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How ‘Rocking Star’ Yash gave a new life to Kannada cinema

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After the demise of legendary actor Dr Rajkumar, many had raised doubts on the survival of the Kannada film industry.

Despite delivering back to back super hits that competed with best cinemas of India, Kannada film industry was always seen as “inferior” compared to Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam industries.

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Now, with the ‘KGF Chapter-1’ and ‘KGF Chapter-2’ movies, for the first time since its inception, the Kannada film industry has asserted itself at the national and international levels in terms of commercial success and acceptability. Thanks to superstar Yash, fondly known as Rocking Star Yash, who made it possible.

Six years ago, no one believed Yash when he repeatedly spoke about delivering a super hit movie. He would say that the movie would be such that the audience will not stop whistling and clapping. Even when news channels forced him to attend debates after telecasting news against him, he kept saying he does not have time, big projects are being lined up and he needs to focussed.

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People are now realising what Yash was trying to convey to them then. Hailing from a middle class family, Yash, passionate about cinemas, started his career in theatre. It did not take him very long to reach the small screen and thereafter, the big screen. He remained composed throughout, went on to win the hearts of people with his movies and achieved superstardom in the Kannada film industry. Soon, he had started working on his dream project KGF Chapter-1. The rest, as they say, is history.

Rashmi. S., Executive Editor of Raj News and Chief of Raj Kannada Music channel says that Yash’s journey to superstardom is similar to the character he played in his first movie Moggina Manasu”.

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“In the movie the character of Yash aspires to be a singer. He sacrifices his love for his career in the movie. Yash and Radhika fall in love with each other during the shoot. Yash sits with Radhika and talks to her about dedicating 10 years for the career. Both get married after becoming most sought after actors,” she explains.

Yash started his work as associate director and knows nuances of technicalities. He sits for editing throughout, gives keen attention to music, background music. Until the movie gets ready for release, Yash is totally engrossed with it.

One can see that desperateness, that yearning for churning out a good product. That passion and dedication have made him what he is today, she says.

Director and Producer Sudhakar Bhandari remembers how Yash played the role of guardian angel for their super hit movie ‘Rangitaranga’. “Yash saw rushes and appreciated our work. He also gave a promotional bite which helped the movie before release,” he says.

Once the movie was ready, Yash was the first to watch it. He suggested reducing the duration of the film by 10 minutes and told us that it would be a super hit. Later, about 12 minutes of editing was done and the movie went on to become a super hit and won accolades at international levels.

“Yash is a good judge. His sense for editing is sharp. He knows the art of choosing good subjects. His passion towards cinema is too deep. He always believed that Kannada film industry is on par with any other industry of the nation. A big hats off to him,” he says.

Bhuvan Gowda, the KGF Chapter-2 fame cinematographer, who was with Yash throughout the journey of KGF series, says: “I had made a portfolio of Yash and poster shoot for his movie ‘Gajakesari’. After seeing the result, Yash hired me cinematographer to his ‘Masterpeice’ and journey continued in ‘KGF Chapter-1’ and ‘KGF Chapter – 2’.”

Rocking Star Yash always dreams about his work. He is passionate about the work and he would speak endlessly on cinema like how to develop shots, dialogue corrections, he says.

On several occasions, there would be technical glitches during the shoot of KGF Chapter 2. In case of problems, Yash would always ask me to take 10 more shots when asked for one, he remembers.

To ensure that the script comes on screen as it is, he would push all departments and guide them too. He would talk about scaling up the movie to the national level for a very long time, he says.

Kannada movies were categorised as ordinary and no one cared to watch them. They would talk about poor qualityand low budget. KGF Chapter-2 saw full house shows in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and in a place like Bubaneshwar, the movie was exhibited to full shows for seven days. Audiences are celebrating in the US, Russia, “what more we want” he explains.

The Kannada film industry is galvanised by the success of KGF Chapter-2. More and more pan-India projects are being launched. No one is even talking about survival of Kannada film industry after Yash proved his mettle.

–By M K Ashoka

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CELEBRITY GALLERY

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