|Director Meher Ramesh|
|Release date 9 May 2008|
Similar Shakti (2011 film), Narasimhudu, Samba (2004 film)
Kantri (Telugu: కంత్రి) is a 2008 action thriller film starring Jr. NTR, Hansika Motwani, Tanisha Mukherjee, and Prakash Raj. The film is directed by Meher Ramesh, who is a protégé of Puri Jagannadh. The movie is produced by Vyjayanthi Movies and C. Ashwini Dutt.
The film initially mentioned to release on 1 May 2008, however released a week later in order to avoid competition with Parugu. and was a hit at the box office.
The opening scenes give you an indication of how the movie is going to shape up. NRI Krishna returns to his village with his wife and child to work for the upliftment of the village folk. However, when the family along with his old father is on its way home with the money, fellow villager Prakash Raj backstabs, kills all and runs away with the money leaving his wife and son behind.
Prakash Raj is head of a huge empire (with his friend Sheshu as partner) and is into all kinds of nefarious activities. Enters out hero, Kranti who flexes his muscles, shakes his leg and gets into the gang of Prakash Raj to earn money for his orphanage, where he grew up (he's orphaned at a very young age). Kranti (jr. NTR) falls in love with Varalakshmi (Hansika Motwani) who is such a lucky girl that she wins a foreign trip, a house and household gadgets for her family. Varalakshmi initially does not like Kranti.
An ambitious Kranti, meanwhile rises up pretty fast in life and meets Prakash Raj in Hong Kong. The director takes the audience to believe that Kranti is Prakah Raj's son till the twist in the tale. This movie has some stylish fights and good action sequences.
I narrated the script of Kantri to Puri Jagan when we went to Manali to shoot Desamuduru for 30 days. He listened to the beginning scene, interval block and pre-climax and said that this film will become a hit. He also liked Kantri title and immediately registered it on Vaishno banner so that others won't squat on it.
Dutt observed me during that time and offered me a film. When he asked who I want to have as hero, I said NTR. I also told him that there will not be any thoda kottatam kind of things in this film. It is going to be stylish and it will showcase NTR in a 25-year-old tappori character. Dutt said that he would take 4 days to call me again. He called me right the next day and asked me to narrate it to NTR. I gave a 20-minute narration to NTR and I could see a glow in his face after listening to the script. The next day I got a call from NTR that the project is on. I narrated two more developed versions on 7 and 20 April. I had the entire script ready by that time. Whatever is there is movie today was there written in that bound script. The each and every scene in Kantri was approved by both Aswini Dutt and NTR before going to the sets.
I wanted to show NTR in a new look. We did a photo shoot and bought costumes from places around to make sure that each costume is not costlier than 1500 rupees. Deepa designed the costumes of NTR. We had all costumes ready even before the movie is started.
At that time Mani Sharma was in USA doing live concerts. Aswini Dutt made me travel there so that I could participate music sittings right away. I traveled along with Mani. 123 song was that first one he composed. I wanted to shoot a hip-hop song on NTR. We needed a lyricist and we did not have anybody around us. Hence I wrote the lyrics for that song. all the words in that song came from my observations on NTR – especially 'by birth undi timmiri'. I reserved a portion of the rendition to NTR. Mani Sharma composed three tunes in USA only.
We started the shoot of Kantri with a song on 1 October. We had to wait for a month because cinematographer Sameer Reddy was busy with Athidi at that time.
We had to shoot a vital portion of the film abroad. Aswini Dutt gave us an option to shoot in any country around the word. We finalized on Hong Kong and Dubai. But Hong Kong shoot costs 6 million more. When I put forth the budgets in front of Dutt, he selected Hong Kong. We shot the transit part in Singapore and action episodes in Hong Kong. Aswini Dutt also produced Ram Gopal Varma's Company in Hong Kong in the past. I could able to shoot 75% of what I had imagined in Hong Kong episodes. Sameer Reddy and Stun Shiva shot the entire portion efficiently. I showcased the skyline of Hong Kong effectively. We shot at an area where the latest version of Hollywood film Batman was shot a couple of days earlier. We also shot in a most dangerous airport strip in the middle of the city. Aswini Dutt also did not compromised on songs. We could have easily shot the songs in Singapore and Hong Kong. But he wanted us to go to other places. We went to Cape town in South Africa as no Telugu film was shot over there after Badri.
Rediff gave two and half stars said "Meher has nothing new to offer. He does take the beaten path in making a hero-centric film with the theme of good versus evil and the usual masala elements. NTR stands out with his looks and talent. Hansika, as the lead heroine makes a pretty picture. In short Kantri is NTR's show all the way". greatandhra and idlebrain rated three stars, with the former saying "The film is for mass cum class audiences. Technically the film stands on the summit. Leaving the length part and less-comedy part aside, the film is a well-made one", and the latter describing "The plus points of the film are NTR's energizing performance (dialogues, dances and emotions) and the first half. The twist towards climax is interesting".
The movie was dubbed and released in Hindi as Ek Aur Qayamat, in English as Jackal in 2011, and then in Tamil also as Jackal during June 2015.
Released on 29 March 2008, Kantri's soundtrack was composed by Mani Sharma whilst lyrics were penned by five different lyricists: Meher Ramesh, Ananth Sreeram, Sirivennela, Veturi Sundararama Murthy, and Ramajogayya Sastry.