From Body God, Trivikrama, Ravi Bopanna to Petromax and more

2022 was truly the year of Kannada cinema. It all started earlier this year with Rocking Star Yash’s mammoth KGF: Chapter 2, followed by other good stories like 777 Charlie, Vikrant Rona and Kantara. Several other Kannada films stood out, and did not get the all-India attention that the big titles did, but overall the outlook for the industry was good.

All was not rosy at Sandalwood. With so many pre-pandemic movies still gearing up for release, the year has also seen colossal flops, some of them so bad that you wonder why anyone would even dare to invest in them. Here’s a look at some Kannada films that had blink-and-miss theatrical releases.

Director Hari Santhosh’s film starred Dhanveerraah and Sreeleela as a young couple whose love goes from hate to falling for each other. Although they are very much in love, they also see the logic of checking whether they are truly compatible, and decide to bring the child between them. A child being paid to be smuggled out of an orphanage. Apparently, this act of child-trafficking is okay, as long as the parent couple realizes they love the child after returning to the “black market channel” that created it.

Director-actor Prabhu Srinivas’ film about a nurse who keeps a dead patient ‘alive’ in debt had some terrific moments, including a dead man harassing the house help. The comedy was also pretty bad, some of it with Prabhu on screen.

This was the big screen debut of Crazy Star Ravichandran’s young son, Vikram. Sahana Murthy’s film, however, had the old wafer-thin plot that offered the star son nothing to bite on. To make matters worse, he was paired with Akanksha Sharma whose pretty face failed to convey any emotion.

On paper, Pruthvi Ambaar’s film had a good premise. He talked about the stigma surrounding people with diabetes, especially younger patients. Pruthvi played a 28-year-old who suddenly has to adjust to a new lifestyle. The film’s failure was in its treatment of the subject.

Director Vijayaprasad’s philosophical adult comedy revolved around four adult orphans – three men and a woman – trying to find a rented accommodation and the struggles that come with it. The filmmaker didn’t even bother to resort to double entendres, keeping the sex jokes straight and letting the ladies, Hariprriya and Karunya Ram, “crack” them.

The first indication that the Kannada adaptation of Crazy Star V Ravichandran’s Malayalam hit Joseph was going to be bad was when it released a trailer that was splashed with ‘Le Bopanna’.

Director Vijayaprasad’s second film of the year was another adult comedy, this time with Jaggesh in the lead and the sex jokes revolved around a religious theme. Thotapuri was supposed to be a two-part project, with the second one featuring Dhananjaya’s character more prominently, but given the film’s poor box office performance, it remains to be seen whether it will be made.

Sachin Dhanpal, the launch pad of Champion made some headlines as the makers got Sunny Leone to do a special number in the film. Also, the film that paired the release with Aditi Prabhudeva had nothing else to write home about as it mixed a weak story with the usual commercial elements.

Multiple heroines, it seems, are a must for Darling Krishna now. Not that it makes much of a difference. Dil Pasand’s biggest let down was the casting of Megha Shetty. The actress was a complete fish out of water as a traditional girl who gets the modern look of the man of her dreams. Nishvika’s arc involved a night of alcohol-fueled passion with Krishna and then the next moment she claimed to be pregnant.

Golden Star Ganesh also failed this year in the form of Triple Riding. Paired with not one, but three heroes, this film also told its fans that it needs to take a break from those usual emotional love stories that it has been doing for a while.

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