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Celebrating 12 years of Kiccha Sudeepa’s Kempe Gowda

The film, directed by the Kannada superstar, was the official Kannada remake of the Tamil hit Singham

Celebrating 12 years of Kiccha Sudeepa’s Kempe Gowda
Kempe Gowda is one of Sudeep's best remembered cop roles

Last Updated: 04.26 PM, Mar 11, 2023


Kiccha Sudeep has donned Khaki several times in his career so far, but one that is best remembered is, perhaps, the 2011 hit, Kempe Gowda. Sudeep played the title character and directed the film, which was the remake of the Tamil film Singham, in which Suriya was in the lead. Sudeep was paired with Ragini Dwivedi, who had debuted in Kannada cinema in the actor’s earlier Veeramadakari.


Kempe Gowda was a big hit at the box office, and is credited as the film that introduced P Ravi Shankar to Kannada cinema as an antagonist. Ravi Shankar, the younger brother of dialogue king Sai Kumar, was an award-winning dubbing artiste until that point. His role as the villain, Arumugham, gave Ravi Shankar a solid footing in the industry, making him one of the most sought-after antagonists in Sandalwood. Two years ago, when the film completed a decade, Ravi Shankar had taken to social media to write, “Ten years since Kempegowda.. Thank you Kiccha Sudeep.... Thank you Karnataka for making me Aarumuga.. 🙏Jai Karnataka.. Jai Thayi Bhuvaneshwari.”

The story of Kempe Gowda had ended with the hero accepting a new assignment from the state Home Minister, which was to lead into a sequel. Sudeep, however, never returned to the role and when the sequel eventually got made, it had Navarasa Nayaka Jaggesh’ brother Komal Kumar in the title role. It was speculated that Shankar Gowda, who had bankrolled Kempe Gowda and its sequel, allegedly had a falling out with Sudeep, which is why they did not collaborate on the second instalment.

After Kempe Gowda, Sudeep has directed only one other film, Manikya, which was way back in 2014. The actor has not voiced a desire to return to the director’s chair yet, as he reckons there are other filmmakers who are keen to work with him as an actor. Sudeep’s last release was Vikrant Rona in July, 2022, and while he will be seen in Kabzaa on March 17, he has not announced his next as a solo lead. It is said that he will collaborate with Tamil filmmaker Venkat Prabhu next and then again with Vikrant Rona’s Anup Bhandari.

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