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Kannada cinema | A tale of three Shettys

The success of Kantara is no flash in the pan. Kannada cinema has been quietly undergoing a transformation, and three actors, in particular, must be lauded for it

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Rishab Shetty in a still from Kantara (2022)

Before September 30, the day Kantara released, if someone had told Kannada actor-writer-director Rishab Shetty that he’d be promoting his film even a month after its release—and outside Karnataka—he’d have laughed it off. Not many outside the state had heard of him till a few months back. But in no time, the 39-year-old was offering prayers at Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, and there was a trip to India Gate in Delhi, all part of the endorsements for the Hindi-dubbed version of his film, which continues to run in theatres in Mumbai. “I still don’t know why it became such a big hit,” says Rishab, who brilliantly essays the role of a man child-turned-rebel who finds his calling in ‘boota kola’, a vibrant folk ritual from coastal Karnataka.