Harihar Gundurao Dattatreya, dearly called as ‘Dattanna’ by his fans, is a spectacular actor has appeared in over 80 films and several plays, ruling the Kannada theatre world. The one and only versatile actor who is simply loved, praised and celebrated by audiences across all age groups. Dattanna is an acting school himself and a true gem of Sandalwood then, now and forever. Dattanna, an all-round personality, alongside being a phenomenal actor, has so much hidden, who does not boast about though.
Can you believe it, if I say Dattanna has served the Indian Air Force for over 25 years and also occupied academic positions with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Yes, Dattanna is an incredibly brilliant educationist.
And the best part is that Dattanna secured 1st rank in the SSLC examination in the state of Karnataka. Wow!. Despite an actor, Dattanna is an extremely humble, pious and a down to earth person who even to this day leads a very simple life with a non-lavish lifestyle. Saluting this great human being, let’s look into his National Award Winning Movies
1. Mouni (2003)
One of Dattanna’s exceptional movies which highlight his unbelievable, extremely natural, out of the world, acting skills. So proud to say that the movie has secured ‘National Film Award – Special Mention: H. G. Dattatreya’ award which simply explains his remarkable rendition to the movie. The movie is all about the tensions and circumstances that shape and influence Dattanna’s life.
The climax of the movie where Dattanna simply sits unuttered – ‘mouni’ unable to handle his overpowering helplessness will simply leave you in tears. Wow! That scene wherein he chooses to remain a mouni is just to be experienced rather than spoken about. Dattanna is the whole and soul of the movie.
2. Kaada Beladingalu (2007)
Dattanna known for his realistic and soul touching acting, as usual, has put forth phenomenal screen presence in the movie. Playing the role of an aged father neglected by his son. Contributions of Dattanna to the movie has taken it to at another level.
The movie has won the highest ‘54th National Film Awards’ for ‘Best Feature Film in Kannada’. Also ‘Karnataka State Film Award’ for ‘Best Social film’ and ‘Best story’ which explains his extraordinary enacting skills. Dattana through his ultimate acting held it as an eye opener to all the youth who leave to urban areas for work scorning parents in villages.
3. Kraurya (1996)
Dattanna’s another National Award winning movie. Of course, his quality of acting and his choice of cinema projects are certainly worthy to be rewarded. The movie is all about Rangajji, a lovely, child hearted, innocent, broad-minded, extremely pious old woman. And the role of Dattanna is quite opposing to the positivity of Rangajj.
Playing the character of a slightly negative, conservative person who is not all helpful to look after Rangajji who is also his distant relative in the movie. Well, be it supportive or resistive roles, Dattanna flaunts high his extraordinary talents and sets a benchmark on every role he portrays.
4. Bettada Jeeva (2011)
Wow! This was an outstanding movie which brought extensive fame and honor to the absolute actor from the class audiences of the society. Dattanna being an actor with strong theatrical background has performed some out of the box, natural acting, which keeps you engrossed throughout the movie.
The story is based on Jnanpith awardee K. Shivaram Karanth’s novel. It depicts the tradition of people living in remote areas of the Western Ghats which will simply take you back to those good old days at the Coastal. And he just makes you connect and feel every act of his. Dattanna is truly an acting institution himself.
5. Bharath Stores (2013)
The movie is an absolute reality and remarkably enacted by the versatile H. G Dattatreya in the lead role. The movie is all about the ‘Bharath Stores’ which was Dattanna’s provision store. Which witnesses a fatal declination with the invasion of westernized mall culture and supermarkets.
Dattanna’s son himself rejects the family’s age-old provision business. Hence the failure, helplessness and the mental trauma that he has put up is highly commendable and praiseworthy. As usual, Dattanna’s this movie is again a ‘National Award’ winning movie. Dattanna is indeed a real gift to the Kannada Film industry.
6. Munnudi (2000)
One of Dattanna’s phenomenal movies which earned him praises from across the world. Dattanna in the movie was so exceptional that it may not be possible for me to mention the complete list of awards he procured for the movie. However, the movie has won the ‘Flanders International Film Festival (Belgium)’, ‘Palm Springs International Film Festival’, ‘International Film Festival of India’ awards and many more.
Dattanna has personally gained an enormous appreciation for his work in the movie. One of the popular reviewers has praised H. G. Dattatreya’s performance and wrote: “He outshines everyone in his dialogue delivery, mannerisms, and timing.” Not just this, he won the ‘48th National Film Award’, ‘Karnataka State Film Award’, ‘Film Fans Association Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ and the list goes on for his work in Munnudi.
7. Atithi (2002)
A highly recommended Dattanna’s National Award winning movie. It’s a must watch! The movie is all about what happens when two people, who follow different ideologies in life, are forced to share the same roof. A wounded terrorist and his men make the home of a doctor their temporary base for a few days.
How Dattanna deals with terrorism and the psychology of the terrorist is wonderfully depicted by him in the movie. Dattanna as always has raised the bar of Indian cinemas with this movie. The role of a village doctor who treats the terrorists with heavy heart spending every minute with deep fear and hence his extensive mental guts and stability is incredibly performed by him. The film won the ‘49th National Film Award’ for ‘Best Film in Kannada’. And was also screened at Cairo International Film Festival.
8. Beru (2005)
Beru is another fantastic movie bringing up the bitter facts of work culture of our so-called ‘government jobs’. The movie is all about the degradation of moral values, lack of commitment, and the overall apathy of government services. Dattanna again has set a standard by his enhanced natural acting skills.
Dattanna playing the role of a clerk in the government office has rendered great social messages of high significance to the society. His marvelous acting skills are extremely thought-provoking and constantly in an attempt to bring about changes. Dattana’s acting is simply seamless irrespective of the genre. The movie won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada at the 52nd National Film Award.
9. Aasphota (1988)
It is a wonderful political drama film directed based on the novel Ayana by author Manu. The film starred Sridhar and H. G. Dattatreya, in the lead roles. This movie was Dattanna’s debut movie in Kannada cinemas. Despite being his very first movie he gained wide popularity and excellent reviews from great filmmakers and movie critics.
Simply because of the highly talented and exceptionally skilled person he was. The film won numerous awards including the Best Film both in Filmfare Awards South and Karnataka State Film Awards and for best story, screenplay and Supporting acting.
10. Kempirve (2017)
One of the outstanding extremely loved movies of today’s generation. The movie is all about a retired widower who takes up a job in real estate after being perceived as a burden by his family. But his life changes when he uncovers the truth behind the shady business deals of the company.
Dattanna in the lead role has rendered out of the box acting. Everybody who watched the movie is in all praises to this fantabulous actor. Dattanna earned great appreciation as the best supporting actor for his mind-blowing performance in the movie. Dattanna, be it his debut, or the 90’s cinema or today’s modern cinemas he is always at his best and truly a role model for generations to come.
If you are that class audience of Kannada cinemas and looking forward to some exceptional national award-winning movies of authentic theatre artists who rule the cinema industry like Dattanna; make sure you do not miss on these spectacular movies which are truly eye openers and all the more inspiring.