Dev Gill, Suchendra Prasad, Srinivasa Murthy and Pradeep Rawat. The heroine is the election commissioner in charge of the elections in State. Directed by Om Prakash Rao.
13. Matthe Satyagraha
A film which combines two periods, the struggle of our freedom fighters to secure independence and the social challenges that we face today.
A film without any stars but which had a social message. An anti-corruption group takes up the cudgels and makes a documentary. What follows is an awakening of the masses. It ultimately transforms into good governance.
15. July 22, 1947
Want to gain information on our National Flag? Then watch the movie. The film gives you performances by veteran actors. And yes, you find only patriotism scenes in the movie. The story has Suchendra Prasad, Sudha Rani and Achyuth Kumar as actors.
16. Humble Politician Nagaraj
Who does not know the famous Prankster, Danish Sait? When he acts in a film, it will be the fireworks. The film did not receive good response although the audiences praised the skills of Danish Sait.
Films in the past reflected on the present past and future good times. First, there were mythological films and then came the angry young man films where all the politicians were shown as negative characters. This article focuses on some of the Kannada films with politics as the prime theme which gained recognition, awards as well minted money for the producers.
If we have missed any then please let us know in the comments below.