Super (2010 Indian film)

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Super
Upendra-super.jpg
Directed by Upendra
Produced by Rockline Venkatesh
Written by Upendra
Screenplay by Upendra
Starring Upendra
Nayantara
Sadhu Kokila
Tulip Joshi
Music by V. Harikrishna
Cinematography Ashok Kashyap
Edited by Thirupathi Reddy
Distributed by Rockline Productions
Release date(s)
  • 3 December 2010 (2010-12-03)
Running time 135 minutes
Country India
Language Kannada
Telugu
Tamil
Budget INR120,000,000
Box office INR350,000,000 (Kannada, Telugu, TV and Audio rights)[1]

Super (Kannada: ಸೂಪರ್, Telugu: సూపర్) (originally known only by Vitarka Mudrā hand symbol) is a 2010 Indian multilingual film written and directed by Upendra.[2] The film was released on 3 December 2010 in its Kannada version; and on 11 March 2011 in its Telugu version[3] This utopian film had a concept of a contrasting futuristic India set in the year 2030, and the contemporary image of India.[4]

With the title of the film depicted only by a symbol, it features Upendra and Nayantara in lead roles and is produced by Rockline Venkatesh, while V. Harikrishna scored the music.[5] Making more than INR100 million through satellite television and audio rights even before release, in Kannada it grossed a record INR25 million in first three days of the opening weekend. The film grossed INR500 million at the box office and was one of the Highest grossing Kannada films of 2010, along with Jackie.[6][7][8]

Production[edit]

Tarim Basin, 9th century

Upendra returned to direction after nearly ten years. The nameless film was originally represented only by the hand symbol (seen in posters) and Upendra wanted the audience to name the film. The hand symbol could mean zero, or three or the Om symbol or Vitarka Mudrā (an ancient Buddhist gesture), but media stuck to calling it Super.[9]

Shooting began on 18 February 2010 at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium with planned schedule for 90 days which included various locations in Bangalore, Dubai and London.[10] It was produced by Rockline Venkatesh under the banner Rockline Productions, which is its 25th venture. The film saw the debut of Tamil-Malayalam actress Nayantara in Kannada films. Being a multilingual film, several artists from Telugu and Tamil film industries like Ali, Kadal Dandapani, Jeeva are also featured.[11]

Prior to release, much information about the film was kept under wraps. During promotion of the film at an interview on a radio station, Upendra expressed his disappointment being labeled as a "different director" and explained that most of his directorial ventures deal with the things that he had undergone in his real life.[12] When asked about the ten-year break, Upendra said he thought he would work on his acting career, but then it sucked him in like a vacuum which he could not get out of. After reaching a point where he was afraid he had lost his ability to direct films, he had to fight his fear and that is when he started working on the script of Super.[13]

Cast[edit]

Theme[edit]

A symbol being the title of the film, it is replete with symbolism from the title sequence is displayed.[17] For instance, the credit for direction just shows "U" with an index finger pointing towards the audience. This story of India is narrated metaphorically through the story of Indira, the female lead.[18]

Super depicts a Utopian India in the year 2030 where Indians are pictured to be wealthy, hard-working, and are seen wearing traditional clothing consisting of Ilkal saree and panche. In contrast, westerners are the ones taking care of menial jobs like taxi driving, janitorial, etc. It is a future where the rupee is valued 70 times the British pound and people who cannot speak Kannada are considered illiterates (and Westerners are visibly apologetic about the same).[19] From this setting, the film regresses back to the current year 2010 where India is beset with problems of corruption, red-tapism, pollution and unemployment. Political satire is played out by using sounds of horses and donkeys when ministers appear on screen, which represents the political horse trading witnessed in recent times in the state of Karnataka.[20] Scenes of raping Indira and the auctioning process of an entire Indian state are interspersed to draw a parallel between the two.[21] The film finds a climax back in 2030 where a foreigner asks an Indian as to who was responsible for all the good changes in India, and the film ends abruptly again with the index finger pointing at the audience, symbolizing that it's the people who are ultimately responsible for the course of a nation.[citation needed]

Release[edit]

India[edit]

Super was made in two languages (Kannada & Telugu), but the Kannada version was released first. Producer Rockline Venkatesh announced that there is no difference and story remains same in both the versions. In Karnataka, the Kannada version was released at over 180 theaters on 3 December 2010. The Telugu version of the film was released on 11 March 2011 in more than 95 screens across Andhra Pradesh.[22] Fearing piracy, the production team postponed the international release to mid-2011 as there were chances of film getting leaked on the Internet during overseas release.[23] Tamil film personality Rajinikanth flew to Bangalore to attend a private screening of the film arranged by the producer Rockline Venkatesh. The film saw a special screening in Infosys at its Mysore campus. It was also screened at the fourth Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFF) in December 2011 as part of the 'political satire' category.[24]

Overseas release[edit]

Kannada version of Super was released in the USA by Upendra's close friend Shivamurthy.[25] The film was screened in USA's Chicago and Edison, New Jersey. It was scheduled for two shows in the town of Matthews, North Carolina on 23 and 24 April at Cinemark Theatres.[26] In the city of Garland, Texas, it was screened in August 2011.[27] The film was released in Australia in late August 2011, by a Kannada film distributor in Australia, Arunroopesh. It was screened in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Kannada[edit]

In Karnataka, the Kannada version was released at over 180 theaters on 3 December 2010.[28] The film reported sold-out shows all over the state of Karnataka.[29] Some fans who could not get hold of tickets any other way bought them on the black market.[30] It celebrated 100 days of run at over 30 centres, 125 days of run at its main centre and 175 days of run at PVR in Bangalore. The film grossed more than INR500 million during its theatrical run and was one of the Highest grossing Kannada films of 2010.[6]

Telugu[edit]

After receiving good response for the audio track, Super was released in Andhra Pradesh in its Telugu version on 11 March 2011.[31] Screened at more than 95 theaters across Andhra Pradesh, Super had an opening across the state.[32] Upendra was quite happy about receiving extraordinary reviews from Telugu and English daily newspapers and websites.[citation needed] It received a widespread appreciation from Telugu newspapers like Eenadu and Vaartha which described Super as 'Upendra's best creative attempt'[citation needed] and was reported to be doing well in Andhra Pradesh. Reviews in the websites were also quite positive about the film.[citation needed] According to Upendra, the film's good reviews boosted the collections and that the film as a whole has been appreciated and the fresh concept of the story has been widely discussed in media.[citation needed] The distributors were quite happy about the response received throughout Andhra Pradesh.[33] According to the box office analysts of Andhra Pradesh, the film surprisingly caught the attention of the B, C centre audience in a big way and scored good success.[34] The film did good business in all theatres of Andhra Pradesh in spite of Cricket Season.[35]

Critical reception[edit]

Critically, the film was widely well received in its Kannada version with the Times of India rating it 4/5 stars and describing that the film "succeeds in keeping the audience entertained with witty dialogs, neat script and lively narration, along with Upendra's antics, and, at times, his strange make-up."[36] Deccan Herald termed the film as "something extraordinary" and praised Upendra's grand return to direction "by confusing and exciting the audience right from the movie’s inception, with a hotchpotch of his trademark films and roles" while downplaying the characterization of heroines.[37]

Sify called it a "revolutionary concept" in story-telling which "will make people ponder over the contemporary events and see how the country is plundered by the greedy politicians and corporate community."[4] DNA India also rated it 4/5 stars with a consensus that "Upendra still has all it takes to churn movies that are 'his style,' but contemporary in nature and he puts forth a message through this film as well, as he ruthlessly mocks the current political scenario."[38] Other reviewers have largely appreciated the multifaceted film for its technicality, complex script dished out in an out-of-the-box narratorial technique while keeping the commercial aspect intact.[39][40] Performances of all artists, especially Upendra's, has been another highlighted feature of the film.[41]

Special screenings[edit]

In 2011, Rajinikanth attended a private screening of Super arranged by the producer Rockline Venkatesh. "It all started a couple of months ago when I met Rajini sir and told him about the film I was going to produce with Uppi as director. When he heard the story of the film, he was very happy," said Rockline. "When he learnt that it was a hit, he was thrilled and asked me to hold a screening for him, too."[42] After the screening, Rajinikanth commented: "I like watching Upendra's films and this was no exception. He is an excellent director and is one of a kind in the country. The kind of subject he has chosen is excellent. We need more films of this kind which are thought-provoking and also well-made. It's amazing that a film of this scale has been made in Kannada. If I get an opportunity and an impressive script, I'd like to do a Kannada film in the future."[42]

The film saw a special screening in Infosys at its Mysore campus where thousands of employees, which included non-Kannadigas, watched the film.[43] It was screened at the fourth Bangalore International Film Festival (BIFF) in December 2011.[24]

Soundtrack[edit]

Super
Super audio release poster
Soundtrack album by V. Harikrishna
Released 19 November 2010
Genre Film soundtrack
Label Akash Audio

The Super soundtrack album rights was acquired by Madhu Bangarappa of Akash Audio for a record price of INR12.5 million.[44] Composed by V Harikrishna, the album has five songs and Upendra has penned lyrics for three and remaining two have been written by Yograj Bhat and V Manohar. It was officially released on 19 November at Leela Palace by Puneet Rajkumar and Raghavendra Rajkumar.[45]

Pirated copies of the album were available online within hours after the release, and a team was formed by the production unit to fight audio piracy. This resulted in some Kannada music websites being brought down permanently.[46][47]

# Song Singer(s) Lyricist
1 Kaayi Kaayi Uppinakaayi Kunal Ganjawala Upendra
2 Sikkapatte Ishtapatte Upendra Yograj Bhat
3 Come on Come on Rahul Nambiar V. Manohar
4 Yeri Mele Yeri SPB, Shamitha Malnad, Upendra Upendra
5 Look at the Style Naveen Madhav Upendra

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ‘Super’ going super!. Indiaglitz.com (5 January 2011).
  2. ^ Upendra promises treat for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada fans. Indiatalkies.com (1 March 2010).
  3. ^ Upendra untitled film out on 11th in Telugu. Indiaglitz.com (5 March 2011).
  4. ^ a b Super: A revolutionary concept. Sify.com.
  5. ^ Super Muhurtha. Oneindia. (8 February 2010).
  6. ^ a b 'Super' 100 it is Super Time. Supergoodmovies.com (13 March 2011).
  7. ^ Upendra Kannada Film Super Box Office Report, Collections. Cinemagupshup.com.
  8. ^ [1] Upendra returns to direction after a gap of 10 years with this film. The film got released yesterday, and is declared a superhit.
  9. ^ 'People should title my film' - Upendra. Deccan Herald.
  10. ^ Chitraloka Super info
  11. ^ Nayantara's Kannada debut. Ibnlive.in.com (31 March 2010).
  12. ^ Upendra says, "I'm not at all different director.". Oneindia. (3 December 2010).
  13. ^ ‘I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to direct’ - Upendra. Deccan Herald.
  14. ^ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi#Salt Satyagraha (Salt March) Gandhi had a clash with Subhas Bose, who had been elected president in 1938. Their main points of contention were Bose's lack of commitment to democracy, and lack of faith in non-violence.
  15. ^ The rise of the Reddy brothers. Ndtv.com (23 March 2010).
  16. ^ Hindu - Loot in Bellary. Flonnet.com.
  17. ^ [2] Uppi has made the movie Super that is named after hand symbol completely a different film and that different trick starts right from the displaying title cards, which has never been attempted by anyone in Indian cinema.
  18. ^ Upendra's Super movie review and audience response. Oneindia. (7 December 2010).
  19. ^ Futuristic Pickle! - Bellitere.com
  20. ^ Lokayukta begins preliminary probe into horse-trading charge in Karnataka. The Hindu. (3 November 2010).
  21. ^ "Hero announces the rape of Nayantara". Gulte. 
  22. ^ Upendra's Super rakes in Rs. 2.5 cr at Box Office. Oneindia. (6 December 2010).
  23. ^ Rockline Venkatesh overwhelmed by Super success. Oneindia. (14 December 2010).
  24. ^ a b Upendra's Super to be screened at 4th Bengaluru International Film Festival. Oneindia. (12 December 2011).
  25. ^ Super To USA. Chitraloka.com.
  26. ^ Super at Cinemark Theatres - Matthews, NC. Cinemark.com.
  27. ^ Walnut Theaters, Garland, Texas
  28. ^ http://www.cinemagupshup.com/kannada/kannada-box-office-report/upendra-kannada-film-super-box-office-report-collections/
  29. ^ Super-duper opening for Upendra film. The Hindu (4 December 2010).
  30. ^ Upendra’s Super draws huge crowds to theatres on Day 1. Daily News and Analysis.
  31. ^ Telugu version of Super on March 11. Sify (3 March 2011).
  32. ^ 'ಸೂಪರ್' ಸೂಪರ್ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿದೆ ಟಾಲಿವುಡ್!. Kannada.webdunia.com.
  33. ^ Upendra happy with Telugu reviews. Sify.com (16 March 2011).
  34. ^ 'Tollywood 2011': A Round Up On Hits And Flops. Greatandhra.com (19 December 2011).
  35. ^ [3][dead link]
  36. ^ Super movie review - Times of India. The Times of India.
  37. ^ Super movie review. Deccan Herald.
  38. ^ DNA India 'Super' review - Upendra is back!. Daily News and Analysis.
  39. ^ Super (Hand Symbol) - movie review. Oneindia. (3 December 2010).
  40. ^ Upendra is super!. Rediff.com (3 December 2010).
  41. ^ Upendra excels as actor and director in ‘Super’. Indiatalkies.com (4 December 2010).
  42. ^ a b Daithota, Madhu (30 January 2011). "I like watching Upendra's films: Rajinikanth". Indiatimes. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  43. ^ Super screened in Infosys Campus. Sify.com (1 February 2011).
  44. ^ Super audio album rights. Oneindia. (8 November 2010).
  45. ^ Puneet, Raghanna launch Uppi's Super music. Oneindia. (22 November 2010).
  46. ^ Super Producers plan squads to fight audio piracy[dead link]
  47. ^ Kannada songs site shuts down[dead link]

External links[edit]