Amid the pandemic and consequent gloom, the year has been difficult, to say the least. Despite the lockdown restrictions easing up, there’s reservation among people about the “new normal”. Several people have turned to Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms for entertainment to take their minds off their concerns. If you're new to Kannada cinema and are looking for films to watch, here’s a list of chicken-soup-for-the-soul-warm films you can catch up with this weekend to unwind.
A screengrab from Happy New Year
The Pannaga Bharana directorial is an anthological film revolving around stories of people from different walks of life interwoven -- they are all looking for meaning in their lives. Everything changes for them on the New Year’s. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Saikumar, Rajshri Ponnappa, and others in lead roles. The characters find themselves navigating their way in different phases of love and it feels relatable. Who knows, you may find yourself crooning to 'Preethiya Hesare Neenu' with Raghu Dixit by the end?
A still from Chamak, starring Ganesh and Rashmika Mandanna
The 2017 romantic-comedy is a cliched film through and through, however, apprehensions can be done away with for one watch. Starring Golden Star Ganesh and Rashmika Mandanna, this film explores a non-linear trajectory of a couple who pretend to be simpletons but are party animals to the core. What ensues is a series of imbroglios that lead them to their happily ever after. Behold, this doesn’t happen without heartbreaks. Despite being a155-minute-long saga, this Suni film enchanted the critics and audiences alike when it released. You also get a glimpse of baby Charitrya, Ganesh’s daughter.
A still from Ayogya, starring Vishal and Rashi Khanna
Another rom-com that made it to this list is the 2018 film Ayogya. Set in Mandya, the film sets out to explore the story of a laggard Siddhegowda alias Siddha essayed by Sathish Ninasam. He does not possess the “must-have prospects” to begin a career or find a life partner, the only desires of his. Everything changes for him when Rachita Ram, Karnataka’s Gombe [heartthrob], waltzes into his life. And the film thereafter takes a serious turn. S Mahesh Kumar, although, ensures that the film doesn’t become didactic and entertains the audiences.
Anant Nag in Sarkari Hi. Pra. Shale Kasargodu, Koduge: Ramanna Rai
Although the film is a socio-political one, the punches in the Rishab Shetty directorial are not subdued. The Anant Nag and Ramesh Bhat starrer bagged a National Award for being the Best Children’s Film and was a blockbuster. The plot focuses on the struggles of students of a dilapidated government Kannada school in Kasaragod (a border district in Kerala with majoritarian Kannada-speaking residents). The kids, to get a famous activist (Ramesh Bhat) to fight for their cause travel to Mysuru, and approach Anant Nag instead (because the two men share the same name). The film then showcases how Nag and the kids find comfort in each other’s company while managing to halt the closure of school.
A still from Chemistry of Kariyappa
2019 was the year for director Kumaar as his film Chemistry of Kariyappa, set out to tickle the audiences’ funny bone, and achieved the desired effect. The film starts out as a comical journey of Uttara (Chandan Achar), a man in his mid-thirties going through trials and tribulations to find a bride for himself. And when he does, it all falls apart upon receiving a divorce notice from his wife Chitra (Sanjana Anand). The reason she cites is Uttara's impotency. Uttara's father then steps in to help him solve the "simple equations of life". Thenceforth the focus of the film shifts from romantic love to the father-son bond.