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Kabzaa: 'Without Upendra, underworld cinema wouldn't have existed in India,' says Shiva Rajkumar

The Bhairathi Rangal actor was one of the chief guests at the recent Kabzaa song launch event

Kabzaa: 'Without Upendra, underworld cinema wouldn't have existed in India,' says Shiva Rajkumar
Shiva Rajkumar makes a big claim about Upendra
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 09.14 AM, Feb 27, 2023

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Shiva Rajkumar and Upendra's association dates back many years and fans would know exactly why it is celebrated to date. The two were responsible for putting together one of the biggest and most adored films in Kannada cinema's history, Om, and every time they are seen together at a public gathering, the film is referred to inevitably. One such occasion was presented by team Kabzaa when Shivanna was invited as the guest of honour for the launch of the third single from the film in Sidlaghatta.

Gracing the stage along with Karnataka MLA K. Sudhakar, Kabzaa director R. Chandru, film's female lead Shriya Saran, and, of course, Upendra, Shiva Rajkumar was all praise for his former colleague. The Vedha actor would attribute the advent of gangster cinema in India to Upendra, saying that if underworld cinema exists & thrives in the country today, it is all because of Om.

"What do I say about Upendra! If a film titled 'Om' hadn't come to be, then underworld cinema wouldn't have existed in Indian cinema. Om is the first film in the history of Indian cinema that offered a taste of the underworld and it is the director of the film, Upendra, who must get the credit for that. That film was a home production for me and acting in the film, I would consider it to be my good fortune. I can never forget Om and the reason why the film has created records is that a film like that can be written only once and Upendra has done it already," said a visibly charged-up Shiva Rajkumar.

In the same vein, he would also praise Kabzaa director-producer R. Chandru and wish the best to Shriya Saran, who returns to Kannada cinema after a huge gap.

As far as Om is concerned, although Hindi and Tamil cinema had previously dabbled in the gangster genre with films like Deewar, Ardh Satya, Parinda, Mani Ratnam's Nayakan, and several others, the 1995 Kannada film proved to be a revelation to the Kannada audience. It was one of the earliest explorations of the Bengaluru underworld milieu and with a popular star like Shiva Rajkumar headlining it, the audience thronged the cinema halls to watch the film. The novelty in Upendra's direction and writing, too, gained a lot of prominence and soon after, he would launch himself as a hero in his own directorial, A.

Kabzaa, on the other hand, is set to release worldwide on March 17th in multiple Indian languages. Kiccha Sudeep plays a small but crucial role in the film.