Challenging Star Darshan’s Kaatera, was the 2023 year-ender hit, which had released in Kannada only. The makers are now contemplating taking it to Telugu and Tamil audiences too
The Kannada film Kaatera, led by Challenging Star Darshan, had released in theatres across Karnataka on December 29 and was the year-ender hit, which continues to do well in theatres three weeks later. Unofficial reports state that the film has managed gross collections in the vicinity of Rs 150-Rs 200 crore, but no matter the actual figure, there is no denying that the film has found wide acceptance among Kannada film audiences. The period film, set in the 70s, had Darshan play a blacksmith, who is pushed into wielding the weapons he forges to protect the oppressed people in his village.
Prior to the release, Darshan had clarified that he had made a Kannada film, which would be dubbed into other languages if there is demand for the same. The latest is that the team is in the process of dubbing Kaatera in Telugu and Tamil, with an early February release being speculated. Some Darshan fans even suggested a Republic Day outing in the Andhra/Telangana belt for Kaatera. We checked in with director Tharun Sudhir about this and while he confirmed that the dubbing process was on, he said that a release date has not been fixed. “Once the dubbing is complete, we will have to send Kaatera to be censored for those markets and only after that can we figure out a release date,” said the filmmaker.
But then, it is also being reported that Zee Network, which holds the satellite and digital rights of Kaatera, is looking at bringing the film to OTT on February 9, as an early birthday presentation from the actor to his fans. Tharun opined that this too could change, as the film is still doing decent business in theatres. “We’ve not given it much thought, and are, instead, focusing on the theatrical business,” he said.
Kaatera is Darshan’s second film with Tharun after Roberrt and has been widely hailed as the movie that’s brought Darshan the performer back. Ahead of the release, Tharun had said that he was anxious about taking an experimental subject to Darshan, but the actor gave him the confidence to bring it to screens. The film, which has music by V Harikrishna, introduced veteran actress Malashree’s daughter Aradhanaa as the leading lady.