Sunday, September 09, 2012

Ten Must Watch Kannada Movies

To read this article in Kannada please click here.

Following is the list of 10 must watch Kannada movies according to me. They are in no particular order. Though there will be always questions raised over the non-inclusion of some movies, this list definitely should serve as a representative listing of different genres of films in Kannada.

Beladingala Bale(1995) : Tale of a chess grand master and his quest for his elusive lover is a thriller. Revanth falls in love with a girl, who introduces herself as his fan. Though she communicates to him through telephone, her identity is concealed. Incidents which occur later in Revanth’s life resemble the moves in a game of chess. Use of pristine Kannada, revelations about chess and the presentation of different perceptions about a chess player make this movie worth a watch. To find more about movie and the book which was made the movie please visit here. You can watch the movie in youtube here.
Starring  : Anant Nag. Suman Nagarkar.

Bangarada Manushya(1972) : This is one movie which created a sensation in Karnataka in the 70’s. Sacrifice, selfless service, hard work and fraternity - virtues which are epitomized by Indian families even today form the crux of the movie. Viewing the personification of the great ideals which are farfetched in ordinary lives makes a delightful experience. Performances by stalwarts of Kannada cinema, ever green songs have given the movie the cult status. Importantly, we need to note the social impact it made with several guys going back to villages and taking up farming just like the film’s protagonist Rajeeva did. Watch the movie in youtube here.
Starring  : Raj Kumar, Bharathi

Mungaru Male(2006) : This movie seemingly is a real depiction of modern Indian love stories. Crisp dialogues readily catch your attention. Infatuation in the present age is presented in its full grandeur. Viewing the beauty of monsoon in Malnad with Jog falls in its full glow makes this film a visual treat. Some of the finest romantic compositions in Kannada featuring in the movie add to the glitter. These aspects served as benchmarks for the Kannada movies to be made later. 
Starring  Ganesh, Pooja Gandhi

Nagarahaavu(1972) : Story of Ramachari is that of a rebel who wants to free himself from society’s shackles. When questioned about his violent ways he heeds none but his beloved teacher.  Shot mostly in the historical Chitradurga fort, this movie portrays the irrational state of mind which every guy experiences in his youth. Needless to say, young lads continue to identify themselves with the central character. Watch the film in youtube here.
Starring  Vishnuvardhan, Arathi

Amruthavarshini(1997) : When a widower comes to live with his friend’s family, he gets attracted towards his friend’s wife. A person’s best friend who is soft spoken and has a poetic heart turning villain depicts the fragility of apparently great human relationships. Very few characters feature in the movie and they deliver one of the best performances of their movie career.  Climax of the movie is a brilliant take on the act of revenge.
Starring  Ramesh Aravind, Suhasini

Manasa Sarovara(1982) : Mind is the source of all human endeavors. When mind, placid as a lake gets disturbed all hell breaks loose.  A psychiatrist falls in love with a patient whom he treats. But destiny has other plans as she gets attracted towards doctor’s cousin. Ironically, doctor who heals mental disorders, falls victim to mind’s vicious ways. Saga of love and hate remembered for its relevance in the present age.
Starring  Srinath, Padma Vasanthi

America America(1995) : This film is a sensible portrayal of Indians migrated to US in the 90’s though with a triangular love story. Probably, it is first of its kind in India cinema. Without taking sides, movie raises questions about human identity and becomes a forum for debate on some of the fundamental questions raised in human history.
Starring  Ramesh Aravind, Hema

Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu(1974) : Bhootayya, a village money lender is the epitome of vices found in human nature. Villagers though denounce him, do not come in open to protest. After the death of Bhootayya, new rivalry begins between his son and the people of the village. Visual similes used, which are unparalleled in Kannada cinema and the vivid presentations of village life make this movie a classic in the annals of Kannada movie history. You can view the movie here in youtube.
Starring  : Vishnuvardhan, Lokesh

Dweepa(2002) : How do you value one’s honor and respect in an age where everything is measured in monetary terms? A family in-charge of a shrine in a village which is bound to be submerged as result of a dam being constructed is forced to leave the village. It is faced with this question which cannot be answered. As a representative of the contemporary world, this movie appears as the unyielding resistance of human beings towards change and rational thinking. Enjoy watching the film in youtube.
Starring  Avinash, Soundarya

Aa Dinagalu(2007) : When most of the producers in the Kannada film industry were testing their luck with formula driven gangster movies, here was a movie which was based on real life incidents. Touted as a film on gangs of Bangalore, this movie brings before you the Bengaluru of the 80’s. Don who is ready to stake anything for his supremacy and the encounters between rival gangs provide insight to the shady world of Bangalore mafia without shedding a drop of blood onscreen. Watch the movie in youtube. Also, you can check the review of the film here
Starring  Chetan, Atul Kulkarni. 


  1. nice to see some of my favourite movies in that list.. But, I was hoping "Minchina oTa" deserved a place there too.. as a tribute to Lt.Shankarnag! One of the best from Sandalwood!

  2. great... :) as I said in the article, this is a representative list

  3. Awesome list! i guess i would remove Aa Dinagalu, America America and include Mayura and Mysuru Mallige because both of them truthfully exemplifies authentic culture, legacy of karnataka/kannada.
    However, for kannda aficionados all the movies of Puttana Kanagal, Girish kasaravalli, Phani Ramchandra ; are definitely a must watch! :)

  4. 6thstation, Thanks a lot for your comments :) I did not take much consideration to the aspects you have said as I wanted to make the theme completely universal! But I agree that Mayura and Mysuru Mallige showcases Kannada culture beautifully.

  5. nice review of forgotten movies or seen during childhood without knowing the depth of understanding

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  7. Very nice and interesting list of favorite kannada movies. To get interesting and updated information kannda movies visit

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