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Best of Kannada Movies

December 26, 2006
For the Kannada film industry, 2006 was annus very horribilis; a year to forget as soon as humanly possible.

For some reason, audiences stayed away in droves; even a super-hit film like My Autograph failed to get a decent opening; it was only in the weeks following its release that it gradually stabilized.

Against that backdrop, listing the top six films of the year could be an exercise in futility; these films, however, had sufficient merit, if not uniform box office success, to make this cut.

My Autograph

Kannada star Sudeep became a producer-director with this film, and achieved success on debut.

A remake of director Cheran's Tamil hit Autograph, the film saw Sudeep focus on production to the exclusion of all else. It took him two months of work to get the lyrics right, even though the tunes were straight lifts from the Tamil original by Bharadwaj.

He then went to scout out the outdoor locations, and added a native touch to the narration. Even during post-production, the involvement continued, with Sudeep working late into the night on the edit and related work so much so, he requested his producers to wait until the film was launched, before beginning shooting schedules involving him.

The film is based on a simple premise: a man, on the verge of getting married, decides to seek out those women who, from his formative years, had captured his heart and influenced him in some way or other. The present status of those women, interspersed with recaps of the hero's interaction with the respective ladies, comprises the plotline of the film.

At the box office, it started slowly before going on to become a superhit. Industry estimates indicate the film did around Rs 6 crore business; it is reported to have cost around Rs 2.6 lakh to produce. The success was a turnaround for the actor who had a bad year in 2005, with many of his films failing at the box office. What brought his fans back, analysts say, is the repeated telecast of the songs of My Autograph, especially Chitra's rendition of Araluva Hoovugale Aalisiri, which topped the charts for many months. Sudeep cashed in on this as well, since per the terms of his contract with the audio company, he stood to benefit from the sale of each copy of the album.

Sudeep now joins the ranks of successful actor-directors, that includes the likes of Ravichandran and Ramesh Arvind.

What are the events that shaped 2006? Tell us!

Also read: Top Kannada Heroes

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