|Directed by||Hemanth M Rao|
|Produced by||Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar|
|Screenplay by||Hemanth M Rao|
|Music by||Charan Raj|
Kavaludaari (transl. Crossroads) is a 2019 Indian Kannada-language investigative noir film written and directed by Hemanth M Rao, presented by Puneeth Rajkumar and produced by Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar of PRK Productions. Kavaludaari will be the first feature film presentation from the production house. The film stars Anant Nag, Rishi, Achyuta Kumar, Suman Ranganathan, Roshni Prakash and Sidhaartha Maadhyamika. The music and background score for the film is composed by Charan Raj.
The story opens in 1977, in the office of the Archaeological Department, Bengaluru. A person is dead and lying on the floor in a pool of blood; with a safe door wide open behind him. Another person is shown rushing away from the place in a car. He seemingly goes home in a hurry, his overcoat smeared in blood and the car is burned down. The story then cuts to 2017, Bengaluru; a Sub Inspector in the Traffic Department of Bengaluru Police, Shyam (Rishi) is interacting with various girls; in search of his future life partner. Shyam is of the opinion that he is good enough to be a Crime Branch Officer and constantly keeps appealing to his Seniors; which unfortunately get rejected. One day, near a Junction that Shyam manages, a construction worker's kid accidentally discovers a skull. This prompts an investigation, during which more bones are recovered from the spot. Curiosity gets the better of Shyam and he requests permission from his senior officer to join the investigation, which once again gets a negative reply. Nonetheless, Shyam talks to the forensic experts present at the scene and is caught in the act by the Investigating officer, who asks him to mind his own business. Not the one to stand back so easily, later that night, Shyam goes back to the construction site, looking for clues. There he comes across an intruder, who identifies himself as Kumar (Achyuth Kumar), a press reporter and the proprietor of the not so famous news paper LOCKUP NEWS.
Kumar too had come there, seeking the same clues for which Shyam was there, but Shyam roughs him up and asks for his ID Card, which confirms Kumar's claims. Shyam later takes away the ID and asks Kumar to come and collect it in the Police Station, the next day. Kumar goes there and realizes Shyam was merely bluffing in his body language the previous day and wasn't a Crime Branch Officer. When Shyam refuses to give Kumar his ID back, Kumar gets infuriated and makes him a news item in his paper. This angers his senior officer who summons Shyam and warns him, saying that such Bones have been found many times and its not a big deal. Meanwhile Kumar gets attacked by some Loan Sharks who injure him and warn him to return their money soon. Shyam and Kumar reconcile in a Bar where they talk about the Case of the Bones. Shyam drops a drunk Kumar home. Kumar and Shyam investigate the case in their own ways. Shyam talks to the forensic expert and finds out that the bones are almost 4 decades old. The Bones get buried in a Cemetery.
Shyam learns from his subordinate officer Rangappa, that such bones getting found wasn't new, and have been found even before; since the area was a Lake before and later the layout developed rapidly after the lake dried up. Shyam goes to a storage facility with the help of Rangappa and studies old case files matching the timeline mentioned by the Forensic Doctor and Rangappa. One particular case involving a certain Gurudas Naidu, his wife Vijayalakshmi and 10 year old daughter Vaidehi, catches Shyam's attention, co-incidentally Gurudas Naidu is the same person shown rushing away in the opening scene. The case was investigated by Inspector Muthanna (Anant Nag). Shyam takes a copy of the files and carefully studies the case, including witness statements and more. Gurudas Naidu was the head of the Archaeological Department's Bengaluru Division. Shyam goes to Kumar to find out more about Muthanna, but at that moment, Kumar refuses to help, citing his situation. Kumar goes back to studying the case file. It is shown that the murder victim was Suresh and the stolen items were Jewelry discovered at Hampi. Those belonged to the Vijayanagar Empire and were valued at approx Rs. 80 - 90 Lakhs. Naidu's higher officer had ordered the Jewelry to be shifted to the head office in Hyderabad, but apparently Naidu had postponed the same, citing Instability in the country due to The Emergency (India).
Shyam reads further, when Kumar calls to tell that he is ready to help find Muthanna, as Kumar too is investigating the same case. Shyam begins to suspect that Naidu and his wife had killed Suresh in greed to steal the Jewels. Kumar meanwhile obtains the address of Muthanna and Shyam goes to meet him. He finds the gate locked and hence jumps over the wall. Initially, Muthanna drives away Shyam and once catches him while he is trying to escape from there. Muthanna is a retired Police Officer who passes his time drinking away and has no interest in Shyam in spite of the latter goading him to talk about the case. After multiple attempts at making him talk, finally Shyam gives up, insults Muthanna and leaves from there in frustration. Muthanna hallucinates about his past life, and later decides to help Shyam. Muthanna reveals to Shyam that Naidu was innocent and he was framed for the murder of Suresh and robbery of the Jewels. He then tells that he found a Blood stained paper in Naidu's house, the handwriting on which came to his notice in another case, 8 years later. It was that of a doctor, who gave proof of Naidu saving someone's life that night. Muthanna reveals that he isn't interested in being a police officer anymore and hands over the baton of the case to Shyam. Shyam offers to drive Muthanna home after finding that the latter is under influence of Alcohol. Muthanna reveals to Shyam the tragic end of his family, many years ago.
Shyam goes to meet Kumar after the latter revealed that he found an important clue regarding the case, but realizes that he is missing. Kumar's daughter Priya (Roshni Prakash) reveals that her father hadn't returned home from the previous day. She also tells that Kumar was excited about meeting the actress Madhuri (Suman Ranganathan) for an interview, claiming that it would be an important one and would end their days of bad fortune. Shyam meets up with Madhuri during one of her shooting schedules but is unable to get anything worthwhile out of her. When she invites Shyam to her house later, Madhuri tries to seduce Shyam, but remains unsuccessful. Kumar, in the mean time calls up his friend Laxman (Avinash), head of TV7 News channel, claiming that he has a breaking news type story with him. After some hesitation, Laxman agrees to meet up with Kumar, but the latter ends up in the hospital after getting beaten by the loan sharks who had confronted him in his office earlier. The next day, Shyam sees in the news that Madhuri is found dead in her house. Shyam goes to the Police Station and confesses the events during his meeting with Madhuri. He then goes home and realizes that he saw a photo in Madhuri's house where she was wearing the same necklace that he had spotted in a photo from the 4 decade old case files.
Shyam and Muthanna discreetly check Madhuri's house, where they spot an Intruder. While giving chase, they are themselves chased by Police Officers present in the vicinity. Cleverly putting the Police van off their tail, Shyam & Muthanna chase the Intruder. They shadow him for the next day. He first goes to work in a Garage and later proceeds to a Resort. There, Muthanna comes across a huge tree and remembers it as the same spot where he had seen Naidu's car burn 40 years ago. Investigating in their own ways, both Shyam & Muthanna come across the newly elected Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mailur Srinivas's name in the case. Muthanna is sure of Srinivas's involvement in the case and goes to his office, while Shyam proceeds to Mailur. Shyam finds out the place where Srinivas once resided before joining politics, and finds some objects in the house, indicating that the previous occupant might have been Christian. Meanwhile, a henchman of Srinivas warns Muthanna mistaking him for a reporter, still Muthanna proceeds to Srinivas's office and addresses him as Fernandes, which shocks Srinivas. It is revealed that Mailur Srinivas is in reality - Fernandes, the driver of Gurudas Naidu, 40 years ago. Srinivas sends his henchman to Muthanna's house and has him kidnapped. Shyam after warning Muthanna to stay safe, goes to relocate Kumar to a safe location. It is then shown that Srinivas/Fernandes had murdered Suresh (the dead man in the opening scene) and proceeded to kill Naidu and his family with the help of the family servant Bablu, who is none other than Kumar; all for the Jewels.
In present day, Srinivas boasts of his status and says he has reached a position where no one will be able to catch him, and orders his henchman to finish off Muthanna after getting from him the name of the second police officer (Shyam). Muthanna cleverly gives him the name 'Shenoy', an alias Muthanna used in his earlier days in the force, in order to protect Shyam's identity. After this he gets shot by the henchman, Shyam intervenes just then and shoots the henchman and attempts to save Muthanna in vain, but the latter dies after the Ambulance gets stuck in traffic. The Inspector in charge of Madhuri's death case calls Shyam and tells that he has arrested 2 people who had Madhuri's phone with them, they turn out to be the loan sharks who lent money to Kumar and reveal that they found the phone in Kumar's bag. Shyam searches Kumar's office and finds a watch gifted to him by Naidu, and then realizes Kumar's true identity. It is when he figures out the whole scheme of things and Kumar's hate for Srinivas/Fernandes. At a function where Srinivas is the chief guest, Shyam sneaks in and seemingly strikes a deal with him, after holding Srinivas at Gunpoint. He then takes Kumar to a discreet location and reveals that he knows how Madhuri died, Kumar then confesses. When Kumar had barged into Madhuri's house for the interview, the latter panicked and angrily scuffled with him threatening to call the police, during which she slipped, hit her head on the sharp edge of the table and collapsed to her death. A frightened Kumar fled the place.
Shyam seemingly shoots Kumar and goes to Srinivas and says that it is finished, while Srinivas is celebrating his victory in his village. Srinivas is still skeptical about Shyam though. And then Shyam recollects a conversation with Muthanna about the Police force and watches as Srinivas climbs the stage to give a speech while a henchman keeps watch on Shyam. Srinivas suddenly starts choking, and it is revealed that Shyam didn't kill Kumar, and Kumar in disguise had poisoned Srinivas's drink, the same way Srinivas (as Fernandes) had poisoned Naidu and his family years ago. Taking advantage of the situation, Shyam shoots the henchman and both Shyam and Kumar escape from the place during the ensuing chaos. On the way, Kumar reveals that he was ashamed of his past actions of being misled by Fernandes' words and poisoning Naidu, who was like a godfather to him; which is why Kumar too had consumed Poison, thus committing Suicide; as he couldn't face his daughter to tell her the truth. Shyam tells the truth to a distraught Priya and gets the names of Naidu and his family inscribed on a tombstone which is placed in their grave. It is also shown that the person Naidu saved years ago was none other than Shyam's father. The film ends with Shyam wearing the 'Khaki' uniform, realizing his dream of joining the Crime branch and hinting at the possible beginning of a love story with Priya.
Nafees Ahmed of High On Films wrote in his positive review,"Kavaludaari is layered crime drama weaving the fundamental human emotions of greed and obsession into the shades of aspiration that we thrive upon. "
- Anant Nag as Muttanna, Retired Police Inspector
- Rishi as K S Shyam, Sub Inspector, Bengaluru Traffic
- Achyuth Kumar as Kumar, Editor of Lockup News
- Suman Ranganathan as Madhuri, Actress
- Roshni Prakash as Priya, daughter of Kumar
- Avinash as Laxman, Editor in Chief of TV7
- Bharath Gowda as Bablu/ young age kumar
- Sulile Kumar as Lokesh
- Sampath as Mailuru Srinivas/Fernandes
- Sidhaartha Maadhyamika as Mr. Gurudas Naidu
- Samanvitha Shetty as Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Naidu
- Siri Ravikumar as Geetha Muttanna
- Sharmila S Karthik as Thimmakka
- Kiran Kumar as Sebastian
- Hanumantegowda as K Ganapathy
|Soundtrack album by|
|Charan Raj chronology|
|Singles from Kavaludaari|
|1.||"Nigooda Nigooda"||Nagarjun Sharma||Sanjith Hegde||04:40|
|2.||"Samshaya"||Dhananjay Ranjan||Aditi Sagar||02:42|
|3.||"Ide Dina"||Dhananjay Ranjan||Siddhant Sundar||04:34|
|4.||"Khali Khali"||Dhananjay Ranjan||Sharanya Gopinath||02:29|
|5.||"Kavaludaari Title Song"||Kiran Kaverappa||Puneeth Rajkumar||02:49|
- "Hemanth Rao's next titled as Kavalu Daari - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- "Rishi as police officer in thrilling Kavalu Daari". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- "Ananth Nag is a reclusive retired inspector in his next - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- "Anant Nag's cop portrayal leaves 'Kavalu Daari' set speechless". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- "Roshini Prakash's innocence wins her lead role in Kavalu Daari". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- "Sidhartha Maadhyamika puts on 15 kgs for his role in Kavalu Daari - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
- "Kavaludaari Review - A Layered Crime mystery from the writer of Andhadhun".
- R, Shilpa Sebastian (25 September 2018). "Why Kannada actor Sidhaartha believes in living his on-screen characters". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
- "Hemanth ropes Samanvita Shetty, Siri Ravikumar for Kavalu Daari", New Indian Express, 2 October 2017
- "Trailer of Rishi-starrer Kavaludaari to be out today", New Indian Express, 4 April 2019