Ranadheera Kanteerava

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Ranadheera Kantheerava
Directed byN. C. Rajan
Produced byRajkumar
G. V. Iyer
Written byG. V. Iyer
Screenplay byG. V. Iyer
Story byG. V. Iyer
K. S. Ashwath
Music byG. K. Venkatesh
CinematographyB. Dorairaj
Edited byN. C. Rajan
Kannada Chalanachitra Kalavidara Sangha
Distributed byRamesh Movies
Release date
  • 10 February 1960 (1960-02-10)
Running time
141 minutes

Ranadheera Kantheerava (Kannada: ರಣಧೀರ ಕಂಠೀರವ) is a 1960 Kannada historical drama biographical film directed by the editor-turned-director N. C. Rajan and written by G. V. Iyer.[1] It is one of the most popular films of acclaimed Kannada actor Rajkumar, who plays the role of an emperor Kanthirava Narasaraja I of the Wodeyar dynasty, Mysore who was fondly named as Ranadheera Kantheerava.[2] The film depicts the life of Kantheerava, who is known for his immense physical strength through wrestling. The movie was credited to be one of the most authentic historical films made since it was entirely based on the documents found in the Mysore Palace.[3] The film also stars Udaykumar, Balakrishna, Leelavathi, Narasimharaju and Sandhya in the prominent roles.

The film was released at a time during the severe crisis in the Kannada film industry due to the financial constraints. This film was produced through a co-operative forum called Kannada Chalanachitra Kalavidara Sangha formed by actors Rajkumar, Balakrishna, Narasimharaju and acclaimed writer G. V. Iyer. Thus this was the first venture where Rajkumar turned producer for the film.[4] Post release, the film suffered an initial hitch [5] as no distributor came forward to screen the film. Later it was released in a single theatre - Bharath and found huge collections.[6] This film was screened at IFFI 1992.


Historical Significance[edit]

Narasaraja Wodeyar I (1638 - 1659) popularly known as Ranadheera Kantheerava was an emperor in the royal Mysuru dynasty. He was a man of immense physical strength and was known as an intense wrestler in the Kingdom. He was an exponent in a form of wrestling called Vajra Mushti. He was also a musician with a strong liking towards arts and literature. He used the Srirangapatna town as his capital. Soon after his death in 1659, all his 10 wives committed Sati and ended their lives.[7]

Cultural Significance[edit]

This film is credited to have spurred the Kannada cinema industry in the direction of historicals. This was produced as a joint venture under at a time when the Kannada cinema industry was facing severe financial crises and its enormous success is reported to have not only re-instilled confidence in the Kannada cinema industry but inspired other historicals in quick succession. Even today, it stands as a sort of guidepost to making compelling historical dramas in Kannada. The chief merit of Ranadheera Kanteerva is the level of authenticity in several key aspects. The first is the Kannada language used during Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar’s days - both by the royalty and the common people. To a keen student of the inflections that Kannada has undergone, this forms a useful study. Equally authentic are the depictions of the protocol, manners, customs, and traditions of palace life. The movie also brings out a few nuances of palace intrigue, tangentially touches upon some aspects of the administrative machinery and the system of espionage by weaving them together in a rather dramatic fashion. This level of detail was made possible due to extensive research and first hand knowledge of the Mysore palace life that the film’s writer Sri G.V. Iyer possessed.[8][9]


Ranadheera Kantheerava
Soundtrack album by
Released1960 (1960)
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSa Re Ga Ma

Ranadheera Kantheerava soundtrack consists of 7 songs all composed by G. K. Venkatesh and written by G. V. Iyer.[10]

Track # Song Singer(s) Lyricist
1 "Radha Madhava" P. B. Sreenivas, A. P. Komala G. V. Iyer
2 "Karunada Vairamudi Kantheerava" Radha Jayalakshmi, Rajalakshmi G. V. Iyer
3 "Kabbina Billanu" Sulamangalam Rajalakshmi G. V. Iyer
4 "Sangeetha Devatheye" P. B. Sreenivas G. V. Iyer
5 "Enidu Rosha" P. B. Sreenivas G. V. Iyer
6 "Enna Mogava" Radha Jayalakshmi G. V. Iyer
7 "Sanchari Manasothe" S. Janaki G. V. Iyer

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Ranadheera Kanteerava at IMDb
  • K. Moti Gokulsing, Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas ISBN 978-0-415-67774-5