Kannada matinee idol Rajkumar is no more. His death has left millions of his fans devastated.   More than as an actor I liked him as a singer. Rajkumar has sung number of memorable songs one of my favorites being the song 'Halu Jenu'. But the violence that occurred in Bangalore on the day of his funeral was most shocking. I would not accept those who were part of the violence as true fans of the thespian. It was some anti-social elements, which took advantage of the situation and caused trouble to people who cared for the actor. Other wise how can we explain the burning of buses and cars? Is it possible for people who are grief stricken to do such inhuman things? I don't think so. Ultimately it resulted in Rajkumar not receiving the kind of funeral he deserved. It was said that he would be provided a state funeral. But the scenes at his burial place said a different story. There were numerous fans at the funeral but I think he was buried like any other ordinary citizen. I truly felt very sad at the way the whole episode was carried out.
The other thing that I didn't like was the English news channels discussing why southern India is so much obsessed with film stars. I really don't appreciate the question. Idolizing someone is a characteristic that exists throughout the world in some form of the other.   It is the Bollywood stars that bring in major revenue to these news and the so-called lifestyle channels.  Salman Khan's arrest was breaking news, why? . While the English channels were covering the mob violence in Bangalore, the Hindi news channels were busy with Salman Khan's possible release from prison.   Were it not for people's interest in Bollywood, Salman Khan would not have occupied the front pages in newspapers and prime slots in electronic media. The difference is just that while the Bollywood stars endear themselves to people representing the elite class the southern stars endear themselves performing roles, which the common man who is not part of the elite can easily identify with. Nothing was more telling than the incident that occurred in a news channel. As the host was discussing the question of southern India's idol worship with a panel the news of Salman Khan reaching his home must have trickled in. The host immediately interrupted saying that Salman Khan has been released and has reached his home. "We bring you the live pictures from his residence…you can see the fans thronging his home."   It was thought that the news of Salman Khan reaching home was hot news and one should not miss it, anything else can wait. Oh, how I hated it!

Thandege Thakka Maga


The new Kannada movie Thandege Thakka Maga starring Ambarish and Upendra is the remake of the Tamil film Devar Magan. Though I haven’t watched the entire movie, going by the few scenes seen on TV, I can assert that the remake falls way short of the original. Devar Magan starring the late Shivaji Ganesan and Kamalahasan was a neat movie. The two versatile actors had given a performance of great √©lan and Illayaraja very well backed the movie. Ambarish performs Shivaji Ganesan’s role, as that of the patriarch. The latter is peerless no doubt. S.A Rajkumar has rehashed the tunes of Illayaraja in the Devar Magan. Effort has been put to recreate a movie that is considered to have set a benchmark of sorts but not enough to match its quality.