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Irrepressible Shankar Nag
Oct 19, 2005 09:25 AM 16917 Views
(Updated Nov 03, 2005 03:51 PM)

If you have wandered around auto stands in Bangalore, you must have noticed that most them have a picture of Shankar Nag, either inside or on the outside of the auto. I had always wondered as to how Shankar Nag became the ''darling of the masses.'' Is it because he played the role of an auto driver in ''Auto Raja'' or is it because he was a great human being?

Anyway, Shankar Nag is still remembered by the Kannada audiences for his dialogue delivery and mannerism. Although his elder brother Anant Nag had better acting skills, Shankar Nag proved his versatility in acting as well as in direction. In this review I am not going to discuss about Shankar Nag's directorial ability which has not been appreciated in comparison to his acting. I will list some of his directorial gems which remain etched in my memory forever.

1) Accident: As the name suggests this movie revolves around an accident. Anant Nag plays the role of a Chief Minister who has a philandering son. One night in a drunken stupor, his son runs his car over sleeping pavement dwellers, killing many on the spot. One pavement dweller (Naghabharana) manages to identify the Chief Minister's son. Shankar Nag, who essays the role of a crime reporter tries get into the depth of the story, but is prevented from doing so by the Chief Minister's henchmen. The Chief Minister, in order to avert criticism, decides to send his son to the USA. In a strange twist of fate, the day before his departure to the USA, the Chief Minister's son dies in a road accident!

2) Ondu Muttina Kathe: This movie has never been given the due credit it deserved. It was a box office dud when it was released, but for me this movie is a masterpiece. The movie revolves around a deep sea diver, played by Dr. Rajkumar who regularly dives into the sea in search of pearls. One day, he manages to bring a bright, shining pearl to his house. The news about the pearl spreads like wildfire around the village and suddenly the fisherman finds that everyone wants to have the pearl. In the meantime, his baby falls sick and he gets a doctor for treatment. The doctor, after treating the baby refuses money. Instead he wants the pearl. Meanwhile, others in the village hatch plans to steal pearl from the fisherman's house. Disgusted by human greed, the fisherman dumps the pearl back into the sea. This film is also notable for the underwater fighting scene between Dr. Raj and an octopus.

and finally

3) Malgudi Days: Who can ever forget this master piece? Based on R.K. Narayan's novels like ''Vendor of Sweets'', ''Swami and Friends'', this serial telecast on Doordarshan is still remembered for its simple, yet lucid way of telling a story. Shot extensively in Agumbe, Shimoga district, this teleserial had several re-runs of Doordarshan and Sony TV. Anant Nag, Shankar Nag, Vishnuvardhan acted in a couple of episodes. But it was Manjunath, who essayed the role of Swamy who walked away with all the honours. The title song ''Tanana tananana naa'' still lingers in my memory.

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