A (1998 Kannada film)
|Cinematography||H. C. Venugopal|
|Edited by||T. Shashikumar|
|Distributed by||Yash Raj Films|
|Budget||₹1 crore (equivalent to ₹3.4 crore or US$490,000 in 2018)|
|Box office||₹20 crore (equivalent to ₹67 crore or US$9.7 million in 2018)|
A is a 1998 Indian Kannada Romantic Psychological Thriller film written and directed by Upendra. It starred Upendra and Chandini as the lead couple. It tells the love story between a film director and an actress which is narrated through multiple flashbacks within flashbacks and reverse screenplay. The film deals with dark truths of the film world like the casting couch. Due to the reverse screenplay, some audience members watched it multiple times to understand the story. The opening sequence of the movie was based on Jean-Paul Sartre's short story Erostratus, found in 1939 collection of short stories The Wall.The movie has a cult fanbase.
Upon release, A collected more than ₹20 crore at the box office. The movie was dubbed into Telugu and released in Andhra Pradesh. The film was remade in Tamil as Adavadi. It was Gurukiran's first film as a music director. Upendra won the Udaya Film Award for Best Male Actor (1998) and Gurukiran won the Udaya Film Award for Best Music Director (1998).
A foreign woman, Marina, wants to distribute the unreleased controversial film A directed by Soorya. However the censor board permits only twenty random minutes to be screened and the climax is censored to such an extent that it no longer made any sense. She suggests its producers to re-shoot the film. However, Soorya is not in a position to participate in the film's shoot as he became a drunkard after actress Chandini, who debuted with his film, rejects his love. Soorya's family is unable to meet their ends after he stops directing films. Lost in her thoughts, he wanders near her house every night drunk, only to be expelled by her henchmen.
On one of such nights, Soorya is badly beaten up and is admitted to a hospital by Marina and team. There, one of Soorya's former assistant directors explain Soorya's past to Marina. Soorya was a successful director who had no feelings, especially for a woman's love. After his current female lead fails to act properly, he casts Chandini after a chain of events. Initially, Soorya rejects Chandini's love, but after frequent run-ins, and days of pursuit, Soorya falls in love with her madly. He later meets a rich and busy Chandini, who lives in a big bungalow and as the mistress of a wealthy married businessman. She defends herself saying that Soorya's views on materialistic world influenced her to give priority to money over everything else after her father's death. He tries to explain her that she is wrong, but is expelled.
Since then, Soorya gave up everything and became an alcoholic, wandering near her house every day with a hope that she would accept him. He escapes from the hospital and is confronted by Marina, to whom Soorya explains about his love for Chandini. He then saves a novice actress named Archana from a group of henchmen who are revealed to be Chandini's. Archana reveals that Chandini is used as a bait by the politicians to trap Soorya and stop his A from release and Chandini in turn exploited the weakness of those politicians by a way of casting couch. She proves this to Soorya, who along with his father and Archana, is arrested on charges of prostitution. Those police were bribed by Chandini who abducts Archana while Soorya and his father are arrested.
Soorya and his father are released on bail by Marina and the plight of his family makes Soorya swear revenge. He restarts the shoot of A and meanwhile turns out to be a superstar due to the success of the films starring him. The climax shoot is pending and Soorya wants to shoot it real, which actually is the murder of Chandini in a burning house. The camera rolls and Soorya kidnaps Chandini from her house where she kills the businessman. He brings her to the location and sets it on fire after rolling the camera. She knocks him out who falls unconscious after hitting a rock. Archana, Marina and the producers come to the spot to save him.
Archana shows him the footage of the film that was shot after revealing that Chandini is actually a good woman who wanted to bring Soorya back to normal by acting as a ruthless criminal who is destroying the lives of many actresses like Archana. The footage shows a naked Chandini dying and revealing the truth. She says that the businessman was a friend of few corrupt politicians who wanted to have sex with her. They kill her father and raped her. This process is captured in a camera and the businessman blackmails Chandini of showing them. As per their directions, she had to cheat Soorya. But with the help of Archana, she brings him back to normal and gives A a perfect ending. Soorya tries to save her by entering the house but she dies asking him to live long and make films that could make his people proud.
Upendra and three others B. G. Manjunath, B. Jagannath and B. V. Ramakrishna, founded the film production company Uppi Entertainers in October 1996, with equal partnership. After Kannada film distributors refused to purchase the distribution rights following the producers themselves not being confident of the film doing well, it was purchased by Yash Raj Films. This was Upendra's debut film as a lead actor.
It was described by a reviewer as "loud and disjointed, like the ramblings of a delirious mind, but made a lot of sense". Its design received some praise. It provoked some controversy over anti-women remarks and may contain some autobiographical elements.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||3 February 1998|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
Gurukiran composed the music for the film and the soundtracks which marked his debut. The album has five soundtracks. The daughter-in-law of Kannada poet G.P. Rajarathnam alleged that a song by the late poet, "Helkollakondooru thalemyagondhsooru," for which she held the copyright, had been used by Upendra in the film without her consent.
|1.||"Sum Sumne"||Upendra||Rajesh Krishnan||4:54|
|2.||"Chandini"||Murali Mohan||L. N. Shastry, Prathima Rao||5:03|
|3.||"Helkollakonduru"||G. P. Rajarathnam||L. N. Shastry||5:08|
|4.||"Idhu One Day Match"||Murali Mohan||L. N. Shastry||6:34|
|5.||"Maari Kannu"||Upendra||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam||4:22|
- Udaya Film Award for Best Male Actor – Upendra
- Udaya Film Award for Best Music Director – Gurukiran
- Karnataka State Film Award – Best Sound Recording – Murali
- Karnataka State Film Award – Best Editing – T. Shashikumar
- Prasad S., Shyam (6 September 2016). "Why is A haunting Upendra 20 years later?". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- Article about the plot of A, and an interview with Chandni, the heroine. Rediff.com (11 December 1999). Retrieved on 2015-08-18.
- The Wall (short story collection)
- A sequel to A – Kannada Movie News. Indiaglitz.com (19 July 2010). Retrieved on 2015-08-18.
- Adavadi – Review. Entertainment.oneindia.in. Retrieved on 18 August 2015.
- Kannada composer Gurukiran wants to do more reality shows. The Hindu. 12 January 2008
- "175 days or 25 weeks shield of A".
- Kumar, S. Shiva (11 November 2005) Uppi's hardly uppity, The Hindu
- Bhushan Geechi to direct. Entertainment.oneindia.in. Retrieved on 18 August 2015.
- Subramanya, K.V. (24 July 2006) Triggering off a controversy once again, The Hindu
- "A (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – EP". iTunes. Retrieved 21 August 2014.