The Masthigudi film anti-heroes Raghava Uday and Anil Varma drowned in the Thippagondanahalli Reservoir while shooting the climax of the Kannada film starring 'Duniya' Vijay. Vijay himself was saved by a hair's breadth. On the day of the release of Masthigudi, let's remember Uday and Anil. here is the account of what happened. 

The crew was not allowed to shoot in the water. As it is a restricted zone, permission was given to shoot on the banks of the lake. But the film crew flouted the rules for an aerial shot in which the actors lept in the water, without even life jackets. The helicopter belonged to ex-minister Samanur Shivashankarappa's son Ganesh.

According to media reports, the actors were told that a boat will be ready to pick them as soon as they fell into the water. Surprisingly, both the actors did not know swimming but still agreed for the shot, believing the team's promise of boats. Accordingly, Uday jumped first and was followed within seconds by Anil. However, 'Duniya' Vijay leapt after a minute or so.

The crew now claims that due to a technical glitch, the diesel-engined boat did not start. So they were forced to send in a small rowboat paddled by one man. As 'Duniya' Vijay knew swimming well, he managed to swim over to the small boat. But by the time the boat reached the spot where Uday and Anil fell, they had already drowned.

Blatant disregard of permission:

So what were the crew authrorized to film? Here is what the BWSSB permission letter, a copy of which Asianet Newsable accessed, said:

"Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has given permission for a one-day shot to 'Masthigudi' Kannada film in the surrounding areas of the Thippagondanahalli Backwaters. The conditions for the shooting are listed below.

1) No shooting in the restricted area. Also this permission does not extend to aerial shots.

2) The crew should not disturb the daily works of the Board

3) No damage should be made to the property of the Board. In case of any damage, the cost should be provided by the film crew

4) The crew should maintain cleanliness in the shooting spot”


The letter clearly states that permission has not been given for the aerial shoot.

Speaking to Asianet Newsable, actor-turned-politician Ramya said, "My contract had a clause that during risky shoots, unless I am okay in terms of precautions and other safety measures, I will object to it.  In such a risky situation I don't know if they were aware of the safety measures taken. How can the safety nets be missing in such cases. Professional divers should have been there. Unless precautions are taken, one mustn't attempt. The stuntmen are always at risk for such acts. Safety precautions must be taken for all whether you are the lead actor or not."

"I feel very sorry. My heart goes out to the two actors," she said.

Many Kannada stars have expressed shock over the incident.

Kichcha Sudeep, who knew Anil well as he had acted in his film Hebbuli had tweeted:

Actor Jaggesh wrote:


This is how hard Uday and Anil had worked to get the six pack for the movie Masthigudi.



Though the family has been promised help by various sources including the crew, it is not clear if the help has reached them. Even if the crew dedicates the movie to Anil and Uday, it can never bring them back. So, the question remains, is release of Masthigudi setting a bad example for other movies too?