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ACCIDENT (1985 - Kannada) (Movies To See Before You Die - Thriller)

26 Jun, 2014 | Movies To See Before You Die / Thrillers / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

A widely appreciated path-breaking film of Indian Cinema, ACCIDENT revolves around a cruel ‘Hit and Run’ case resulting in more than 12 deaths, caused by an irresponsible son of a leading politician, driving the car in the influence of drugs and booze.

Now reading the above short synopsis of the film, one might feel like nothing new and an all seen before theme used repeatedly in many Hindi films like JOLLY LLB and few others too. But before having this particular thought in mind, just take a look at the year of its release i.e. 1985, which is 15 years before the famous Nanda-BMW case of 1999, two decades before the still in court Salman Khan’s case and almost three decades before the recent similar instances reported in Mumbai or Ahmedabad in the year 2013. And this wide gap between the film and exactly similar real life cases happening decades later clearly reveal the actual importance of this shocking realistic venture made well before its time with a futuristic vision.
Having a reputation of an all time classic in Kannada Cinema, the man behind this visionary project was the well-known actor-writer-director SHANKAR NAG, who the Hindi belt viewers would recall seeing in the hugely popular T.V. series MALGUDI DAYS. It was one of the finest television series of India which also featured Shankar’s elder brother ANANT NAG, who was often seen in Hindi films like KALYUG, ANKUR, GEHRAYEE & many more. The two hour classic ACCIDENT was even produced by Shankar himself and he played the important role of a responsible journalist in it too quite impressively. Anant Nag was assigned the central character of the culprit’s influential father heading towards his next election and it’s indeed a treat to watch the veteran in all his conflicting scenes with the dilemma post the initial hour.
A landmark project of the region, ACCIDENT was probably the first film presenting the corrupt nexus between Police, Politicians and Media in Kannada cinema. It came just after ARDH SATYA which is also considered as one of the first Hindi films to showcase this brutal truth of corruption in Police department. In fact that was the period in which Indian Cinema was going through an evolving phase and had just started revealing many hidden social evils like never before in a very bold and shocking manner.
Another major merit of this well-made gem is that it doesn’t narrate the story with a dragging art-house kind of approach and keeps the viewers involved offering a fine blend of commercial and meaningful cinema quite thoughtfully. The film’s gripping screenplay, fine performances, great camerawork and very minimal background score by the maestro Illayaraja remain its greatest strengths right till the final unexpected sequence brilliantly. Plus while watching its first few scenes, I also strongly felt that probably Ram Gopal Varma got his early inspiration for all the innovative camera angles from this one particular film alone.
Director Shankar Nag conceives his every scene with a highly believable realistic vision and the main accident sequence in it is capable of causing shivers down your spine even today after almost three decades. Well received by critics as well as by the audience ACCIDENT reportedly had a different ending at first which was later changed by Shankar due to the sudden, tragic killing of then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, because the shocking event coincidently had few similarities with the film’s original climax.
The movie won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film and was also awarded the first National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues which got started only in 1985. It is still remembered for its exceptional treatment of the bold subject under the insightful direction of Shankar Nag and its really ironical that later the talented artist died in a road ACCIDENT only, unfortunately.
Honestly, watching it today in 2014 many might find it outdated with nothing novel to say as per its basic theme since we all have now become habitual of seeing the same corruption repeatedly in our routine films. However the truth remains that ACCIDENT was probably the first film to talk about this kind of incident much before it actually got reported in the real life and also one of those fearless, bold films going against the system post the Emergency period in the country during the late 70s.
So if you do wish to witness the few important films which were actually responsible of giving Indian Cinema its much needed timely turn in the early 80s then essentially watch ACCIDENT as a must considering it as another basic chapter of studying film-making trends in India.
Directed by Shankar Nag
Written & Screenplay By Vasant Mukashi
Starring : Anant Nag, Shankar Nag, Arundhati Nag, Ramesh Bhatt and more.
Music by Illayaraja
(Thanks to Aditya Savnal for sharing the valuable info about this regional trendsetting gem at FB.)

Tags : ACCIDENT (1985 - Kannada), Movies To See Before You Die Thriller, Must Watch Indian Regional Movies List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema, Shankar Nag directed movies,
26 Jun 2014 / Comment ( 2 )
Aditya Savnal

Glad to know that you finally saw the film. A good review by you as always. You have rightly said a lot of people today might find the commonplace as we have such films and instances a lot in the recent past. Despite this , I believe this film is still bound to impress one even after so many years. Esp. with regards to the technical brilliance this film has and the no nonsense approach it adapts with regards to the storytelling. In my opinion the ending used in the film is a much better one than the one they had originally planned. Coz it leaves you shocked, stunned and with many mixed feelings. Shankar Nag killing Anant Nag\'s character in the end would have made it rather conventional film. The accident scene is indeed brutal and can still send a chill down your spine. It is also very appreciable that Shankar Nag refrains from succumbing to commercial temptations like inserting unwanted songs, romantic tracks , comic subplots etc

It is indeed sad that Shankar Nag passed away at a very early age. Had he been alive today I am sure he would have achieved many more milestones like this and would have made a huge difference especially to Kannada cinema. I also hope someone takes the initiative of restoring landmark films like these of the earlier decades. The print currently available for this film does gross injustice to the technical brilliance of this film. Sadly not many films directed by Shankar Nag are available in good quality VCD\'s or DVD\'s. If I do come across any other films directed by him with subtitled copies will surely let you know.

Lastly a big thanks for mentioning my name in your review . Cheers

Bobby Sing

The pleasure is all mine Aditya as the film does deserve to be written and told about to the present generation undoubtedly.
So do keep visiting and writing in with such worth watching recommendations more often.


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