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5 Best Films of the Renowned Playwright and Actor


Girish Karnad legacy as a playwright and actor continues to inspire generations of Indian artists.

Girish Karnad Birth Anniversary: Karnad’s work often explored the complexities of Indian culture, identity, and history, and his plays are considered a cornerstone of modern Indian theatre

GIRISH KARNAD BIRTH ANNIVERSARY: Girish Karnad was a prominent Indian playwright, actor, and director who made significant contributions to Indian theatre and cinema. He was born on May 19, 1938, in Maharashtra’s Matheran. Karnad’s work often explored the complexities of Indian culture, identity, and history, and his plays are considered a cornerstone of modern Indian theatre.

His legacy as a playwright and actor continues to inspire generations of Indian artists. Whether it was his memorable roles in movies such as Nishant, Manthan, and Swami or his plays such as Tughlaq and Yayati, Girish Karnad’s versatility as an actor and writer was unmatched.

To commemorate Girish Karnad’s birth anniversary, look at some of his remarkable contributions to Indian theatre and cinema. Here are five of his notable performances that have left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

  1. Samskara (1970)
    Girish Karnad played the role of Praneshacharya, a Brahmin scholar. His performance as a conflicted, self-righteous, and moralistic man earned him critical acclaim and established the actor as a force in Indian cinema. Samskara, based on a novel by U.R. Ananthamurthy, was directed by Pattabhirama Reddy.
  2. Ondanondu Kaladalli (1978)
    Ondanondu Kaladalli is a Kannada movie directed by Girish Karnad himself. The actor essayed the character of a retired schoolteacher who gets drawn into the lives of a group of musicians. Karnad’s performance was praised for its subtlety and depth, and the film won the Filmfare Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada.
  3. Nishant (1975)
    Directed by Shyam Benegal, Nishant is a hard-hitting drama about rural India. Karnad played the role of the village headman’s son-in-law, who gets caught in a power struggle between the residents and the landlord. The actor’s performance as a conflicted and morally ambiguous character was widely appreciated.
  4. Swami (1977)
    Swami is an inspiring story of an individual’s journey to discover his true self while contending with the challenges that come his way. In the film, Karnad skilfully portrayed the role of a conventional and inflexible individual who endeavours to force his own ideologies onto his son.
  5. Manthan (1976)
    The Shyam Benegal directorial explores the struggles of a group of farmers who come together to form a cooperative milk production society. For his role as Dr Rao, a veterinarian aiding farmers in their pursuit, Karnad received critical acclaim.

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