Kantri is a 2008 Indian Telugu-language action film written and directed by Meher Ramesh, a protégé of director Puri Jagannadh and who had earlier worked on Kannada films. Jr. NTR, Hansika Motwani, and Tanisha Mukherjee star in the lead roles, while Prakash Raj, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukesh Rishi, Sayaji Shinde, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Venu Madhav, Sunil, Brahmanandam, Subbaraju, and Ali play supporting roles. The film has been produced by Vyjayanthi Movies and C. Ashwini Dutt. The film was initially scheduled to release on 1 May 2008. However, it was released a week later in order to avoid competition with Parugu. The film released on 9 May 2008 and became a commercial success.
Theaterical Release Poster
|Directed by||Meher Ramesh|
|Produced by||C. Ashwini Dutt|
|Written by||Meher Ramesh|
|Music by||Mani Sharma|
|Edited by||Marthand K. Venkatesh|
|9 May 2008|
Kantri is also the first Indian film to feature a 3D animated character based on an actor.
The opening scenes give you an indication of how the movie is going to shape up. NRI Krishna returns to his village with his wife and child to work for the upliftment of the village folk. However, when the family, along with his old father, is on its way home with the money, PR Pothuraju (Prakash Raj) betrays everyone by killing them and running away with the money, leaving his wife and son behind. Pothuraju is the head of a huge empire and is known for his nefarious connections and illegal dealings. He is supported at every step by his friend and partner Seshu (Ashish Vidyarthi). Enters our hero Kantri (Jr. NTR), who flexes his muscles, shakes his leg, and gets into Pothuraju's gang to earn money for his orphanage where he grew up (he is orphaned at a very young age). Kantri falls in love with Varalakshmi (Hansika Motwani), who is such a lucky girl that she wins a foreign trip, house, and household gadgets for her family. However, she initially does not like Kantri. An ambitious Kantri rises up pretty fast in life and meets Pothuraju in Hong Kong. However, an issue comes which makes Kantri separate from Pothuraju's gang. He takes money from Das (Sayaji Shinde) to kill Pothuraju. Before he has his chance to do so, he is told that Pothuraju is actually his father. The hatred becomes attached, and Seshu's daughter Priya (Tanisha Mukherjee) falls in love with Kantri. However, some differences arise between PR and Seshu. How Kantri puts an end to all this and clears the confusion forms the rest of the story. This movie has some stylish fights and good action sequences.
- Jr. NTR as Kantri (Kranthi)
- Hansika Motwani as Varalakshmi / Hamsa
- Tanisha Mukherjee as Priya
- Prakash Raj as PR / Pothuraju
- Ashish Vidyarthi as Seshu
- Kota Srinivasa Rao as Daiva Sahayam
- Mukesh Rishi as Kantri's grandfather
- Sayaji Shinde as Das
- Brahmanandam as Brahmi
- Ali as Chang Lee
- Sunil as Rajni Haasan
- Murali Sharma as Gangster
- Subbaraju as Bhyraagi
- Raghu Babu as Acid Durga
- Krishna Bhagawan as Singaporean Tour Guide
- Prudhviraj as Settlement Raju
- Gundu Hanumantha Rao as Devaraju
- Srinivasa Reddy as Cutting Seenu
- Prabhas Sreenu as Spider Reddy
- M. S. Narayana as Thelupu Ramakrishna
- Master Bharath
- G. V. Sudhakar Naidu
I narrated the script of Kantri to Puri Jagan when we went to Manali to shoot Desamuduru for 30 days. He listened to the beginning scene, interval block and pre-climax and said that this film will become a hit. He also liked Kantri title and immediately registered it on Vaishno banner so that others won't squat on it.
Dutt observed me during that time and offered me a film. When he asked who I want to have as hero, I said NTR. I also told him that there will not be any thoda kottatam kind of things in this film. It is going to be stylish and it will showcase NTR in a 25-year-old tappori character. Dutt said that he would take 4 days to call me again. He called me right the next day and asked me to narrate it to NTR. I gave a 20-minute narration to NTR and I could see a glow in his face after listening to the script. The next day I got a call from NTR that the project is on. I narrated two more developed versions on 7 and 20 April. I had the entire script ready by that time. Whatever is there is movie today was there written in that bound script. The each and every scene in Kantri was approved by both Aswini Dutt and NTR before going to the sets.
I wanted to show NTR in a new look. We did a photo shoot and bought costumes from places around to make sure that each costume is not costlier than 1500 rupees. Deepa designed the costumes of NTR. We had all costumes ready even before the movie is started.
At that time Mani Sharma was in USA doing live concerts. Aswini Dutt made me travel there so that I could participate music sittings right away. I traveled along with Mani. 123 song was that first one he composed. I wanted to shoot a hip-hop song on NTR. We needed a lyricist and we did not have anybody around us. Hence I wrote the lyrics for that song. all the words in that song came from my observations on NTR – especially 'by birth undi timmiri'. I reserved a portion of the rendition to NTR. Mani Sharma composed three tunes in USA only.
We started the shoot of Kantri with a song on 1 October. We had to wait for a month because cinematographer Sameer Reddy was busy with Athidi at that time.
We had to shoot a vital portion of the film abroad. Aswini Dutt gave us an option to shoot in any country around the word. We finalized on Hong Kong and Dubai. But Hong Kong shoot costs 6 million more. When I put forth the budgets in front of Dutt, he selected Hong Kong. We shot the transit part in Singapore and action episodes in Hong Kong. Aswini Dutt also produced Ram Gopal Varma's Company in Hong Kong in the past. I could able to shoot 75% of what I had imagined in Hong Kong episodes. Sameer Reddy and Stun Shiva shot the entire portion efficiently. I showcased the skyline of Hong Kong effectively. We shot at an area where the latest version of Hollywood film Batman was shot a couple of days earlier. We also shot in a most dangerous airport strip in the middle of the city. Aswini Dutt also did not compromised on songs. We could have easily shot the songs in Singapore and Hong Kong. But he wanted us to go to other places. We went to Cape town in South Africa as no Telugu film was shot over there after Badri.
|Soundtrack album by|
29 March 2008 (India)
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Mani Sharma chronology|
Released on 29 March 2008, Kantri's soundtrack was composed by Mani Sharma whilst lyrics were penned by five different lyricists: Meher Ramesh, Ananth Sreeram, Sirivennela, Veturi Sundararama Murthy, and Ramajogayya Sastry.
|123 Nenoka Kantri||N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Naveen Madhav, Karunya||04:31||Meher Ramesh||N. T. Rama Rao Jr.|
|Ammaho||Karthik & K. S. Chithra||05:16||Sirivennela||N. T. Rama Rao Jr. & Hansika Motwani|
|Vayasunamy||Vedala Hemachandra & Sunitha||04:04||Veturi||N. T. Rama Rao Jr. & Hansika Motwani|
|I Go Crazy||Rahul Nambiar, Jey||04:48||Anatha Sreeram||N. T. Rama Rao Jr. & Hansika Motwani|
|Janthar Manthar||Ranjith & Rita||04:25||Anatha Sreeram||N. T. Rama Rao Jr. & Tanisha Mukherjee|
|Raamare||Shankar Mahadevan & Sunidhi Chauhan||04:45||Ramajogayya Sastry||N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Prakash Raj, Tanisha Mukherjee, Hansika Motwani, & Ashish Vidhyarthi|
Rediff gave two and half stars said "Meher has nothing new to offer. He does take the beaten path in making a hero-centric film with the theme of good versus evil and the usual masala elements. NTR stands out with his looks and talent. Hansika, as the lead heroine makes a pretty picture. In short Kantri is NTR's show all the way". greatandhra and idlebrain rated three stars, with the former saying "The film is for mass cum class audiences. Technically the film stands on the summit. Leaving the length part and less-comedy part aside, the film is a well-made one", and the latter describing "The plus points of the film are NTR's energizing performance (dialogues, dances and emotions) and the first half. The twist towards climax is interesting".
- Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu – Jr NTR
- Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist – Telugu – Veturi (for the song "Vayasunami")
- Nandi Award for Best Choreographer – Prem Rakshit for the song "Vayasunami"
The film was later dubbed into Malayalam & Tamil languages as Njan Aanu Bose & Pokkiri Paiyan respectively.
- "Telugu Box Office". Sify. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
- "Kantri still tops the box-office". Sify.com.
- "Making of 3D NTR Character for Kantri". Idlebrain.com.
- Kantri Movie Stills, Kantri Movie Gallery, Kantri Photo Gallery, Kantri Photos. Bharatstudent.com. Retrieved on 7 September 2015.
- Meher Ramesh – Telugu Cinema interview – Telugu film director. Idlebrain.com (13 May 2008). Retrieved on 2015-09-07.
- "'Kantri' audio albums and trailer are out". Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
- Radhika Rajamani. "Kantri: NTR's show all the way". Rediff. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
- "'Kantri' Review: An Action-Revenge Entertainer". greatandhra.com. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
- "Telugu Movie review – Kantri". idlebrain. Retrieved 9 May 2008.