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Triggering off a controversy once again

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K.V. Subramanya

Kannada groups are protesting against the title of Upendra's movie `Masti'

Kannada activists took objection to certain dialogues in Upendra's movie H20, which subtly dealt with the Cauvery water row The editor of a Kannada weekly alleged that Upendra had made his crime serial into Om

BANGALORE: Upendra and controversy seem to be almost inseparable. Almost every movie with which Upendra is connected, either as a director or actor, have been in the eye of a storm for one reason or the other.

Every action of this creative director has evoked reactions which are equally strange.

The latest to join the band of controversial movies is the yet-to-be-released Upendra-starrer "Masti." Some Kannada groups are protesting against the title, contending that using the name, "Masti," for a movie that reportedly has violence as its central theme, is an insult to the great Kannada writer Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, who is popular as "Masti." A few years ago, Kannada activists took objection to certain dialogues in Upendra's movie "H20," which subtly dealt with the Cauvery water row, alleging that it was derogatory of Kannadigas and Karnataka.

Without permission

After his film "Om," which deals with Bangalore's underworld and a violent love story, created a record, the editor of a Kannada weekly alleged that Upendra had made his crime serial, "Paapigala Lokadhalli," into a film without his permission.

When his film "A" was released, the daughter-in-law of Kannada poet G.P. Rajarathnam alleged that a song by the late poet, "Helkollakondooru..thalemyagondhsooru," for which she held the copyright, had been used by Upendra in the film without her consent.

In fact, the story of "A" itself was a big controversy. Rumours had that Upendra had picked his real-life story for the movie.

It was alleged that in "A" the director who falls in love with the heroine, to whom he provides an opportunity to act in films, was none other than Upendra and the heroine was Prema, who made her debut in "Om." Later, Upendra's one-time associate, K. Praveen Naik, made a film titled "Z" to counter "A."

Though Upendra's film "Upendra" turned into a superhit, many film critics and movie-goers were critical of its language and the treatment of women, sex and love in the movie.

Reply

The film evoked such a reaction that two young directors, Shivakumar and Vishwanth, made a movie "Jitendra" to reply to certain issues raised in "Upendra."

In "Jitendra," the hero Jaggesh's costumes, hairstyle, gait and gab were heavily modelled on those of Upendra in "Upendra."

And a man resembling Upendra is shown being beaten up by the public who are angry over his "immoral" themes and dialogues.

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