Sandalwood 2021: Here are the higlights of Kannada cinema 2021
The deaths of Puneeth Rajkumar, Sanchari Vijay among few others shook the Kannada industry this year. Despite these setbacks, Sandalwood did manage to bring out a handful of big-ticket films
2021 was a year of stupendous highs and devastating lows for Sandalwood. Even as the industry was navigating around the pandemic, Kannada cinema had to face the shocking deaths of some of its most illustrious names.
The deaths of Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar, Sanchari Vijay among many others shook Kannada cinema among others passing away this year. Despite these setbacks, the Kannada Film industry did manage to bring out a handful of big-ticket films to the theatres, which received quite the response. Sandalwood also had its share of critically acclaimed films that kept the flag flying high. As the curtain falls on 2021, we look back at how Sandalwood fared in a year that not only gave a lot but took a fair share.
Kannada industry opened up with Prajwal Devaraj’s Inspector Vikram, and 100-plus films made their way to the theatres this year, while a handful opted for a digital release. Dhruva Sarja’s Pogaru, Darshan-starrer Roberrt created a lot of buzz during its release, and the latter, backed by Umapathy Films, turned out to be the highest-grossing film of 2021. However, the film could not complete a 100 day-run in theatres owing to the second wave lockdown, which was implemented in the state in April.
Puneeth Rajkumar’s Yuvarathnaa created a lot of buzz before the release, and made all the right kinds of noises. However, the theatrical run of this Hombale Films production that began on April 1 was cut unjustifiably short due to the lockdown and found its way to an OTT release on April 9.
Sandalwood returned after a break with Sudeep’s Kotigobba 3, which did run into a few controversies. However, the Shiva Karthik directorial managed to fare well at the box office and was more of a treat to all Sudeep fans. Duniya Vijay, known for his acting ability, proved his mettle as a director with Salaga. The film, backed by Srikanth, highlighted the battle between the police system and rowdyism, and received a good reception at the box office. Another film whose run was unceremoniously cut short was Shivarajkumar’s Bhajarangi 2, which was released in theatres on October 29. The makers had to cancel shows owing to Puneeth Rajkumar’s death. The film, which was re-released a few days later, had a good response coming from the audience and is still running in theatres.
Coming to critically acclaimed movies, Aravind Kuplikar’s directorial debut
Puksatte Lifeu, starring Sanchari Vijay was appreciated for its content-driven subject. Raj B Shetty’s Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana became the talk of the town and received an overwhelming reception from every nook and cranny of Karnataka, and had filmmakers from across India raving about its making, and became one of the most-watched films of the year.
Dhananjay’s Badava Rascal opened to a good response. Srimurali’s Madhagaja, directed by Mahesh Kumar, Nikhil Kumar’s Rider by Vijay Kumar Konda, Suni-Ganesh combination, Sakkath, Ramesh Aravind’s directorial, 100, Suraj Gowda’s Ninna Sanihake, Rishab Shetty’s Hero, Prem’s 25th film, Premam Poojyam, Ravichandran-starrer Drishya 2, Yogi’s Lanke, Manuranjan’s Mugilpete, Aditi Prabhudeva’s Aana were other films that filled up the calendar year. The year ends with three films — Arjun Gowda, Love You Rachchu, and Huttu Habbada Subhashayagalu — releasing on December 31. Ikkat, Ratnan Prapancha, and Kannadiga were among the Kannada films that did well on the streaming platforms. With the year coming to a close, let us take time to remember the people whose deaths left an indelible vacuum in our lives. The Kannada industry is still mourning the sudden death of actor, producer, singer, Puneeth Rajkumar. Popularly known as Appu, Puneeth died of cardiac arrest on October 29. The actor, who has been an inspiration to millions of people, continued to be so even after his demise as his action of donating his eyes became something his fans emulated. Sanchari Vijay’s death in a bike accident too took Sandalwood by surprise. Producer Ramu, veteran actors Shivaram, Jayanthi, B Jaya, Sathyajit, and KV Raju were among the illustrious names that left us in the year that was.