Avane Srimannarayana

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Avane Srimannarayana
Official Poster
Directed bySachin Ravi
Produced byPushkara Mallikarjunaiah
H.K.Prakash
Written byRakshit Shetty
Chandrajith Belliappa
Anirudh Kodgi
Abhijith Mahesh
Nagarjuna Sharma
Abhilash
Starring
Music by
CinematographyKarm Chawla
Edited bySachin Ravi
Production
companies
Pushkar Films
Shree Devi Entertainers
Paramvah Studios
Distributed by
Release date
  • 27 December 2019 (2019-12-27)
Running time
184 minutes[1]
CountryIndia
LanguageKannada

Avane Srimannarayana (About this soundpronunciation ) is a 2019 Indian Kannada-language fantasy adventure comedy film[a][2][3] directed and edited by Sachin Ravi in his directorial debut. Jointly produced by Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah and H.K.Prakash,[4][5] the film features Rakshit Shetty and Shanvi Srivastava in lead roles.[6] B. Ajaneesh Loknath and Charan Raj composed the soundtrack, with the former composing the score, whereas Karm Chawla handled the cinematography. Described by Shetty as "Southern Odd Fiction",[7] the film follows a corrupt police officer who takes on a bandit chief in order to recover a missing treasure in the 1980s.[8]

The film's script was written by Rakshit Shetty, Chandrajith Belliappa, Anirudh Kodgi, Abhijith Mahesh, Nagarjuna Sharma and Abhilash. Originally announced in February 2017, the scriptwriting took 18 months to complete, with filming eventually began in March 2018 and ended in June 2019. It was filmed in portions across North Karnataka region, and a huge set erected at Bengaluru where 90% of the film's shoot took place. The film was shot for 200 days, thus becoming the longest Kannada film to be shot, and also the only Kannada film with highest number of call sheets.[9] The film was compiled with 2000 VFX shots.[10][11]

The film was released in Kannada on 27 December 2019.[12] It was simultaneously dubbed and released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi, with the Telugu version released on 1 January 2020, Tamil and Malayalam versionon 3 January, and the Hindi version which was directly premiered through OTT platform Amazon Prime Video on 7 February 2020.[13]

Plot[edit]

The story starts with Ramarama, the leader of the Abhiras, killing a group of musicians and actors for allegedly looting missing treasure in Amaravati, Karnataka. On his deathbed, Ramarama names Tukaram, his second son his successor, prompting Jayaram, his eldest son to quickly usurp the throne from his brother. He claims that he will not take the throne until the treasure is recovered, prompting a territory-wide search.

15 years later, and the treasure is still missing. Lakshmi (Shanvi Srivastava) is a local journalist covering Harishchandra, a treasure hunter. She witnesses Harishchandra's kidnapping, and goes to report it to Narayana (Rakshit Shetty), the local police officer. Narayana haughtily assumes he had caught Harishchandra's kidnappers but they were Harishchandra's bodyguards, sent by Tukaram. Tukaram confronts Narayana for having arrested his men and allowing the treasurehunter to be kidnapped, possibly by Jayaram. Tukaram issues an ultimatum to Narayana to bring back the treasure-hunter at his own risk. Later, by chance Narayana finds out the missing Harishchandra in the reporters van. Narayana makes up a story that he rescued the treasure-hunter from Jayaram's highly guarded fort, but it is revealed to the viewers that not Tukaram or Jayaram, but it was Narayana who had gotten the treasure-hunter kidnapped and that Narayana is also behind the treasure.

Jayaram catches hold of Narayana after being outraged seeing newspaper coverage of Narayana's alleged breaking into Jayaram's fort. He manages to wittily escape from Jayaram's fort. Later he finds out that the tribe of the killed drama artists are still waiting for their last play in Amaravati and wouldn't leave until their 'Hari' comes and redeems them. The prophecy uttered by a revered saint of theirs says that an eagle would sit on the 'Hari' and he would be their rescuer who would help them. One night Narayana and his aide Achyutanna witnesses a few people of this drama troupe artists carrying away treasurehunter Harishchandra in the dead of the night. They were under the belief that Harishchandra would be their 'Hari'. Following these people from the drama troupe Narayana reaches their hideout, exchanges the costumes with the artists and to everyone's surprise, the eagle sits on his arm. It is then revealed that there is a group of people in the tribe of drama artists who are logical thinkers and are against this prophecy which also includes Lakshmi and the reporters. They had planned to have the eagle sit on one among them using a small trickery, but since Narayana took away the costume of that person, the eagle sat on Narayana instead. When in station with the drama artists they reveal to Narayana that a map was made for the lost treasure but they had no idea about where the map would be. Narayana feels that the band master from the killed drama troupe who is still in Jayaram's custody and who has lost his memory may know about this. Lakshmi, along with the group who don't believe the prophecy, kidnap Narayana but he escapes from there and reaches Jayaram's fort and creates misunderstanding among the Abhiras due to which the scenes of killing the drama artists is recreated before the band master but, unfortunately nothing brings his memory back.

While the other people whom Jayaram suspected are put in the dungeons, Narayana is also put with them for not revealing the truth of the group of drama artists he found. However he escapes by keeping a gun on Jayaram and allows Tukaram to enter the fort and also allows a group of prisoners to escape. Once again with his wit, he escapes from the brothers who now are standing by pointing a gun at each other along with their men. On the way he also finds out that the band master is also escaping and catches him and decodes his words to find out that the map to the treasure lies in the troupe's last play. The prophecy also says that their Hari would also come along with his Lakshmi. Thus Narayana convinces Lakshmi to aid him and admits to the drama tribe that he is their prophesied Hari, and also makes the people happy by telling that they can stage their last play and leave the town in peace.

The last play belongs to a scene from Samudra manthan but Narayana is unable to deduce the hidden clue from the scene. So he tries to extend the drama but Lakshmi, who still is suspicious about Narayana's motives, announces that there won't be rehearsals but directly the show.

Narayana decodes the map and reaches the place of treasure along with Tukaram's people. Meanwhile, Tukaram's men kidnap all the people of the troupe and burn the fort along with the troupe and there after finding the treasure Tukarama's people turn against Narayana but it happens to be that the box was full of stones and this angers Tukaram's men and they lock Narayana in the chest and bury him. From inside the chest Narayana decodes the actual mystery but his conscience makes him guilty thus he decides to help the drama troupe. Meanwhile, in the fort, Jayarama had broken out of Tukaram's custody and had led a riot and imprisoned Tukaram instead. As Narayana was desperately struggling to stay alive in the buried chest, he is rescued from the chest. The four prisoners whom Narayana helped from Jayaram's prison help him outside after he escapes the chest and he reaches Jayaram's fort along with the treasure. Jayarama fights with Narayana even as the fort is burning down. When Jayarama asks if anyone in the crowd dares to be a candidate for the Abhira clan leadership other than him, Narayana places himself on the throne saying he is eligible for the throne as he brought the treasure to the fort as specified, and tells the Abhira clan members that his first and final order is that from now on no one need not follow the Abhira way of living this leading to all the Abhiras leaving Jayarama behind and running out of the burning fort.

After the final fight the fort is fully destroyed and Narayana too escapes, and he saves Tukaram on his way out. Jayaram sits in the seat of his late father as the fort burns down. Lakshmi and the drama artists waiting outside is overjoyed to see Narayana, and Lakshmi finally sees goodness in Narayana and hugs him, thus actually fulfilling the prophecy of Hari accompanied by Lakshmi having saved the drama tribe.In the mid credit scene, it is shown that the last play of the drama troupe is finally being enacted and Narayana and Lakshmi are planning to get married. In the post credits scene, it's shown that Treasure Hunter Harishchandra finally manages to make his way into the treasure chest now in the fort's ruins using his pendulums. There, he sees a man sitting on the treasure box. When he asks who he is, the man says he is Narayana's father.

Cast[edit]

  • Rakshit Shetty as Inspector Narayana
  • Shanvi Srivastava as Lakshmi
  • Achyuth Kumar as Constable Achyuthanna
  • Balaji Manohar as Jayarama
  • Pramod Shetty as Tukaram
  • Madhusudhan Rao as RamaRama
  • Gopalakrishna Deshapande as Bandmaster
  • Anirudh Mahesh as Shanku
  • Salman Ahmed as Drama Company Artist
  • Chandan Achar as Drama Company Artist
  • Raghu Pandeshwar as Drama Company Artist
  • Prakash Thuminad as Drama Company Artist
  • Kiran Raj as Drama Company Artist
  • Sree Harsha as Drama Company Artist
  • Shashank MC as Drama Company Artist
  • M. K. Mata as Gadipaar
  • Vijay Chendoor as Sudhakara
  • Gautham Raj as Vibhasu
  • Ashwin Hassan as Narsi
  • Raghu Ramanakoppa as Harishchandra
  • Rakesh Raaj, Shrikanth Nagaraj, Vishwanath and Rupesh as Cowboys
  • Abhijith Mahesh as Cobar
  • Rishab Shetty as Cowboy Krishna in a cameo appearance
  • Yograj Bhat as Guptananda swamiji in a cameo appearance

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

During February 2017, Rakshit Shetty who was busy promoting the film Kirik Party (2016),[14] in United States, announced that he will sign his next film, a romanctic comedy genre, with editor Sachin Ravi's directorial debut,[15] who worked with Rakshit in Ulidavaru Kandanthe and Kirik Party. The conceptual poster of the film was released on 24 December 2017, with the film being titled as Avane Srimannarayana,[16] which also stars Shanvi Srivastava in the female lead. It was touted to be an action comedy flick, whose pre production work was expected to take place in March 2017, and the shoot will kickstart in April 2017. However, the team took 18 months to write the screenplay, as reported from a source. The film was set in the 1980s in a fictional village Amaravathi, it was revealed that Rakshit Shetty would play a police officer.[17][18]

In January 2018, Rakshit Shetty, Sachin and cinematographer Karm Chawla, writers Chandrajit Belliappa and Anirudh Kodgi, went on a recce across Hubli, Gulbarga, Vijayapura, Davanagere and Dharwad, to finalize the locations for a vintage setting based for the script. He stated that "The story is set in a fictional town and needs a rustic terrain that is also dry. So wwe headed to the picturesque locales of North Karnataka to finalize the story."[19] The team eventually finalized Basavakalyan, after Rakshit Shetty stated “In Basavakalyana we found the perfect setting for the film. With its ruins and majestic forts, it provided just the right ambience for the script."[20] It was reported to be the only Kannada film with the highest number of shooting call-sheets. The film was shot for 200 days with 335 call sheets where one call sheet is one man-day.[9] The film was compiled with 2000 VFX shots.[10][11]

Filming[edit]

The film was launched on 14 March 2018, followed by a puja ceremony at the Dharmagiri Manjunatha Temple in Bengaluru. Rakshit Shetty and Shanvi Srivastava were present at the event.[21] It was followed by a look test, the same week and have and the cast members doing script reading exercises. The team headed to Basavakalyan in North Karnataka regions, with shooting kickstarted on 20 March 2018, where the first schedule was held for 15 days.[22] It was followed by a 10-day schedule in Bengaluru, where the makers filmed few scenes at a huge set erected in Kanteerava Studios.[22] Rakshit stated "The film is set in a fictitious town and it will be shot in specially erected sets that will comprise 60% of the film. Since each of the set requires 25 days to be put up, we will shoot the portions that will require the arid locales in North Karnataka between the time the sets get ready."[22] On 9 May 2018, the makers wrapped the schedule in Bengaluru, and headed to Vijayapura on 15 May to shoot major sequences in the arid landscapes.[23] On 25 May, the lead actress Shanvi joined the team to shoot her portions for the film.[24] During filming, Rakshit simultaneously joined the launch of his new film 777 Charlie, directed by Kiranraj.[25]

Avane Srimannarayana was touted to be the longest Kannada film, where the film was shot for 200 days.[26] According to producer Pushkara Mallikarjuna, he stated "The makers had completed 160 days of shooting, with 40 days pending for its completion. Usually, the movie songs will be given more importance for shooting. But we decided to shoot the whole picture as exclusive. Each shot is unique, which contains more details. The movie will be released in different languages, so we shot in a way it should reach all kind of audience."[26] He further addeed "Eight film sets had been developed for the movie, and 90% of the movie will be shot in the film set itself."[26]

Pushkara Mallikarjuna, also stated that 14 large sets were erected for the film,[27] which included an old-time retro pub, a forest on the set, a village colony, the outer and inner sets of the castle.[28] On 5 February 2019, the makers recreated a huge forest at the Kanteerava Studio for a major portion of the film. One schedule required the team to shoot in the wild, but they didn't want to disturb wildlife and nature, they created a set resembling a huge forest.[29] The film's shooting was wrapped up on 4 June 2019.[30]

Soundtrack[edit]

Originally, Charan Raj was announced in the film's team, composing music for the film, with his name being credited in the first poster.[31] Later B. Ajaneesh Loknath, was also roped in to provide the score and songs. Ajaneesh, who produced the background music for the film, worked with an orchestra from Macedonia, Greece. This marked the first time that background music for a Kannada film was recorded in Europe."[32] The film has four songs in the Kannada version, two songs in both Telugu and Tamil version and one song in Malayalam and Hindi version.

The film's lead single "Hands Up" was released in all five versions on 13 December 2019, the same day as the rest of the soundtrack.[33] The soundtrack featured lyrics written by Nagarjuna Sharma for the original version, Vivek for the Tamil version, Ramajogayya Sastry for the Telugu version, Sudamsu for the Malayalam version and Raqueeb Alam for the Hindi version. The same day, the makers unveiled the soundtrack album in all five languages.

Release[edit]

Avane Srimannarayana was initially planned to have a release on 28 December 2018, as followed by the success of the actor's earlier flick Kirik Party, initially had a release on the last week of December.[34] However, the delay in the shoot prompted the makers to postpone its release. Followed by the success of KGF franchise,[35] the makers prompoted Avane Srimannarayana, to release as a pan-Indian film in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi languages.[36][37] In April 2019, the makers announced that the film will be released in August 2019.[38] However, the delays in post-production prompted the team to postpone the release to November.[39] Later, Rakshit Shetty announced that the film will be scheduled to release on 27 December 2019.[40][41]

Avane Srimannarayana was received U/A certification from the Censor Board on 14 December 2019.[42] While the Kannada and Tamil dubbed version were titled under the same name, the Malayalam version was titled Avan Srimannarayana, Telugu version was titled Athade Srimannarayana and Hindi version was titiled as Adventures of Srimannarayana.[43][44] Initially, the makers wanted to release the film simultaneously in all languages on 27 December 2019.[45] But the makers prompoted to release the Kannada version released on the said date,[46] and then release the other dubbed versions after the word-of-mouth received for the film.[47]

The Telugu dubbed version was distributed by film producer Dil Raju and released on 1 January 2020, coinciding with the New Year's Day.[48] The Tamil and Malayalam versions were released on 3 January 2020.[49] The former was distributed by Screen Scene Media Entertainment, while Tomichan Mulakuppadam of Mulakuppadam Films acquired the rights for the latter.[50] The Hindi version was scheduled for a release on 17 January 2020, although it was not released due to less availability of screens.[51] The Hindi version which was directly premiered through Amazon Prime Video on 7 February 2020.[13]

Marketing[edit]

The makers planned a huge promotional campaign, at the biannual flower show in Lalbagh, where the team came up with a special installation structure put together is of a hand holding out a gun, with the poster of the film, featuring Rakshit Shetty, hanging out from the gun.[52] Rakshit stated that "The installation is made with waste material that was collected from in and around Lalbagh itself. It was one of our team members who suggested this and we came up with the idea spearheaded by our art director Ullas Hydoor. We have associated with an NGO for this initiative. The installation features a hand holding a pistol with 'Hand's up' written on it and an image of my look as Narayana along with it."[53] The filmmakers kickstarted its promotions on 8 October 2019, at the Dusshera festival in Mysore.[54]

The film's official trailer was launched at an event held at Swagath Shankarnag Chitramandira,[55] MG Road on 28 November 2019.[56][57] Dhanush, Nani and Nivin Pauly presented the trailers of the film in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam versions.[58][59] Ahead of the film's release, the makers came up with a quirky promotional activity, asking fans to decode the numbers featured in the trailer, to form a code to crack it; the team also announced to provide 2 lakh (US$2,800) for the lucky winner in the contest.[60]

The makers advertised the film in buses and autorickshaws, as of 130 cut outs, 500 hoardings have been put across Bangalore, including posters on 500 buses and 3000 autos.[61] Apart from this, the promotional crew, also branded the film's posters on suburb trains, thus becoming the first ever Kannada film to be promoted in a train.[61] The makers also set photo booths in various malls across the city.[62] Rakshit Shetty and team, kickstarted the promotional tour of the film in major metro cities, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi.[63][64]

Home media[edit]

The digital rights of the film were sold to Amazon Prime Video,[65][66] and was made available to stream on 7 February 2020 with runtime of 186 minutes.[67][68] The satellite rights of the film were sold to Star Suvarna and was premiered on 15 March 2020.[69]

Reception[edit]

Writing for the CNN-News18, Sharth Sharma Kalagaru gave 4 out of 5 stars stating "Srimannarayana (Rakshit Shetty) is witty and charming. Keeping the local milieu authentic with his dialogue delivery and mannerism, Shetty shoulders the film in the best way possible. The background score and visual effects are a big plus for Avane Srimannarayana."[70] Sunayana Suresh of The Times of India gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Avane Srimannarayana scores with its performances, the cinematography, sets and background score elevate the tale. Srimannarayana is a treat for fans of not just Rakshit Shetty, but those who like cinema to be a wholesome intelligent exercise."[71] Aravind Shwetha of The News Minute gave 4 out of 5 stars stating "Avane Srimannarayana fantasy thriller is a visual treat and scores high on performances. Rakshit Shetty as the smart, witty, bad cop is good to watch and we get to a see different version of the actor in Shanvi Srivastava. Debut director Sachin Ravi has fulfilled the promise of delivering a sure-fire hit, and Ajneesh Loknath’s background music is the film’s biggest plus."[72] The Indian Express editor-in-chief Manoj Kumar R, gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "In spite of its flaws, Avane Srimannarayana is an important Kannada film. To put it like Narayana, the history of Kannada cinema could be divided into before and after Avane Srimannarayana."[73]

Behindwoods gave the film 3 out of 5 and stated "Rakshit Shetty's stellar performance and good writing make Avane Srimannarayana a quality film!"[74] Karthik Kumar of Hindustan Times stated "The Rakshit Shetty-starring Kannada film is easily one of the quirkiest mainstream films to have come out in recent times."[75] A. Sharadhaa assigned a score of 3.5 out of 5, in her review for Cinema Express and stated "The universal theme of the movie is sure to make it appeal to audiences across the country."[76] Umesh Parwani gave 4 out of 5, in his review for Koimoi and stated "Avane Srimannarayana is a welcome change for those who think what we can with all this 'masala'."[77] Janani K. of India Today gave a mixed review stating "Avane Srimannarayana has a brilliant interval block and the story picks up momentum only after that. If only the makers had concentrated a little more on the initial portion of the film" and assigned a score of 2.5 out of 5.[78] Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion South wrote "The film is a joyful pastiche — although one that makes you think the people making it had a lot more fun than those watching it."[79]

Box office[edit]

The film opened in more than 1000 multiplex shows per day all over the state, including Tumakuru, Mysuru, Davangere, Belagavi, Mangaluru, and Shivamogga, with 32 premier screenings, and received good response in single screen theatres, over Mandya and Chitradurga.[80]

Avane Srimannarayana earned ₹5.50 crore on the first day of its release.[81] The film earned ₹6.20 crore from the first day of its release and ₹7.30 crore from the third day.[82] As of three days, the film earned ₹24 crore, as its weekend collections,[83] thus becoming the second highest-grossing film in opening weekend after Yash-starrer K.G.F: Chapter 1.[84] After the first week, the film earned ₹40.30 crore on the domestic box office, with ₹42.30 at the worldwide box office.[85] On 4 January 2020, the makers had announced that, the film earned more than 50 crore at the box office.[86]

Spin-off[edit]

Rishab Shetty, who makes a cameo appearance in the film as "Cowboy Krishna", registered the title of his character upon witnessing the audience's reaction to the character.[87] The New Indian Express reported that a "high-budget" spin-off film for the character will be produced by H. K. Prakash and written by Shetty and the writers of Avane Srimannarayana.[88]

Accolades[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2019 67th National Film Awards Best Action Direction Vikram Mor Won [89]

Note[edit]

  1. ^ The genre of the film is as disclosed by the film's team in its press release.

References[edit]

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