"After my death, I would like to be reborn as Ambareesh's son." This was a statement that was made by the man himself, the Late Puttanna Kanagal, the legendary yester-year director of the Kannada Film Industry.
It is a very well known fact that Rebel Star Ambareesh was discovered by the Late Puttanna Kanagal and his discovery eventually turned out to be a precious gem for KFI. "Even the screen name, Ambareesh, was given to me by Puttanna Kangal," recounts Ambareesh, who's birth name is Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath.
Although Ambareesh started with a small role in Puttanna Kanagal's Nagarahavu(1972), he acted in various movies enacting small time roles under the mentorship of Puttanna Kanagal, until he climbed up the ladder of stardom and became a hero in the movie Amarnath(1978).
It is no surprise that the major turning point in Ambareesh's life was the association with Puttanna Kanagal and the Rebel Star never forgets to acknowledge that. While at 'Weekend with Ramesh', Ambareesh shared some insights about his life. Read on to find some excerpts from that episode.
About Puttanna's Films:
"Puttanna's movies were very complex. The title and climax of the movies were so intense that it would shock the audience. Often, his movies were deemed to be eccentric and obnoxious. Most of his movies were anti-sentiment and anti-women, as a result of which, it wouldn't suit the Indian sentiments," said Ambareesh.
Ambareesh said, "Ranganayaki was a risky movie as it had sensitive story. A story of a son loving his mother. Or maybe a step lower than that - infatuation. Yet, the movie was well accepted by the audience and the movie was declared a super-hit. That's Puttanna-ji for you."
About Being The Latecomer On The Sets:
"I used to be late, everyday. He used to despise people who were late-comers on the set. The fixed time to be on set was 9am. I used to come at 10.30am and give lame reasons, yet, he forgave me each time. "I have come to direct a film, not hear your stories" was what he used to say to me everytime I made an excuse," said Ambareesh, which reflects that Puttanna Kanagal was strict but disciplined as well.
About The Love Story Between Aarti And Puttanna Kanagal:
"Puttanna is a tremendous director. The love between Aarti and Puttanna was at its peak when one day, after the last shot, Aarti was removing the makeup. Puttanna-ji looked up at the sky, looked at Aarti and started composing the shot. I guess he drew inspiration from things we don't even pay attention to," said Ambareesh.
About The Legend Himself:
"Puttanna Kanagal was a self made man. But, when at work, he was the one to make the call. He used to treat everyone in the same manner regardless of Aarti or me or anyone else on the set. He did not like people wasting time on his set, even if they were his close ones. He had a short temper and never used to tolerate indiscipline and laziness. He was very strict. He used to be the first person to arrive at the shooting location, every time," recollected Ambareesh.
About His Death:
Recalling his memories, Ambareesh said, "He had a heart attack and was admitted to the hospital. Although he was unable to talk at that time, he motioned to me and showed that he would start a new film with me in 10 days. Before that could happen, we lost him. Not just my loss, it was Kannada Film Industry's biggest loss. Had he been alive today, you would have seen a 100 more talented artists like me attain success. He was a creator in himself."