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Is Darshan’s refusal to promote Kranti outside of Karnataka hurting its rest of India release?

Industry trackers say that the team has not found interested parties for the Tamil and Malayalam versions, while Hindi and Telugu fetched measly amounts

Is Darshan’s refusal to promote Kranti outside of Karnataka hurting its rest of India release?
Darshan in a still from the song
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 03.01 PM, Jan 24, 2023

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On Thursday morning, Challenging Star Darshan’s latest, Kranti, will be in theatres, albeit mainly in Karnataka and with the Kannada original version. This despite the fact that the film was announced as a pan-India venture right from the start and that Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi versions are ready to be released. However, with just over a day to go for the film’s theatrical outing, there’s barely a word on its rest of India release. A quick look at online ticketing sites shows that the film is getting a grand total of five shows in Mumbai, two in Chennai and none in Hyderabad and Kochi, as of now. Also, Kranti is not being released anywhere in its other versions.

Kannada film aficionados, of course, are less than pleased at this turn of events, given that most other movie teams manage to bring at least the Kannada version to other markets. There’s a blame game on social media, with netizens claiming that Shylaja Nag’s Media House Studio has faltered in the release strategy, by not having it out simultaneously in the rest of India.

But can the production house be held solely accountable, when the leading man refused to promote the film outside of Karnataka and has been shouting from the rooftops that he’s not made a pan-India movie? Why was Kranti announced as a pan-India venture, only for them to sing a different tune closer to the release? In all his interviews, Darshan has been categoric that he has made a Kannada film, and that he would only promote it in the state. The dubbed versions would be taken to other markets depending on the demand, he’d said. And therein lies the issue – there is no demand and that is why the team has not taken a rest of India release into consideration, at least as far as the other language versions are concerned.

According to industry trackers, the team has been unable to find suitable business partners for the Tamil and Malayalam versions, while Telugu and Hindi have gone for measly amounts. The reason cited is Darshan’s statements about only catering to the Kannada market and his refusal to promote it anywhere else. It was earlier reported that the film team was looking at giving Kranti a delayed pan-India and overseas release, maybe a week later. The latest is that there is still no clarity as far as overseas goes, as the team could not get it censored on time. Even for the rest of India, with Pathaan looking strong at the box office with advance sales, it is unlikely that exhibitors will show interest in Kranti if it is not a simultaneous release.

At best, netizens reckon that the other language versions will come out directly on OTT. The film’s digital rights have already been sold to Amazon Prime Video and a tentative date in March is being speculated for it to start streaming.