From Gaalipata To Love Mocktail: Kannada Romances on OTT
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A nice romance film can give you company when you’re eating a tub of ice cream alone in your room, or even when you’re going through an existential crisis at 2 am on a weeknight. Here are films that might make you smile, and sigh. 

Simple Agi Ondh Love Story (2013)

Streaming On:  Disney+Hotstar 

Simple Agi Ondh Love Story was one of the first movies to have a trailer that was more than eight minutes long. There was a special reason for it back then. All the cast and crew members were mostly unknown to the audience, and the makers wanted to create a buzz, so they took the road less travelled and picked some of the best moments for the trailer. The trick worked and the film ran to packed houses for many weeks.

The trailer actually isn’t anywhere close to an epic romance. It has double-entendres and the dialogues are silly — something that college students come up with for their skits. But that’s the USP of this Rakshit Shetty and Shwetha Srivatsav starrer.  

Gaalipata (2008)

Streaming On: Disney+Hotstar 

Any Kannada romance list is incomplete without a Ganesh film, for the actor has built a career in this particular genre. Gaalipata brought director Yogaraj Bhat and Ganesh back together after their hugely successful Mungaru Male. And this romantic comedy, too, has some of the touches that made their combination a blockbuster formula — music that grows on your ears, Anant Nag in fine form, romance that’s cheesy but difficult, because of the circumstances the characters are in, etc.

Ganesh’s performance also won him a Filmfare Award that year. Films like Mungaru Male and Gaalipata are hard to come by nowadays. Though Kannada cinema is making a lot of thrillers and getting better at them year after year, this ebullient space where the characters have fun throughout the movie is waiting for new entrants.

Dia (2020)

Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video 

Dia is a mixture of love, loss, and friendship, and the order keeps changing as it progresses. Dia is a much-debated and much-spoken about romantic drama since it dives into a peculiar pond of tragedy. Also, the characters take their own time to settle down as the narrative focusses on opening the doors, one after the other.

Director KS Ashoka doesn’t speed up the proceedings for the sake of young audiences. The film’s pace is what truly holds the movie and the protagonists (played by Khushi, Pruthvi Ambaar and Dheekshith Shetty) together — it breathes life into it slowly and steadily.

99 (2019)

Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video 

The remake of the Tamil movie, 96 (2018), featuring Ganesh and Bhavana in the lead, isn’t perfect. It doesn’t compete well with the original in terms of the mood it creates, but you can still watch Ganesh as he has always been good at portraying a lovelorn Devdas. If Gaalipata is a thoroughly hilarious movie, albeit with pauses, 99 is the antonym of a romantic comedy. Its pain is hidden under the garb of silent melancholy.

Ganesh has surely tried to change his image over the years, but he keeps coming back to his pet-genre, as it gives him the much needed boost every now and then. And, surprisingly, for a Kannada remake of a Tamil movie, 99 has been dubbed into Tamil, too. Strange! 

Love Mocktail

Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video

Dia and Love Mocktail are two sides of the same coin, but they gladly take different paths to arrive at the same destination. Love Mocktail is commercial-friendly. It doesn’t experiment with the pace, or where the characters are headed. It takes a coming-of-age story and gives it a gentle twist. The added bonus is that Krishna and Milana Nagraj, the lead couple in the movie, are partners off-screen, as well. Aren’t these relationship goals for actors?

Moreover, Krishna has also written and directed Love Mocktail. Again, don’t you think they’re taking relationship goals too seriously? It appears to be working for them very well, though. 

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