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Best of 2022: Gandhada Gudi to Kantara, 10 Kannada movies that impressed the most

From gripping crime thrillers, endearing human dramas to spectacular documentary pictures, Kannada Cinema has had the entire gamut to offer this year

Best of 2022: Gandhada Gudi to Kantara, 10 Kannada movies that impressed the most

Best Kannada Films of 2022

Last Updated: 12.30 AM, Dec 19, 2022


The year 2022 can be seen as a watershed period for Kannada Cinema as it grew leaps and bounds in stature during the course. Along with stellar, multi-hundred crore successes like KGF 2 and Kantara, the past 12 months also brought about many noteworthy debut outings that dared to explore new and refreshing topics on the big screen. So, in this vein, we have put together a list of the best 10 films of the year that will enunciate just how vibrant and exciting it has been for the Kannada Film Industry in recent times. We have ensured to look beyond box office success as a parameter in curating this list and instead included films that boast unique qualities, regardless of their size and scale. Here we go... 


Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video


Sagar Puranik's assured debut is simple at heart but mighty in terms of emotions. Dollu is centred on the lives and travails of those practising the fading art form of Dollu Kunitha artists and in the same vein, the film touches upon urbanization and similar factors and how they impact nativity and folklore. Dollu won the National Award for Best Kannada Film in 2022.

Vikrant Rona

Streaming on: Zee5 and Disney+ Hotstar

Anup Bhandari and Kiccha Sudeep's sought-after collaboration fell slightly short of expectations but the audiences could not overlook the ambition behind its making. Despite being a genre film, Vikrant Rona was mounted on a grand scale with Anup Bhandari lending a new edge to his unique imagination - from Shivakumar's opulent sets to Ajaneesh Loknath's majestic score, the film boasts many highlights. Of course, the main draw is Sudeep himself who seems at the top of his game as the gun-slinging macho cop who elevates the tad underwhelming narrative with a superb performance.


Streaming on: To be announced soon

Ulidavaru Kandanthe and Avane Srimannarayana cinematographer Karm Chawla's directorial debut is a deep and sensitive peek into the world of boxing that steers completely from the usual sport-biography cliches. Through Vinay Rajkumar's solid central performance, Chawla breaks down the facade of the sport and reveals the bleak and underwhelming reality behind it. Anusha Ranganath, Gopalkrishna Deshpande, and others too put on credible shows with Karm Chawla's lucid camera work being one of the main highlights. 10 is expected to release soon on OTT.


Streaming on: To be announced soon

Jayathirtha's poetic romance story gets a sci-fi twist with the holy city of Banaras bearing witness to it all! The Bell Bottom filmmaker uses the cryptic milieu of the city to tell a story that has philosophical layers but is an intriguing time-bending thriller at the face of it. Zaid Khan makes an assured debut alongside the very charming Sonal Monteiro - Ajaneesh B. Loknath's melodious soundtrack too is one of the highlights.

Guru Shishyaru

Streaming on: Zee5

Funnyman Sharan's slight departure from comedy sees him play a washed-out Kho-Kho player who is pulled out of the trenches to coach a bunch of unenthusiastic teenagers. The sports drama features an exciting ensemble cast of young artists who, along with the always-dependable Sharan, put on a buoyant show on the screen - from gripping moments involving the sport to an endearing 1990s setting, Guru Shishyaru has all the makings of a heartwarming tale. 

Yellow Gangs

Streaming on: To be announced soon

Ravindra Parameshwarappa's ensemble feature may have gone completely unnoticed as a theatrical release but the film still finds a place among the handful of well-made crime thrillers of 2022. This multi-narrative structure starts with a major drug deal that goes awry to trigger start a set of chaotic events in modern-day Bengaluru. With cops, drug lords, petty thieves, and a wide variety of eccentric characters as part of the mix, Yellow Gangs is a fun watch that keeps you glued to your seats.

K.G.F: Chapter 2

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Although Prashanth Neel's film has been pulled up by critics and audience members for its slightly underwhelming plot and the manner with which some of the characters are employed in the narrative, K.G.F: Chapter 2 is still quite easily one of the most intense movie-watching experiences of recent times. The follow-up film to the 2018 hit boasted an exciting central cast led by Rocking Star Yash and included big names like Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon but it'd be fair to declare that the real proponents are the men behind the scenes: writer-director Neel, art director Shivakumar, Director of Photography Bhuvan Gowda, editor Ujwal Kulkarni, and music composer Ravi Basrur. KGF 2 went on to gross more than Rs. 1200 crores across the world. 

777 Charlie

Streaming on: Voot Select and Amazon Prime Video

Kiranraj K's debut outing might be a tad rough around the edges but the film definitely has its heart in the right place. An epic story of redemption and love that alludes to a Mahabharatha tale, 777 Charlie tugged at the audience's heartstrings and how. Aided by Rakshit Shetty's impassioned performance, Arvind S. Kashyap's beautiful cinematography, and a soothing score by Nobin Paul, 777 Charlie is quite easily among the most popular titles of the year across languages. Special shoutout to B.C. Pramod, the dog trainer who helped Charlie, the adorable canine, infuse life and emotion into the film.


Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video and Netflix

A lot has been said and written about Rishab Shetty's film but one can't deny the cultural impact it has had during its theatrical reign. As a film, many lauded Rishab for turning the gaze towards an unexplored territory, its age-old culture, and the inherent idiosyncrasies it carries but more than anything else, the audience was smitten by his mesmeric performance as the leading man Shiva. The last 20-odd minutes of the film are the clinching moments which catapulted Rishab Shetty to global fame and helped the brand of Hombale Films grow further in stature. 

Gandhada Gudi

Streaming on: To be announced soon

Few films other than Amoghavarsha's Gandhada Gudi carry the emotional essence that ceremoniously bound an entire region's audience. On one hand, the documentary film showcased the vast physical and cultural beauty of Karnataka through breathtaking visuals and a superb soundtrack. On the other, it came as a fitting send-off to Powerstar Puneeth Rajkumar and his insatiable creative energy. In the same vein, as a one-of-a-kind moviegoing experience, Gandhada Gudi went on to become one of the year's biggest commercial successes. 

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