Kariya (film)

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Directed byPrem
Produced byAnekal Balaraju
Written byMalavalli Saikrishna
Screenplay byPrem
Story byPrem
StarringDarshan Thoogudeep
Music byGurukiran
CinematographyM. R. Seenu
Edited bySrinivas P Babu
Santhosh Enterprises
Release date
  • 3 January 2003 (2003-01-03)
Running time
144 minutes

Kariya is a 2003 Indian Kannada gangster film written and directed by Prem starring Darshan Thoogudeep and Abinayasri in the lead roles. It narrates the tragic story of a homeless assassin-for-hire Kariya who falls for Maya a well educated and rich dancer. Although she tries to convey her feelings Kariya hesitantly moves away causing her to pledge that she will only reciprocate his feelings if he proclaims his love for her. Parallelly, a few local thugs try to entrap Kariya and seek vengeance for the death of their friend.

The film received positive response from critics and audience alike and turned out to be a box office success. Kariya received acclaim for the raw depiction of crime. The film has attained a massive cult following and has been re-released more than 15 times on demand by the audience.


  • Darshan Thoogudeep
  • Abinayasri
  • Mico Nagaraj
  • Umesh Punga
  • Nanda kishore
  • Dashavara chandru
  • Nandesh
  • John
  • B. Jayashree
  • Five star Ganesh
  • Sanketh kashi
  • Real 23 Underworld Gangsters


Soundtrack album by
Released27 May 2002
GenreFeature film Soundtrack
S. No Track Title Lyricist(s) Singer(s)
1 "Hrudayada Volage" V. Nagendra Prasad S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Kavita Krishnamurthy
2 "Ell Ellinda" Kaviraj Gurukiran, Anuradha Paudwal
3 "Maathadu Saku" V. Nagendra Prasad Gurukiran
4 "Kenchalo Manchalo" V. Nagendra Prasad C. Ashwath, Gururaj Hoskote, Murali Mohan
5 "Nannali Naanilla" Kaviraj Udit Narayan, Shamitha


Kariya is the second film of Prem as a director after Excuse Me. Having a gangster backdrop, director Prem and producer Anekal Balaraj bailed out 23 criminals to act in the film. Balraj tried to persuade a female mobster Mari Mutthu to act in the film. However, Mari Mutthu who was a councillor refused the offer fearing it might tarnish her reputation.[1] Certain scenes involving these rowdies were shot in exactly the same spot where they have killed or assaulted their targets in the past. Darshan who made his debut through the crime film Majestic was chosen to play the titular role while Abhirami, daughter of actress Anuradha was signed in to play the female lead. Gurukiran has scored and composed the film's soundtrack. Cinematography was handled by Seenu.[2]


Kariya received an A certificate from regional office of the Censor Board at Bangalore with the certificate dated 30 December 2002.[3] The film was released on 3 January 2003.[4]


Critical Reception[edit]

According to Viggy, "There are some catchy dialogues and comedy to make you laugh if you are freezed looking at the blood pool." Though they criticised the musical score by Gurukiran and wrong casting of Darshan in the lead role, the film's cinematography and Prem's direction received praise. The similarities of certain scenes with that of Om and Satya were pointed out.[5]

Chitraloka criticised the film for not catering much to the women or the younger generation. But they praised Darshan's performance, Gurukiran's music and M. R. Seenu's camerawork were appreciated. The film was also lauded for its technical prowness.[6]

Nettv4u gave the film 3.5 stars on 5 calling Kariya one of Darshan's best films which could draw more of his fans to theatres to watch the different effort. While the film received praise for its technical aspects, direction and cinematography the film was criticised for its violence.[7]

Box Office[edit]

Kariya had a big opening. It ran for 35 to 56 days at Kapali theatre during its first release. At the end of its first run the film was declared a sleeper hit. However, due to demand by the viewers the film was released again when it turned out to be a greater success enjoying a theatrical run of more than 100 days.[8][9] During its second release the film was declared a Blockbuster completing a theatrical run of 675 days in Karnataka.[10]


There is a song in the film called "Nee nanage sigadiddare acid hakuve" ("If I don't get you, I will pour acid on you"). The Karnataka State Commission for Women has asked the censor board to ban such films, claiming they encouraged crimes against women.[11]


The sequel Kariya 2 which was unrelated to 2003 film was released in 2017. However both films were produced by Anekal Balaraju.[12]


  1. ^ "23 Rowdies in Kariya". viggy.com. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Darshan's Kariya to release on January 3rd". viggy.com. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Kariya Censor Report". movies.syzygy.in. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Kariya film details". chiloka.com. Retrieved 16 February 2003.
  5. ^ "Kariya review". viggy.com. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  6. ^ "ಕರಿಯ Review". chitraloka.com. 3 January 2003. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Kariya 2003 film review". nettv4u.com. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  8. ^ "2003 Year Round Up". chitraloka.com. 31 December 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  9. ^ SubhashChandraGandhi (23 August 2016). "Darshan hits and flops". sandalwoodking.rocks. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Darshan best films". celebritykick.in. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Women's panel sees red over violent films". Times of India. 27 November 2003.
  12. ^ "Kariya 2 is a mental suffering". deccanchronicle.com. 13 October 2017.