Kalpana (2012 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rama Narayanan|
|Produced by||Sri Thenandal Films|
|Written by||Raghava Lawrence|
|Based on||Kanchana by Raghava Lawrence|
|Music by||V. Harikrishna|
|Cinematography||K. S. Selvaraj|
|Box office||₹11 crore|
Kalpana is a 2012 Kannada comedy horror film that stars super star Upendra, Saikumar and Lakshmi Rai in the lead roles. Film maker Rama Narayanan directed and produced this movie under his banner Sri Thenaandal Films. The film is a remake of the 2011 Tamil film Kanchana. Saikumar reprises the role of a transgender Kalpana, originally played by Sarath Kumar in the Tamil and Telugu versions. Shruti and Umashri play supporting roles originally played by Devadarshini and Kovai Sarala.
The film was released across Karnataka on 28 September 2012 and opened to positive response from critics and audiences. The performances of Sai Kumar and Upendra have been critically acclaimed. The film did well at the box office and was a 'Super Hit' in Mysore, Northern Karnataka, Chitradurga, Bellary districts, while a 'Hit' in other parts of Karnataka. Kalpana was the Sixth Highest Grossing Kannada film of 2012. Upendra won the Udaya Film Award for Best Male Actor for his performance in the film.
Raghava (Upendra) is a typical jobless youth who spends his days playing cricket with friends. He suffers from an irrational fear of ghosts, and retreats to the safety of his home after sunset. So great is his fear, that he prefers to sleep with his mother (Umashri) and have her accompany him to the bathroom at night. This creates major annoyance in the household, including Raghava's brother (Achyuth Kumar), sister-in-law (Shruti) and their children.
One day, Raghava and his friends are forced to abandon their usual cricket ground and find a new one; they unwittingly select an abandoned ground which is rumored to be haunted. A bizarre weather change scares them away. Raghava brings home his cricket stumps, which have been stained with blood from a buried corpse in the ground. He focuses on wooing Priya (Lakshmi Rai), the sister of his sister-in-law. In the following days, his mother and sister-in-law are witness to several paranormal phenomena at night; prominently a ghost haunting the hallways. On consulting a priest, they perform 3 rituals to ascertain if the house is haunted:
1. They keep a coconut on a rangoli and pray to Lord Shiva. The coconut rotates on its own.
2. They make a cow eat food. The cow runs out of the house without eating the food.
3. They leave a lit lamp and two drops of blood and leave the house. A ghost of a woman appears before them and licks the blood.
Scared senseless, Raghava's mother and sister-in-law hire two priests (Om Prakash Rao and Bullet Prakash) to rid their home of the ghost. The priests, however, are conmen, and escape with their lives. That night, the ghost possesses Raghava, who begins acting increasingly effeminate, alienating himself from Priya and wearing women's clothes and jewellery. His family angrily confronts him, when it is revealed that there are actually three ghosts who have possessed him: a violent woman, a Hindi-speaking Muslim, and a mentally retarded boy. Raghava's family hires an exorcist, who successfully drives the spirit away from Raghava's body. The ghost of the woman, trapped, reveals her story.
Kalpana (Saikumar) is a transgender who was disowned by her parents. She is offered shelter by a kind Muslim Akbar Bai (Babu Antony), who has a mentally retarded son. Regretting that she couldn't become a doctor as she intended, she adopts another young transgender, Geetha, and works hard to support her financially. When Geetha leaves to study medicine abroad, Kalpana buys a plot of land where Geetha intended to construct a hospital for the poor. That ground is unlawfully taken by crooked MLA Shankar. Kalpana angrily confronts the MLA, who cunningly kills her. He also kills Babu Antony and his son. Before she died, she vowed to kill Shankar, his wife, and his henchmen. The bodies are then buried in Kalpana's own ground.
The exorcist sympathizes with her, but remains duty-bound and traps her. After hearing her story, Raghava is touched; risking the danger, he allows Kalpana to possess him once again. Raghava/Kalpana confronts the MLA, and disposes of his henchmen gruesomely. The MLA seeks refuge in a Narasimha temple which Kalpana is forbidden from; but she asks the deity for justice and manages to chase him inside the temple. The three spirits combined kill the MLA. A few years later, Raghava has constructed the hospital for Geetha as per Kalpana's wishes. The movie ends with Priya shouting "devva" (ghost in Kannada) and a terrified Raghava sitting on her hip.
- Upendra as Raghava
- Saikumar as Kalpana
- Lakshmi Rai as Priya
- Shruti as Jaanki
- Umashri as Upendra's mother
- Satyajit as Muslim exorcist
- Shobraj as MLA Shankar
- Babu Antony as Akbar Bhai
- Achyuth Kumar as Jaanki's husband
- Om Prakash Rao as fake priest 1
- Bullet Prakash as fake priest 2
The film was launched on 14 December at the Kanteerava Studios in Bangalore. 95% of the filming occurred in Chennai, similar to the original version but some portions were significantly shot in and around Mangalore. Upendra brought his family, as it was his wedding anniversary. He and his wife, actress Priyanka Upendra, exchanged garlands in front of hundreds of fans and film industry dignitaries. Lakshmi Rai, the female lead in the original film, played in the same role opposite Upendra in this film. Sai Kumar was cast to play a special role in the film which was played by actor Sarath Kumar in the original. Umashri, Shruti and Achyut Kumar were also cast in supporting roles in the movie. Actor Shobhraj plays the main villain, which was originally portrayed by Devan in Tamil Version. 
The music for the film was composed by V. Harikrishna.
All music composed by V. Harikrishna.
|1.||"Nillu Maga Nillu Maga"||Shankar Mahadevan|
|2.||"Bayanno Bambada"||Lakshmi Vijay, V. Harikrishna|
|3.||"Hei Madana Kamaraya"||Chetan, Shamitha Malnad|
|4.||"Bandhelu Bandhelu"||V. Harikrishna, Priyadarshini|
Kalpana opened to generally favorable reviews from the critics. The performances of Kumar and Upendra were critically acclaimed. The Times of India gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and stated, "Full marks to Sai Kumar for his excellent portrayal of a Mangalamukhi. Upendra shines as a man possessed. The film is brilliantly done with fast-moving sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat." S Shyam Prasad of Bangalore Mirror gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and stated, "Kalpana is entertainment from the word go. The story is a mix of comedy and horror and the blend is perfect. Sai Kumar, as a transgender, plays the role superbly." DNA rated the film 3.5/5 and stated, "Kalpana is a crazy mix of humor and horror. Simply put, this is an interesting movie — go watch it for some fun!" IBN Live gave the film a positive review by stating, "Kalpana is a good option for horror film lovers. Upendra is fabulous in his performance." Deccan Herald also gave the film a positive review and stated, "The Dialogue King Sai Kumar mesmerises as transgender Kalpana, who is wronged by one and all. Upendra's abundant energy gets another outlet in Kalpana and his transformation is beautiful. Kalpana is for Uppi’s fans and for those who keep hiding their fears under jokes."
Rediff gave 3 out of 5 stars for Kalpana and stated, " Sai Kumar, who enacts the part of a transgender, surprises with his superb body language and dialogue delivery. Kalpana is an enjoyable horror film. If you like horror films you may like this." Oneindia gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and stated, "Kalpana is engaging and entertaining. The flow of the story keeps the audience to watch the movie on the edge of their seats. It is Sai Kumar, who steals the show in the movie. His dialogue delivery and body language of a transgender are treat to watch." Supergood Movies termed Kalpana as a terrific film, giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The reviewer praised Upendra's performance stating, "Upendra from the days of A has liking to this kind of variety in the role. He is a fantastic performer. He has given his best." Indiaglitz also gave the film a positive review and stated, "Kalpana is a stunner. Upendra is fabulous in his performance." Newstrack India wrote positive words on the movie and gave a final verdict, "If you look in totality, Kalpana is one thoroughly enjoyable film, particularly for children and family audience, despite it getting an 'A' certificate."
Kalpana had a good opening at the box office across Karnataka. The film opened to 90% occupancy at single screens and around 70% occupancy at multiplexes. The film grossed ₹4 crore during its opening weekend and collected a net share of ₹2.5 crore, thus surpassing the openings of Upendra's previous film Godfather, which had grossed ₹3 crore during its opening weekend. The film grossed more than ₹11 crore at the box office and completed 50 days of run in 25 centres across Karnataka. Kalpana was the sixth highest grossing Kannada film of 2012.
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