Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Namma bhashey Kannada – movies not to be missed

The story of how I learnt Kannada is quite interesting. When I was a child my parents would speak in Kannada to each other whenever there was a need to say something which I was not supposed to understand. First I picked up a few words and soon the entire language. No more secrets were shared under my nose. They probably did that when I was away from earshot. Then I spent two years in the state of Karnataka which only sharpened my Kannada. It was here that my interest for Kannada television and movies blossomed. I started with cookery shows, then serials and even some Kannada movies. Since then, I am hooked to Kannada movies.

The Kannada film industry is the fifth largest in India after Hindi, Telugu, Tamil & Malayalam. It churns around 150 Kannada movies every year which is released not only in India but also abroad in countries like USA, UK, Europe, Singapore and the Middle East.

Fun fact

Did you know the Kannada movie industry is aptly titled SandalWood.
That actually makes sense doesn’t it?

This was further translated to Chandanavanna which literally means sandalwood forests in Kannada, to honour the Kannada language.

The Kannada movies stars

Famous Kannada actors like Rajkumar, Shankar Nag, Ananth Nag, Girish Karnad, Prakash Raj (yes that’s the anti-hero from Singham) are familiar faces across India. And on the other hand, Bollywood film stars have also regularly starred in Kannada films. The late actress Sridevi was a much-loved star in Kannada film industry.  Coming to more recent times, Deepika Padukone debuted with the Kannada film Aishwarya in 2006 even before Bollywood happened to her.  Watch this video.

Moving to our new home a few months ago, we took the decision of no cable TV. But that did not mean our screen time ended. Recently I came across Zee5 which offers shows and movies from the Zee Network. What was more exciting was that it also had the option of watching Free Kannada Movies from days gone by or the more recent ones.

My Kannada movies watch list

This week I spent time getting lost in the familiarity of the Kannada language from my hometown and watched a few select Kannada movies. Allow me to tell you about them.

  1. Shravani Subramanya (2013)

    The movie title is reminiscent of the eternal love story pairings such as Romeo Juliet or Laila Majnu. Shravani and Subramanya are the protagonists whose love story is told here. Amulya the actress who plays the role of Shravani also won the Best Actress award for her role in this film. The movie also stars Kannada film stalwart Anant Nag.

    The songs have been sung by familiar and much-loved singers like Shaan, Sonu Nigam.

  2. Bulbul (2013) 

    Bulbul is a remake of Telugu movie Darling. The movie shows a flashback of the 80s where a group of friends vow to keep in touch even after their college days are over. Years later they plan to meet. There the story unfolds as to how the hero (son of one of the friends) is shown to be in love with another’s daughter. But there is another girl in the picture who is besotted with our hero. Rejected by him she tries to commit suicide and her father who happens to be a don vows to kill the young boy. A tale of drama and action amidst a romantic backdrop unfolds.

    Geniuses like S P Balasubramaniam and Sonu Nigam have rendered voice to the soundtracks.

  3. Love Guru (2009) 

    Love at the workplace deserves its own special place in the ranks. *wink*

    Love at the workplace deserves its own special place in this list. *wink* Khushi, Pratham and Sharan attend an interview where they all secure job offers. Pratham falls in love with Khushi and proposes to her but is not taken seriously because it was done on April Fool’s Day. Later, oblivious to Pratham’s love, Khushi marries her boss Abhi. This love triangle then goes through numerous twists and turns that make it a highly entertaining watch.

    One of my favourite singers Benny Dayal has lent voice to the songs in this film. Listen to this one here – Thangali Thandheya. 

  4. Gooli (2008) 

    The #Kannada movie industry is the fifth largest in India. Almost 150 movies are released every year in #Chandanavana - the Kannada name given to the Kannada film industry. Zee5 now offers viewers the option to watch free Kannada movies online.

    Gooli is the central character who is rude, brash and a rowdy. The female lead falls in love with his pure heart. Despite the resistance of her family, the two get married, only to separate shortly afterwards. Soon after Gooli hears the news that his love interest has died. However the truth, he finds is that she is in a mental asylum after going through severe brain damage. Will love conquer all in the end? This action movie is a complete paisa vasool watch!

I have many other movies that I have bookmarked on this site and I aim to watch at least 1 per week. Have you watched any Kannada movies? Which ones would you recommend?


  1. Lancelot Quadras

    Hey, I am from Mangalore and am familiar with Kannada. I however do not know the language. I can relate with you. My parents too speak in Kannada when they don’t want me to understand it. They do watch kannada movies and I shall share the list with them. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Akshata

    Hey I dint know you are a Kannadiga or is it that your parents knew this language and used it to converse at times? I am a kannadiga but as I have grown up in Mharashtra I hardly knew kannada. Then I moved to Mlr ad Blr and picked up decent kannada. I have watched Mungaru Male and it dint really live upto the hype but the end was touching

  3. Ramya

    An absolute fun post. Haven’t watched any of them, but yes, watching films is a great way to pick up the language and the finer nuances of the culture.
    [@samantha_rjsdr] from
    Whimsical Compass

  4. Maya Bhat

    Well, I am not a great fan of modern Kannada movies. Somewhere I feel natural acting skills are missing !! But I used to watch lot of Rajkumar movies when I was a kid. Especially his mythological movies. Srinivasa Kalyana is my favourite one. And there are so many which I don’t remember names but can recall scenes.

    Well I am a keralite grown up near the borders of Karnataka. My mother is from Karnataka so I watched all those old movies with her. And now my husband is from Karnataka so I watch latest movies with him. ?

    When it comes to rich content I always go with Malayalam movies.

    Note: I am neither Kannadiga nor malayali. My mother tongue is Konkani ?

  5. Varad

    I moved to Bangalore in 2012 and can speak Kannada pretty ok-ish, I guess. I have watched a few Kannada movies. Started with the usual masala ones of Shivanna (Shiva, Hatrick Hodimaga..) I usually don’t like masala movies, but watched them only to grasp the language. The ones I liked are Mungaru Male, U-turn, Simplagi ondhu love story, lucia and rangitaranga. These are really good films which can be appreciated by everyone.

  6. Sanjota

    If you are a non-Kannadiga but picked up the language and watched all the mentioned movies then big round of applause for you! I’m from Kartnataka and have seen most of the Kannada movies. My favorite evergreen movies are; America America, Amruthavarshini, Bandhana, Nammura Mandaara hoove, Raama shaama bhaama etc. You can watch recent days movies like Kirik party, ondu motteya kathe, Rangitaranga, Loocia, beautiful manasugalu, Ricky etc..

  7. Suchita Agarwal

    I would never have guessed the Kannada connection. But if only there were subtitles so we could watch regional cinema as well.

  8. Pradnya Salve

    I don’t understand a single kannadian work but one of my friend is truly south movies fan…he has dragged me to theatres many times to see the movies,not even rubber and Gooli is one of them

  9. Pradnya Salve

    I don’t understand a single word of Kannada language but have seen movie Gooli in theatre. One of my friend is crazy south Indian movies fan & have dragged me to theatres many times

    • mommyingbabyt

      hahahah I hope you enjoyed it

  10. Surbhi Mahobia

    I have seen a few Kannada movie but dubbed in Hindi. I am a huge of the masala in them. It’s totally better than Bollywood. #myfriendalexa #surreads #blogchatter

  11. Reethika

    hi i will go to bangalore i want to learn Kannada language I hope if I will watch Kannada movies then I can understand Kannada Thank u for sharing

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