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Jawan in Kannada: Jailer’s Kannada version collections cited as proof that dubbing isn’t always a viable option

Shah Rukh Khan’s film is not getting a Kannada or Malayalam version when it hits theatres tomorrow and given its large-scale release in Karnataka, demands for a Kannada version continue to be made

Jawan in Kannada: Jailer’s Kannada version collections cited as proof that dubbing isn’t always a viable option
Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan

Last Updated: 02.55 PM, Sep 06, 2023


For very many years, there was an unwritten rule about dubbing content into Kannada – it was not allowed. This had heralded an era of remakes, where any film worth its salt from another industry got a local version. That, of course, changed in recent years, especially with pan-India releases becoming the norm. Once the market opened, some segments of audiences began demanding that big titles, at least, be released with ample number of Kannada version shows in Karnataka. Every now and then, this demand would be fulfilled, but the return on investment never justified incurring expense to dub it in Kannada.

Posters of Jailer and Jawan (right)
Posters of Jailer and Jawan (right)

Currently, Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan is the film that’s being widely discussed for not having a Kannada version. On the one side, some have been clamouring for the film to be dubbed in Kannada, as Jawan is getting a massive release in Karnataka. On the other hand is the argument that audiences in the state have gotten used to watching films in their original language. The prime example that’s often cited is that of RRR, which had a Kannada dubbed version that Ram Charan and Jr NTR had provided vocals for, and yet found no takers as far as exhibitors and audiences go. Prabhas’ Adipurush is said to have collected around Rs 2 crore from its Kannada version, indicating that there is an audience that wants to watch films in the local language. Even the more recent Jailer has done fairly well in its Kannada version.

But Rs 5 core gross in a state that has otherwise contributed Rs 60 crore to the film’s kitty is not a financially viable option, reckon netizens. “Logic is simple dubbed version get 5cr in full run, non-dub gets some 20cr. Which one you need as a bussiness man. Latest example is Jailer. 60cr gross and 5cr Kannada,” wrote a netizen called Yadunandan. Varunn added, “Jailer got dubbed in Kannada. Only 5crs Gross. Share of 2.5 crs. The prints itself would have cost 50 lakhs. Tamil to Kannada Dub will be natural and yet Jailer collected less. Jawan would not collect that much because of the nativity issue with Hindi to Kannada dub.”

Interestingly enough, when Kannada filmmaker Pawan Kumar’s Malayalam film Dhoomam was set to release, there was a hue and cry over the dubbing quality of the Kannada trailer. At the time, Pawan had said that there was a dearth of good dubbing artistes in Sandalwood, who can do justice in terms of vocal similarity and ability to convey emotions correctly. Eventually, he managed to get better dubbing talents for the film. Telugu and Tamil dubbing is said to be far more superior than Kannada and Malayalam, which is cited as the reason that many Hindi films do not get versions in the latter two languages.

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