Aa Dinagalu (Kannada: ಆ ದಿನಗಳು; English: Those Days) is a 2007 Indian Kannada language crime drama film based on the non-fiction novel Daadaagiriya Dinagalu by Agni Shridhar, and directed by K. M. Chaitanya. It stars Chethan Kumar in the lead role. The supporting cast features Sharath Lohitashwa, Ashish Vidhyarthi, Atul Kulkarni and Veda Sastry. The plot revolves around mafia in Bangalore during the 1980s when gangsters Kotwal Ramachandra and M. P. Jayaraj dominated the Bangalore underworld. The film's soundtrack and background music was scored by Ilayaraja.
Upon theatrical release on 19 October 2007, the film received positive reviews from critics who acclaimed the screenplay and the acting performance of Sharath Lohitashwa who portrayed the role of Kotwal Ramachandra. The film won three awards each at the 2007–08 Karnataka State Film Awards and 55th Filmfare Awards South; the awards at the latter ceremony being Best Film, Best Director (K. M. Chaitanya) and Best Supporting Actor (Sharath Lohitashwa).
Aa Dinagalu is a story about the Bangalore underworld of the 1980s. In the film, Agni Shridhar narrates the preview as story of Kotwal Ramachandra era (1975) coincidentally with declaration of emergency by Indira Gandhi, which led to grooming of M. P. Jayaraj as the uncrowned don of Bangalore mostly working with Knives, Sickles, Machetes for terrorising people. Eventually he seems to have got jailed for contempt of court for 10 years. When he returns in 1985, after the death of Indira Gandhi he finds Kotwal Ramachandra to have taken his spot. In this backdrop how a love story finds its place has been shown in the movie.
Chetan (Chetan) and Mallika (Archana) are in deep love. Chetan is a business magnet a Konkani Brahmin with a vast empire of his father while Mallika is a dance teacher hailing from Vokkaliga community. The love affair of these two is not tolerated by Chetan's father. He hires the underworld don Kotwal Ramachandra (Sharat Lohitashva) to handle the case. This is what irks Chetan and he is perturbed mentally. For coming as a hardship Chetan wants to take revenge on Kotwal. That is not an easy task. Chetan goes to the opponent gang of Kotwal - Jayaraj to seek support in his mission. But just before this the incident that takes place at Kanishka Hotel brings in bad name for Chetan. He is suspected by the police. After release Chetan further strengthen his plan with Sridhar and Bachchan. They all seek Sreeraj the trusted friend of Kotwal friend to near to Kotwal. Believing that Kotwal will be safe Sriraj sends this trio Chetan, Sridhar, Bachchan to Tumkur. This is where Kotwal is killed when his right hand Shetty also ditch him.Chethan Kumar as Chethan Naik
Veda Sastry (credited as Archana) as Mallika
Sharath Lohitashwa as Kotwal Ramachandra
Ashish Vidhyarthi as M. P. Jayaraj
Atul Kulkarni as Agni Shridhar
Achyuth Kumar as Oil Kumar
Dinesh Mangalore as Seetharam Shetty
Girish Karnad as Girish Naik, Chethan's father
Vinaya Prasad as Chethan's mother
Natak Amaan as Muneer
Aryan deepak as Bachchan
Satya as Sardar
Asif Farooqi as Siraj
Dharma as Sub-inspector Shivaraj
Kishan Shetty as Daniel
Nagendra Urs as Balarama
Akbar as Rajendra
Prabhakar as Samson
Samyukta Hornad as Divya Naik
Shwetha Srivatsav as Kothwal's wife
The Story is based upon book Dadagiriya Dinagalu (The days of DadaGiri or Rowdyism) by Agni Sridhar, who was once a criminal identified himself with Bangalore underworld in 1980s.
Ilayaraja composed the film's background score and music for its soundtrack. The album consists of three tracks. Lyrics for them were penned by K. Kalyan and D. Sumana Kittur.
Upon theatrical release, Aa Dinagalu received generally positive reviews from critics. R. G. Vijayasarathy of Rediff reviewed the film rating it 3.5/5 and wrote, "Chaitanya has used a straightforward, simple narration resulting in a profound impact. The background score by Ilayaraja is one of the best heard in the recent times in Kannada films. Cameraman H.C.Venu has done a terrific job behind the camera. Sharath Lohithashwa is wonderful as Kothwal Ramachandra, while Atul Kulkarni, Ashish Vidyarthi, Girish Karnad, and the new face Chethan have all given wonderful performances in their respective roles" and concluded writing "Commendable direction, excellent star cast, high class technical crew and a fantastic script..." The Times of India in its review rated the film 3/5 and called the film a "brilliant portrayal of underworld don Kotwal Ramachandra." The reviewer concluded writing, "Sharath Lohithshwa, Ashish Vidyarthi and Atul Kulkarni are brilliant. While Girish Karnad gives a consummate performance, Archana shines and Dharma excels. H C Venu's camerawork is excellent. Ilayaraja's music is pleasing." The reviewer for Deccan Herald felt the film was "a damp squib". He felt, "the subject [was dealt] in a straight, staccato fashion that renders Aa Dinagalu more like docu-feature than a film that sparkles with auteur’s classic feel of the medium."
The DVD of the movie has been released on Anand Audio. This is the first time a Kannada movie with 5.1 surround sound is releasing on a DVD.
The film has been completed 100-days in banglore region.