Daali Dhananjaya's 25th film Gurudev Hoysala and Nani's Dasara clash on the same day (March 30) at the box-office
The last time Dhananjaya and KRG Studios came together, their collaboration did not end up getting a theatrical release. The film we refer to, of course, is Rohith Padaki's Rathnan Prapacha and though the direct-to-OTT release was a strategic move and not a compulsion, the actor himself has acknowledged later that the film deserved to get a theatrical run.
This time around, the production house and Dhananjaya are back together in a different avatar and there's no stopping them from thumping the big screens. Come March 30, Dhananjaya will turn Gurudev Hoysala, a brooding and bold police officer who, when push comes to shove, is a raging one-man army.
The film is Dhananjaya's 25th outing as an actor and one can see the actor completing a full circle, so to speak, with this particular character.
However, Gurudev Hoysala will clash with another big release on the same day and ideally, considering the occasion, Dhananjaya would have wished for a free run at the box office. The other release is the Nani and Keerthi Suresh starrer Dasara, a bona fide pan-Indian film that has been billed all along as the perfect mixture of 'mass' and 'content'. It's an interesting fixture, if you look closely, because Nani is adored as an actor in Karnataka and Dhananjaya, in the same vein, has made strong impressions on the Telugu audience with his starring role in Pushpa: The Rise (as Jolly Reddy).
Will this box-office clash turn out to be an intense one? And if so, will it prove to be costly for one of the two very talented actors?
"You can't do much about these clashes, to be honest," says Dhananjaya, while addressing this topic during a recent exclusive chat with OTTplay.
"The pan-India phenomenon has allowed filmmakers to release their films in all languages. But one cannot afford to feel intimidated and not release their films either. I would definitely wish them all the best (team Dasara) and hope they, too, do well. To cite an example: when my own film Badava Rascal released in December 2021, there were about six big releases surrounding it. Pushpa had released the previous week, there was another Hollywood film, Nani's own Shyam Singha Roy released on the same day as ours (which did really well, by the way), the Ranveer Singh film '83 - there were multiple films out there but the audience watched Badava Rascal as well. They suspected that Head Bush won't do any business because Kantara had already released and Gandhada Gudi was to release the following week but the film did really well. What I mean to say is that the kind of films I am making have an audience and if the films are good, people will take it to the next stage. It's a competitive world, after all, and you cannot complain," he adds.
Does he expect his Telugu fans to support him when Gurudev Hoysala releases? "Well, I am not sure, to be honest. If they do watch it, I'll be really glad - I love the way the Telugu audiences celebrate cinema. Our film is releasing only in Kannada everywhere, there won't be any dubbed versions but if the Telugu fans do watch Gurudev Hoysala, nothing like it," says Dhananjaya.
Gurudev Hoysala has been written and directed by Vijay N. with Yogi G. Raj and Karthik Gowda of KRG Studios producing it and Vijay Kiragandur of Hombale Films presenting the film. Avinash B.S., Naveen Shankar, Prathap Narayan, Amrutha Iyengar, Achyuth Kumar and others, too, star in the film.