The most awaited film of 2019, Avane Srimannarayana released in the last week of December to mixed reviews and huge opening at the box office. Four weeks later, we analyze the film. Did it win people’s hearts? Was it successful at the box office?
After a gap of three years, post the humungous success of Kirik Party, Rakshit Shetty made a comeback with his ambitious film Avane Srimannarayana. Marketed as “A Southern Odd Fiction”, the film was a passion project of the writer-actor and was mounted to be released in five languages.
The film is running successfully in theatres in its fourth week. By now, it has been released in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam and is due to release in Hindi. The debate on social media, however, is whether the film is a hit or a miss.
Audience Praise and Criticism
The day it hit the theatres, it was nothing less than euphoria for film buffs who were hoping to watch a worthwhile Kannada film in theatres after a long time. It was tipped to compete against KGF: Part 1. The grandeur too matched. There were obvious comparisons with KGF when the second teaser dropped. After watching the film, the comparisons were put to rest.
Post the morning shows, the word was that Rakshit Shetty has delivered yet another successful film. ‘Highly entertaining’, ‘100 days’, ‘Blockbuster’ etc. were the echoes of the majority of the crowd. In the midst of this, a section of people termed it as a boring feast. A lot of criticism on the length of the film made more noise. Later the team had to chop down 10 minutes of the run time.
Despite the criticism, the overwhelming love it received has continued to come its way. Although, many seem to agree that, it is not as beloved as Rakshit’s previous works i.e. Kirik Party or Ulidavaru
Pushkar Mallikarjuniah, the producer of the film, had termed it as “a dream of 300 crores” prior to the release. It is unfortunate that the industry doesn’t put out official numbers. Perhaps, it is not the business of the audience to know it too.
According to a news portal, Sacnilk, ASN grossed over 5.50cr on its first day. These are the figures of Karnataka alone as the subsequent languages released over time. The second and third days so a raise with 6.20cr and 7.30cr respectively. The first week ended with a collection of 34.70cr with a portion coming from the Telugu version.
The total collection, at the end of 3 rd week, is at 56.14cr net India collection. The film is reportedly made in a budget of 25cr. With that, the film can easily be termed as a blockbuster in terms of its theatrical collection alone.
Despite this, the box office success feels underwhelming. The film, from the start, was bound to break- even but the huge magnitude of the success was awaited. People expected it to repeat the success of KGF. Perhaps it was an unfair comparison.
Rakshit Shetty and his team are often looked upon as the flag bearers of the new Kannada cinema movement. The skills and the sensibility his team displays are quite unseen by many. Probably, the expectation was a bit too much or maybe it was always meant to be a film that would evoke mixed emotions.
The Kannada audience, often quite emotionally attached to their films and stars, are quite liberal to embrace and forget an effort but also are hopeful and deserving of good cinema.