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Kannadiga Movie review :A story of uplifting and upholding of Kannada

Modified On: 18 December 2021 | Reviewed By:

Gunabhadra, a descendant of writer Samanthabhadra, wants to preserve the Kannada language and fulfill his ancestors' dream and thinks he has found an ally in German Ferdinand Kittel.


Director: Giriraj Bm | Music Director: Ravi Basrur

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Director BM Giriraj is known for films that are not only high on content, but are also social commentaries. When he announced his film, Kannadiga, with Dr V Ravichandra, there was curiosity as the two come from different schools of filmmaking. But Giriraj manages to get Ravichandra to seamlessly fit into this tale that recounts the hidden narrative behind the struggle to preserve Kannada. Interestingly, while the story traverses from the 16th to the 19th centuries, there are relevant messages on casteism and the atrocities associated with it even today when it comes to preserving the language.

The story begins in the 16th century when Samanthabhadra renounces violence and his way of life to dedicate it to preserving and spreading Kannada. An obstacle at that time leads to this dream being sidelined.

Three centuries later, his eighth generation descendant, Gunabhadra, is seen trying to reclaim his ancestral land and build the university and temple that upholds Kannada. He finds that German Ferdinand Kittel has bought that land, but also realises that the latter is his ally and loves the local language. The duo begin researching and documenting the language that they also want to convert into a dictionary to English and French. Just when things seem to be going smoothly, multiple obstacles affect Gunabhadra's mission and his personal life that were otherwise peaceful.

To see Ravichandra in a role like this is a treat as he discards his previous image and seamlessly blends into the narrative. The story is a tad dramatised, especially in the beginning, and could have been toned down. But, the intent and the message ensure one sits through this tale that fills people in with some necessary social and historical commentary. The cast gives very less room to complain.

Giriraj's ambitious tale is an endearing watch, especially for those who are interested to learn more of that time. His efforts and research need to be commended. Had the makers lessened the melodrama and kept it in a more agreeable tone, the story might have clicked even more. Given its universal OTT release, the makers could have benefitted from there. Kannadiga is a film that is pertinent and worth a watch for those who like this genre.

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