Accident (1985 film)

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Accident (1985) poster.jpg
Directed byShankar Nag
Written byVasant Mukashi
Screenplay byVasant Mukashi
StarringAnant Nag
Shankar Nag
Arundhati Nag
Ramesh Bhat
Music byIlayaraja
Edited byP. Bhaktavatsalam
Distributed bySanket
Release date
  • 9 November 1984 (1984-11-09)
Running time
125 minutes

Accident is a 1984 Indian Kannada language film directed by Shankar Nag. The film starred his elder brother Anant Nag and wife Arundhati Nag in lead roles.[1] The film won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues at the 32nd National Film Awards in 1985.[2] It also won multiple awards at the 1984–85 Karnataka State Film Awards including the award for First Best Film. It's a milestone movie in the history of Kannada cinema.



Critics call it one of the first films depicting corruption in public life and the futile struggle against it. The film also throws light on the unholy nexus between politicians and media whilst focusing on the impact of drug abuse and addiction. Contrary to stereotypes of Indian cinema which include romantic interests, intense background music and songs which are generally accompanied by dance sequences. the movie takes a neo-noir approach towards investigative journalism which forms the bulk of the movie. This can be considered one of the earliest approaches towards a paradigm shift in film making in India which unfortunately didn't take off until the early 2000s due to the tragic death of Shankar Nag in 1990.

Ilayaraja’s score is sombre which plays an important role in the film attuning to the grim nature of grief suffered by the lone survivor of the Accident. Background noise such as clanking of typewriter keys, camera clicks, car screeches, white television noise , bullets sliding inside a pistol, etc. form the bulk of the spacing in the movie. The silence at the scene of the accident scene is haunting. There are no songs in this movie, which provides it a far more serious pacing in comparison to the casual overtones found in most Kannada movies. Distinction amongst different classes in society is well represented in the movie and the disdain powerful politicians have towards ordinary working class people whilst not campaigning for an election is wonderfully portrayed.

Every movie directed by Shankar Nag is a master piece. It would be wise to remember that with Malgudi days, he does inhabit the heart of every Indian, not just Kannadigas. He is the director that in ways more than one represents a direction which was not fully realized in India for quite sometime until independent film makers with the assistance of social media started to take things into their own creative control. Whether be it his revolutionary approach towards grand theft auto combined with prison break in Minchina Ota [3] or his portrayal of everyday family life amongst the middle class in 1980 Bengaluru as witnessed Nodi Swamy Navirodu Heege [4], Mr. Nag did not shy away from showcasing his versatility in directing at every opportunity presented to him.


Shankar Nag made the film in two months flat. The political atmosphere of the country was in turmoil. The sanctity of the "Golden Temple in Punjab" had been desecrated; the air was charged with helplessness, anger and confusion. While shooting climax of the film, Ananth Nag who was playing the politician, was to be shot in the courtyard of his house. He originally wanted to work it around the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Shankar Nag was dead sure that it had to be that way and changed ending of film.[5]


Deepak (Ashok Mandanna), the spoilt son of a powerful politician Dharmadhikari (Ananth Nag) runs his imported car over pavement dwellers one fateful night under the influence of drugs. Except for a lone survivor, all are killed. Ramanna (Nagabharana), the survivor, identifies the driver. His friend Rahul (Srinivasa Prabhu), son of an advertising agency chief (Arundhati Nag), is with him during the accident. The shock of the accident leaves Rahul deeply traumatised. Unable to hold keep the secret any longer, Rahul shares the truth with his mother. She in turn implores to Dharmadhikaari to save them. Dharmadhikari who is slated to win a by-election cannot afford to let this accident ruin his political ambitions. He hushes up the case with the help of Chief Minister and sends his son on a trip abroad. Inspector Rao, (Ramesh Bhat) is the investigating officer. Ravi (Shankar Nag), a daring investigative journalist, joins him and the duo begin to putting together the evidence. With Rao’s help, Ravi gets to the bottom of the whole affair. When Rao identifies the culprits, Dharmadhikari asks his retired driver to say he was driving the car. Rao is asked to go on leave and Ravi’s editor refuses to run the story. On his way to the airport, Deepak dies in an accident. Dharmadhikari wins, but loses at the same time. Shankar Nag, apparently changed the climax. He originally wanted to work it around the assassination of Indira Gandhi


Accident was well received by critics and audience. The movie won the Karnataka State Film award. Accident is a testimony to the exceptional directorial ability of Shankar Nag.


32nd National Film Awards

Karnataka State Film Awards 1984-85


  1. ^ "28 years on, 'accident' once more". The Times of India.
  2. ^ "32nd National Film Festival (1985)" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF).
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The final accident". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 1 October 2010.

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