From ‘Tagaru’ to ‘U Turn’, 5 Kannada thrillers that should be on your watchlist

As Kannada thriller ‘Aa Karaala Ratri’ runs successfully in cinemas, here is a list of five awesome thrillers that should be on your watchlist.
From ‘Tagaru’ to ‘U Turn’, 5 Kannada thrillers that should be on your watchlist
From ‘Tagaru’ to ‘U Turn’, 5 Kannada thrillers that should be on your watchlist
Written by:

Aa Karaala Ratri, which released earlier this month, is being talked about as the next big thriller in Kannada cinema. Filmmaker Dayal Padmanabhan, who’s known for making parallel and masala films, has based his latest drama on a Kannada play by Mohan Habbu, which turns into a fest of blood-and-tears in the last half hour.

Aa Karaala Ratri has the intimacy that can be seen in a play. Since it’s the adaptation of a play, you might say it’s obvious. But when was the last time that Kannada cinema took its cast and crew to the 80s to cook up chicken curry and murder?

A limited set of characters and the reliance on dialogues to move the story forward are the signs of a tightly packed script. If you look closely, the entire film is, mostly, set in a dilapidated house. Again, that’s a prominent feature of the stage-to-screen process.

If you’re in the mood for a thriller, run to a theatre that’s playing Aa Karaala Ratri and also do put these other Kannada thrillers on your watchlist so that you can enjoy them as well.

1. Ulidavaru Kandanthe: This Rakshit Shetty film didn’t get much appreciation when it was initially released. Viewers thought that the film was trying to ape the cultural aesthetics of Western cinema. But today, it remains one of the high-points of the new-wave Kannada cinema as it uses the Rashomon effect to tell the story of Richi’s (Rakshit Shetty) murder.

This 2014 movie helped put Shetty on the lists of the most interesting writers, directors and actors. When the film was remade in Tamil as Richie, with Nivin Pauly in the lead, the latter was criticised for not being as mirthful as Shetty in the role of a local thug.

Ulidavaru Kandanthe is the textbook example of getting everything right but for a big tick at the box office.

2. RangiTaranga: The Bhandari brothers, Anup and Nirup (director and actor, respectively), cooked up a tale of murder and deceit in the coastal region of Karnataka. Saikumar’s explosive acting in the climactic minutes should be studied by students in film schools.

The soundtrack albums of RangiTaranga and Ulidavaru Kandanthe are classics in their own right as they bring the flavour of the towns they are set in to urban-centric viewers.

RangiTaranga, which released in 2015, also has actors who know how to do their job. Radhika Chetan and Avantika Shetty play their parts well and do not go overboard as it usually happens with newcomers.

3. U Turn: With the release of Lucia in 2013, writer-director Pawan Kumar had made a name for himself as the leader of indie filmmakers in Kannada cinema. He proved that again with U Turn in 2016. U Turn gave its lead, Shraddha Srinath, only bouquets and no brickbats. The entire film rested on her shoulders and she proved that she was the right choice to play a young journalist.

U Turn brought a fresh twist to the mystery-horror genre, as the movie had a socially relevant message tucked into its narration. It is currently being remade in Telugu with Samantha and fans of the original movie are waiting to see what the actor, who has mostly starred in romance movies and family dramas, will do in a thriller that revolves around her screaming abilities.

4. Tagaru: Since his debut in 1986, Shivarajkumar has starred in more than a 100 movies and Tagaru ranks among his best. The actor and director Soori had joined hands previously for the hugely successful Kaddipudi (2013). But with Tagaru, which released earlier this year, they made history in Kannada cinema.

Tagaru had a non-linear screenplay – à la Ulidavaru Kandanthe – that irked a section of the audience. However, it did a 100-day theatrical run in Bengaluru and some other parts of Karnataka.

Shivarajkumar’s turn as a dreaded cop was something that we hadn’t seen on the big screen before. It seemed like he had good fun dancing to the tunes of Charan Raj and delivering swear words with aplomb. This is a movie that needs to be devoured in its full-form.

5. GultooGultoo’s pre-release buzz was miniscule before it came out earlier this year, but when fans of the movie started spreading positive reviews on social media, it started running to packed houses. Janardhan Chikkanna, who made his directorial debut with the film, roped in his college-mate, Naveen Shankar, to play one of the leads. And, Ram Dhanush, the supporting actor, had the crowds whistling to his one-liners and repartees.

Also, Gultoo talks about the ill-effects of the Aadhaar program like no other Indian film. For this reason alone, it has a special place in the list of Kannada films released this year.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute