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‘Zehreela Insaan’ was Rishi Kapoor’s Karnataka connect

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Bengaluru: Naagarahaavu one of the runaway hit films of Kannada starring Vishnuvardhan was remade in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The plot of the movie was based on three novels of famous novelist of yore Ta Ra Subbarao better known as Ta Ra Su.

In Hindi it was titled- Zehreela Insaan and Rishi Kapoor enacted the lead role that was essayed with elan by Vishnuvardhan in the original. Ace director Puttanna Kanagal wielded the megaphone in Hindi too. The film was produced under the banner of Pragati Chitra International. It was released on November 20, 1974 two years after Naagarahaavu had hit screens on December 29, 1972. Though the original was a money spinner, it was not in Hindi.

Rishi Kapoor, Dara Singh and Ambareesh in ‘Zehreela Insaan’.

When the cine buffs woke up to hear the news of death of Rishi Kapoor, it was what crossed my mind how this Kapoor legatee had aptly reprised the role of an angry young man.

Rishi as he was fondly known as among his fans may have ( or haven’t) shot movies in Karnataka in the later years of his career, but it was with Zehreela Insaan, Rishi in the prime of his youth then was in Karnataka for sometime.

As said earlier, Zehreela… a remake of Nagarahaavu was also shot extensively in Chitradurga known for its forts for outdoor location and for indoor it was Kanteerava and Chamundeshwari studios in Bengaluru. While Ramachari had endeared himself to fans in Kannada, it was Arjun Singh the name of protagonist in Hindi potboiler.

What’s intriguing further about the film is Ambareesh the late ‘Rebel Star’ of Kannada who also shared screen space with Rishi in Hindi flick too. Ambareesh who had played the role of Jaleel in Naagaraahavu as a lumpen, reenacted the same role here to the T.

Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh who tweeted a message has expressed her condolence saying “…2020 is turning out to be the worst nightmare…”

Yes I too feel the same here, yesterday it was Irrfan, today Rishi and pray to god that there won’t be anybody tomorrow and further.

RIP Rishi Kapoor.

– Team Mysoorunews

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