Darshan-starrer is the most expensive Kannada film yet

The official version was that Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna was postponed because of “technical hitches”. Producer Anand Appugol had planned an October 24 release to commemorate Kittur Rani Chennamma’s armed rebellion against the British in the 19th century. (Rayanna was the queen’s army chief who taunted the British army through his guerrilla tactics till he was captured.)

But despite receiving U/A certificate from Censor Board, Mr. Appugol could not release the film because of the delay in getting the Animal Welfare Board of India’s (AWBI’s) No Objection Certificate (NOC), blaming it on a series of holidays. Some 30 elephants and hundreds of horses were deployed for the war scenes.

Now that AWBI has given Mr. Appugol the NOC, there are no more hurdles and the film will be released on 200 screens. In Bangalore, 20 theatres, including multiplexes, have been booked. The film will be released in C Centres (rural areas) after three weeks, he added.

The film is being touted as the most expensive yet in the history of Kannada cinema. Though Mr. Appugol refused to be drawn in to the numbers, industry sources put it at Rs. 30-plus crore. “As it is a historical film, we didn’t want to compromise with the budget. We wanted every scene to look rich,” he said.

The war sequence was the most expensive, according to Mr. Appugol. It was shot with nine cameras, including a heli camera. Location of shooting included Jaipur, as Kittur lacked forts and palaces.

This is not the first film made on Rayanna. A 1967 version was under Chitravani banner by Babu Rao Athani. Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna is the dream project of director Naganna who has been mulling over the project for many years.

Attempt has been made to narrate the story of Kittur in three parts, Chennamma’s victory against Dharwad Commissioner St. John Thackeray, her defeat in the subsequent war, and Rayanna’s attempts to drive out the British. “We checked facts with historians and researchers, before shooting the film,” said Mr. Naganna.

This is Darshan Toogudeepa’s 41st film. He reportedly went on a diet to fit the lead role. Nikita Thukral is paired opposite him, while Jayaprada is Rani Chennamma.

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