Sandalwood actor Kichha Sudeep, who made forays into Bollywood, is making waves again with his Kannada movie Hebbuli. His portrayal of a commando has earned the movie `30 crore in its first week of release after it opened on February 23 on 500 screens across the country.
For the first time, a Kannada movie was released across 23 screens in Gurgaon, Pune, Mumbai and Tamil Nadu, which have a limited Kannada population.
A war drama, Hebbuli is based on the Army’s surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir last year. It’s about soldiers sacrificing their lives on the border and about their families. And if a trained commando becomes a rebel, he can be the most dangerous weapon, the movie says.
Kichha enacts different shades of patriotism. He is a commando who is overshadowed by a soldier’s passion towards family when he loses a brother. The message of the film is terse—‘If I can serve the nation, I can protect my family too’.
Kichha’s hairstyle in the movie has become a rage in Karnataka.
Hebbuli demonstrates his larger-than-life portrayal of the character. “I do not believe in extensive preparation, and knowing the basics of a commando’s behaviour was enough. I need to go deep into a character only when the movie has anything to do with the Army or about a war or is a biopic. For Hebbuli, a surface-level understanding was enough,” he says.
Director S Krishna and his team of writers have specifically stressed on the universal topic of a soldier’s life, while connecting family values. “The film was inspired from one of the episodes of the reality show Satyamev Jayate, anchored by Aamir Khan,” says Krishna. “The story came to me when I was watching an episode on TV two years ago, and that’s when I started working on Hebbuli.”
Krishna, who was a cinematographer before directing films, adds, “Soldiers hold a place of pride in our society, and Hebbuli has managed to raise that respect.”
Sudeep’s tech savvy fans have released a 3D adventure game with a caricature of the actor.