Of late there are so many Kannada film titles that are getting into trouble for various reasons. Apart from being controversial they are also getting into controversy for being similar to other film titles. The similar sounding and similarly named films are turning out to be the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commer's biggest headache.
Here is a recap of some of the title controversies in the last few years. When Dwarkish applied for the title Vishnuvardhana starring Sudeep in the lead Bharathi Vishnuvardhan objected. But Dwarkish was adamant and wanted the same title. Finally he got it and had his way. But when Ramu named his film Kiran Bedi he had to backtrack and changed the film's name to Kannadada Kiran Bedi. Puneeth Rajkumar's film Power Star changed titles so many times due to controversies and conflicts. First, the film was titled as 'Rajkumara'. Due to the unavailability of the title, the film was renamed as 'Adhipathi'. Then the title changed to 'Ashwathama'. Later they renamed it as Power. But since the title Power was with director-actor Surya the Puneeth's film was renamed yet again to Power***.
Sharan's movie Adhyaksha was also in trouble about the title. The title was with Mukthar and so Sharan's film was renamed Sharan Adhyaksha. For using the title Mysore Mallige director TS Nagabharana objected and even went to court against it.
SRV production has registered the title Leader for a Sudeep movie. After this writer, director Ajay Kumar had registered the Mass Leader for Shivarajkumar. Producer Tarun (of Rose fame) wanted the title The Leader and there was objection by SRV Productons. Later Tarun got the title Mass Leader from Ajay Kumar and is now doing the movie with Shivarajkumar. There was objection to the title Ring Road Shubha and it has now become Ring Road.
Upendra starter Basavanna title made very news and was even discussed in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. Later producer CR Manohar and director Srinivasa Raju changed the title to Shivam. Jogi fame director Prem movie was titled as Hitler and since the title was with Teshi Venkatesh it was renamed as Prem Hitler.
The most recent controversy is Tiger starring Pradeep who is getting re-introduced to the industry in the film directed by Nandakushore. Ramesh Kashyap has stared the movie under the title Mari Tiger and now Tiger is with Nandakishore. The problem is now before the Film Chamber. Other films that have got into controversy in the recent times include Gundu Rao, Shh, Rajadhani and Uppi's Love Story.
There is a rule that a new title cannot be given by adding a new word to an existing title. But many times this rule is diluted to accomodate new film. Maybe only 100-120 films are released in Kannada in a year, but three to four times more number of film titles are registered every year. So there is demand for good titles. Since most films are either romance and action some words are always in demand. So we also see a spike in the use of film titles that were made films some years ago. Even then the same title can be used for a new film only after ten years. All these have created a problem and the controversies related to titles may not be easy to solve.