There are only a handful of people who can be credited with significantly changing the Kannada film industry. And that elite club will be incomplete without Upendra in it. He made a name for himself as a maverick filmmaker very early on his career. He shocked people with his bold ideas and unbridled prejudice against women that he portrayed in his movies. He examined universal themes such as ego, lust and love without the pretence of kindness and civility. While Upendra’s earlier films belonged to the NSFW category, he later toned down his rhetoric and made family-friendly movies, to increase his prospects at the box office.
As Upendra celebrates his birthday today, we recommend five movies of the Kannada superstar you can watch right now on Sun NXT.
Om: Upendra forayed into movies as a filmmaker. With the 1995 movie Om, he changed the way gangster movies were made in the Kannada film industry. The realism that he introduced in portraying the underbelly of Bangalore city became a cornerstone for future filmmakers, who aspired to make realistic mob movies.
Raktha Kanneeru: Raktha Kanneeru is the Kannada remake of cult Tamil film Ratha Kanneer. The original 1954 film had legendary actor M R Radha in the lead role. The social satire felt urgent and relevant when 50 years later, Upendra remade it in Kannada.
Aishwarya: Aishwarya is the remake of Nagarjuna’s Telugu hit Manmadhudu. Not Shah Rukh Khan’s Om Shanti Om, but this movie marked the acting debut of Deepika Padukone.
Satyam: The 2008 generic police drama is redeemed only by the memorable performance of Upendra.
Super: Super is a milestone of sorts in Upendra’s career. It marked his directorial comeback after a gap of over a decade. Besides directing and writing the movie, he also played the lead role. The dark political satire follows the rise of an NRI, who understands power politics and later exploits it for personal gains. So much so that he even dares to sell the country.
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