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Kannada filmdom gets all starry

After Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan, the Kannada industry now plans to bring Rajnikant



IN THE MAKING On the sets of Rama Bhama Shyama

Close to the re-entry of Kamal Haasan into the centre stage of Kannada cinema after a gap of over 17 years and the superstar Amitabh Bachhan's reported move to enter regional cinema, there are reports about the efforts to welcome Tamil superstar Rajnikant back into Kannada cinema after a gap of two decades.

At the outset, these developments have given a special momentum to Kannada cinema even as it has caused concern in some quarters.

Many Kannada film producers and directors are inclined to approach these super stars. But they are hesitant to act, obviously owing to the reported high remunerations these stars demand and the limitations of the Kannada cinema market.

With the venture of Ramesh (Ramesh Arvind for Tamil film buffs) to bring back Kamal Haasan, writer-director Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar's much talked of success in signing Amitabh Bachhan for his new film Amrutha Dhaare and the move to bring back Rajnikant are likely change the scenario of Kannada cinema in the coming days.


According to H.D. Gangaraj, president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, a major distributor of Rajnikant's films in Karnataka, also said to be a close confidant of the superstar, says a handful of producers have been making efforts to bring back Rajnikant from the past three years.

"It looks like the time has come now. A couple of directors have some brilliant original Kannada scripts to support Rajnikant's homecoming and help him refurbish his image as an artiste beyond parochial barriers."

Mr.Gangaraj clarified that the move to invite Rajnikant should not be construed as a move to counter Kamal Haasan's re-entry into Kannada cinema.

It should only be seen as an attempt to accommodate and honour artistes of that calibre in Kannada, he added.


Rajnikant has acted in over a score of original Kannada films, including the late Putanna Kangal's Katha Sangama, Joe Simeon's Ondu Premada Kathe and K. Balchander's Tappida Taalagalu (also made in Tamil as Tapputaalangal). But he is yet to act in a full-length original Kannada film, after he became a superstar in Tamil.

On the other hand, Kamal Hasan has acted in only four Kannada films. Barring the first, Balu Mahendra's Kokila, the other films, Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu and Mariya My Darling were remakes. His another important film was Pushpaka Vimana, produced by Sringar Nagaraj and directed by Singeetham Srinivasa Rao.

Though it technically claimed to be a Kannada film it does not belong to any language as it was a silent film. His latest film on the sets, Rama- Shyama- Bhama is also said to be a remake of his own Tamil hit, Sathi Leelavathi. Gandhinagar is however, agog with rumours that there also plans to approach Kamal Haasan with a script to befit his stature to produce an original Kannada film.

K.N. VENKATASUBBA RAO

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