There are some actors who not only entertain us with their performances but also manage to leave a lasting impact on our hearts. Puneeth Rajkumar is one such actor who has won the love and admiration of countless fans with his exceptional acting skills and charming personality. He has not only excelled in his craft but also used his fame and influence to contribute to various social causes, making him a true inspiration for many.
Top 10s Only is proud to bring you the top ten best movies of Puneeth Rajkumar, an exceptional actor whose premature demise in 2021 left his fans and the film industry in shock. Despite his untimely demise, Puneeth Rajkumar’s legacy lives on through his incredible body of work, which includes a variety of genres such as action, romance, comedy, and drama. With each performance, Puneeth Rajkumar has left an indelible mark on the Kannada film industry with his stellar performances and impeccable screen presence. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the Top 10 Best Must-Watch Movies of Puneeth Rajkumar, which serve as a fitting tribute to this phenomenal actor.
Puneeth Rajkumar – The True Yuvaratna
Puneeth Rajkumar, born on March 17, 1975, was the youngest of the iconic Kannada actor Dr. Rajkumar and Parvathamma Rajkumar’s children. Growing up in a family steeped in the world of cinema, he began his acting career as a child and appeared in several movies. Puneeth had two actor brothers, Raghavendra and Shivarajkumar Rajkumar. In 1999, Puneeth tied the knot with his long-time friend Ashwini, and they have two daughters, Driti and Vandhita.
Heartbreakingly, Puneeth Rajkumar departed from this world in October 2021, far too soon at the young age of 46, due to a severe heart attack. His untimely passing reverberated through the Karnataka film industry, leaving a void that cannot be filled. Yet, his adoring followers hold onto his memory with unwavering devotion, keeping his spirit alive. In the aftermath of his departure, a sea of mourners gathered to bid a tearful farewell to the cherished star, bearing witness to the profound impact he had on their lives. With an unwavering commitment to making a positive impact, Puneeth Rajkumar transformed from an accomplished actor into a revered icon, much like his father, Dr. Rajkumar, over the course of two decades. Despite his immense fame and influence, Puneeth humbly refused any payment for his tireless advocacy on behalf of countless causes, leveraging his position of power to effect meaningful change. In a poignant testament to his selflessness, Puneeth honoured his father’s legacy by fulfilling the family promise to donate his eyes after his passing, a deeply moving gesture that speaks volumes about his character and compassion.
Top 10 Best Puneeth Rajkumar Films List
Puneeth Rajkumar made his acting debut at the tender age of six months in Premada Kanike, a film that starred his father Rajkumar in the lead role. He later had his breakthrough as a lead actor in the 2002 movie Appu, where he starred opposite Rakshita. Over the years, he appeared in several critically acclaimed films such as Anna Bond and Rana Vikrama, delivering strong performances that were a treat to watch. Puneeth’s remarkable stage presence, impressive dance skills, and impeccable dialogue delivery left audiences spellbound. In addition to his acting career, he also hosted Kannadada Kotyadhipati, the Kannada version of the popular American program Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? In 1985, he won the National Award for Best Young Artist for his role in Bettada Hoovu. Puneeth’s last appearance in a film was in the factual drama Gandhada Gudi in 2022.
Let us now dive deep into the Top 10 Best Must-Watch Movies of Puneeth Rajkumar:
1. Appu (2002)
Let’s start off the list of the top 10 Puneeth Rajkumar movies, with the very first movie in which he played the lead character. Appu is one of the best Puri Jagannadh-directed South Indian romantic comedy-action movies. Rakshita and Puneeth Rajkumar are its stars. The movie was produced by Poornima Enterprises, the production company of the Rajkumar family, with Parvathamma Rajkumar, Puneeth’s mother, taking on the mantle of the producer. It served as Puneet’s debut as the lead actor. The movie was a hit when it was released in theatres and played for 200 days. Consequently, Puneeth Rajkumar became affectionately known as “Appu” among the public.
Appu, portrayed by Puneeth Rajkumar, is the protagonist of this film. He is a carefree young man, who falls for a girl named Suchitra (played by Rakshita) after she saves him from a rival gang. Suchitra turns out to be the daughter of the city commissioner, and when Appu expresses his love, it leads to a series of challenges and obstacles that he must overcome. Despite facing severe beatings and threats, Appu remains determined to win over Suchitra and finally succeeds with the help of the DGP. Appu’s character is unique in his resilience and his willingness to fight for what he believes in, making him a standout figure in the film.
In addition to Puneeth Rajkumar’s excellent acting abilities, the majority of the audience adored him because of the innocent appearance he gave off. The dance of Puneeth Rajkumar is energizing and he seems to have a thousand million watts at his disposal when it comes to the action sequences! He also has a natural way of delivering dialogue, which added to his charm and made his performance in the film Appu even more engaging.
2. Veera Kannadiga (2004)
Anita Hassanandani and Puneeth Rajkumar feature in Meher Ramesh’s action drama Veera Kannadiga. This best-hit film of Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar was a financial hit and his 3rd film as a lead actor. This film is a classic example of an action thriller with comedic elements. Veera Kannadiga, a Kannada film, was remade in Telugu under the title Andhrawala. The film featured the talented actor Jr. NTR in the lead role.
Puneeth Rajkumar delivers an exceptional performance in the movie, playing the dual roles of father and son, Shankar and Munna. Shankar, a construction worker, fights against the notorious don, Bade Mia, in Mumbai, but tragically he and his wife are murdered by the don. Shankar’s son, Munna, grows up in the slums under the protection of his friends. However, upon discovering the truth about his father’s death, he returns to Mumbai as an adult, seeking revenge against Bade Mia. Throughout the film, Munna works tirelessly to protect the inhabitants of the slum, while also pursuing his mission of revenge. The gripping storyline and Puneeth’s captivating acting make this a movie worth watching.
The song ‘Jeeva Kannada Deha Kannada’ became quite popular among the people of Karnataka almost like an anthem. Puneeth Rajkumar’s exceptional acting skills shine through in the movie Veera Kannadiga, leaving a lasting impression on the audience. His portrayal of the dual protagonists, Shankar and Munna, is truly remarkable. Watch this Puneeth Rajkumar film online to truly gauge the outstanding performance put forth by this great actor!
3. Arasu (2007)
Here’s another gem from actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s filmography. The love drama movie Arasu was helmed by director Mahesh Babu. Puneeth Rajkumar received the Filmfare Best Actor Award for this movie.
The film’s title character, Arasu, played by Puneeth Rajkumar, is the son of a business tycoon who decides to forgo his inheritance to support himself after being rejected by the girl (Ramya) he had proposed marriage to. It quickly develops into a love triangle when another girl (Meera Jasmine) of middle-class background enters their lives. But this is not any cliché love triangle movie. This movie has dealt with it in a very mature way and the ending proves it.
Puneeth Rajkumar delivers a remarkable and nuanced performance in the movie Arasu, deftly portraying both a hardworking commoner striving to earn a monthly income of Rs. 5000 and a wealthy NRI. His performance is particularly striking in the movie’s final act, where he must choose between two heroines. Additionally, his confrontations and energetic dance moves are sure to delight viewers, showcasing his versatility and talent as an actor.
4. Vamshi (2008)
The next awesome movie from Puneeth Rajkumar’s best films list is the action drama film Vamshi which was directed by Prakash. Along with Puneet, it stars Nikita in the lead role. Puneeth Rajkumar won the South Scope Best Actor Award for this movie. Actors Lakshmi, Sundar Raj and Komal Kumar play important roles in this film.
Puneeth Rajkumar’s portrayal of Vamsi in the action-packed movie is a remarkable performance. Vamsi, who aspires to become a police officer, faces a major obstacle during the interview process when he is questioned about his father’s whereabouts, a criminal overlord ruling Bangalore. Despite his efforts to prove himself and his determination to break the stereotype of being a rowdy’s son, Vamsi’s anger gets the best of him, resulting in his disqualification and subsequent downfall. Puneeth brilliantly showcases Vamsi’s range of emotions, from his determination to his fury to his despair and ultimately, his redemption. The film’s plot, revolving around the mother-son relationship, adds another layer of emotional depth to the story, making it a must-watch.
Puneeth Rajakumar, a macho hero, has chosen the ideal part to suit the demands of the box office. His action sequences are intimidating, and his talent for acting and dancing is outstanding.
5. Raam (2009)
Another jewel from Puneeth Rajkumar’s 10 best films is the rom-com film Raam, directed by K. Madesh. Apart from Puneeth Rajkumar, it stars Priyamani, who made her debut in the Kannada film industry with this movie.
Puneeth Rajkumar shines as Ram in this hilarious rom-com. The film is full of hilarious situations that showcase Puneeth’s impeccable comic timing. Ram, a final year B.E student studying in Bellary, comes to visit his joint family in Mysore during the vacation. But things take a turn when Ram helps his cousin marry her NRI lover and gets thrown out of the house. Things take a hilarious turn when he accidentally kidnaps Pooja (Priyamani), with whom he falls in love, subsequently leading to a series of comical mishaps. They face obstacles but ultimately get married with the help of Ram’s clever tactics, uniting Pooja’s previously feuding uncles. How he does all this is shown in a comedic way that is sure to make you laugh your lungs out.
Puneeth’s outstanding dialogue delivery and facial expressions are a delight to watch. He performs with vigour and exhibits exceptional comic timing. He excels in both dancing and fighting scenes.
6. Prithvi (2010)
Next up in the top 10 movies of Puneeth Rajkumar, we have Prithvi directed by Jacob Varghese. In addition to Puneeth Rajkumar, it stars Parvathy Thiruvothu in the lead role.
Puneeth Rajkumar delivers a riveting performance as Prithvi Kumar, the District Commissioner of Bellary District, in the movie. The character is a principled and ethical IAS officer with an unwavering commitment to stopping corruption in his jurisdiction. Prithvi’s mission to uncover the illegal mining operations in the area takes a dangerous turn when he discovers that the mining lords of Bellary are working closely with the Political High Command to silence him. Despite threats to his life and his family’s safety, Prithvi stays determined to protect his people from the contaminated water, caused by the illegal mining. Puneeth’s portrayal of Prithvi brings depth and emotional range to the character, making the audience feel the weight of his responsibilities and the difficult decisions he must make to maintain his integrity. His performance is a testament to his versatility as an actor and his ability to convey complex emotions through his acting.
Puneeth departs from his on-screen boyish and college boy personas with this movie. Prithvi is a testament to the sheer acting prowess of Puneeth Rajkumar. As the protagonist, he ensures that his character’s emotional depth and struggles are conveyed with utmost authenticity. Puneeth Rajkumar delivers a powerful performance, bringing to life the complexities of Prithvi’s journey as he navigates the murky world of politics and corruption to fight for justice. He portrays the part accurately and appears every bit an honest and truthful public official. He is wonderful in this role, and his body language and expressions are superb.
7. Hudugaru (2011)
One of the top Puneeth Rajkumar hit movies is Hudugaru directed by K. Madesh. Puneeth Rajkumar, Yogesh, Srinagar Kitty, and Radhika Pandit play the main characters in this drama movie. The movie did exceptionally well in the film industry, earning Puneeth Rajkumar the Best Actor SIIMA and Filmfare awards. Since its release in 2011, the film has earned a cult following from die-hard Puneeth Rajkumar fans.
The story revolves around a trio who, at great personal expense and in defiance of the wishes of all involved families, strive to reunite their friend and his sweetheart. However, they soon learn that the lovers have broken up. It shakes them mentally and they get together once again to kidnap the couple to put some sense into them. The movie ends with the friends standing strong in their bond more than ever.
Puneeth Rajkumar’s exceptional acting skills were on full display, especially during the climax of the film. His impressive chemistry with the other actors is also noteworthy, as he portrays their camaraderie with a raw authenticity that draws the audience into the film’s world. When his character loses his love interest, Puneeth portrays his character’s pain with such intensity that the audience can’t help but feel the emotional weight of the scene. This thought-provoking movie is likely to leave a lasting impression on viewers and spark a lot of questions.
8. Raajakumara (2017)
Puneeth Rajkumar’s top 10 action drama movie Raajakumara was directed and written by Santhosh Ananddram. Starring in the lead role other than Puneeth Rajkumar is Priya Anand. The movie opened to enthusiastic acclaim from critics and viewers, and it quickly rose to become the sixth-highest-grossing Kannada movie at the time it was released. The movie earned Puneeth Rajkumar the Filmfare Best Actor Award.
Siddharth (Puneeth) is the perfect NRI since he looks after his dad’s business and defends the honour of his home nation. Everything appears to be going well for him as he becomes romantically involved with Nandini (Priya), a dancing instructor. Then a tragedy forces him to return to India, where he finds himself confronted with a family issue that he decides to settle.
In fighting scenes, Puneeth Rajkumar packs a punch as Siddarth while maintaining control in emotional situations. Puneeth is the ideal fit for the role. His youthful appearance and animated performance, particularly during dance scenes, leave an impression on the audience.
9. Yuvarathna (2021)
For Puneeth Rajkumar fans, the 2021 film Yuvarathna holds a special place in their hearts. This is the last film of Puneeth Rajkumar to be released during his lifetime before his untimely demise on October 29, 2021. The film’s release has become a bittersweet reminder of Puneeth’s incredible talent, his powerful screen presence, and his commitment to delivering top-notch performances.
Santhosh Ananddram wrote and directed this top Puneeth Rajkumar’s hit action drama movie Yuvarathna. Apart from Puneet, the movie has Prakash Raj, Sayyeshaa, Diganth, Dhananjay, and Sai Kumar among its cast members. Both critics and viewers gave the movie mostly positive reviews, praising Puneeth’s performance. He won the South Indian International Movie Award for Best Actor for this movie.
Given that it was entirely produced by Puneeth Rajkumar, it is a treat for fans of Power Star. The film’s storyline also resonates with the youth, as it addresses relevant social issues such as corruption in the education system and the need for student activism. Puneeth Rajkumar’s performance in Yuvarathna is proof of his “Yuvaratna” or “Youth Icon” status. His performance as the crusader for students who fights against corruption and injustice is truly inspiring. His acting skills, combined with the powerful and impactful dialogue delivery, make his performance in the film memorable.
Additionally, the film features an ensemble cast of talented actors and a great soundtrack that adds to the overall appeal of the movie. Overall, Yuvarathna has everything that a Puneeth Rajkumar fan could ask for: a great storyline, powerful acting, intense action, and a social message.
10. Gandhada Gudi (2021)
Gandhada Gudi is the last movie of Puneeth Rajkumar, and it is a fitting final swan song for his die-hard fans. Filmed before his death, this film was posthumously released on 28 October 2022, a year after his sudden demise. This docudrama film is the brainchild of director Amoghavarsha JS. The two principal characters are portrayed by him and Puneeth Rajkumar.
Puneeth Rajkumar and Amoghavarsha JS take the audience on an unforgettable journey through the remote locales of Karnataka in the film Gandhada Gudi. This documentary is not just a movie, but an encounter that explores the state’s dense forests, rivers, and sea life. With a distinctive approach, Puneeth and Amoghavarsha introduce viewers to Karnataka’s rich culture, customs, social challenges, and natural wonders. Throughout the film, Puneeth shares his wonderful experiences, visiting his favourite places and even the birthplace of the late Dr. Rajkumar in Gajnur. As he travels across the state, Puneet’s inquisitive eyes capture the diverse flora and animals, narrating his discoveries to the audience.
Gandhada Gudi presents a novel filmmaking style that beautifully captures the wonders of nature and the environment, creating an unforgettable experience for viewers. It also highlights environmental issues and the need for ecological conservation. Puneet’s distinctive narration and Amoghavarsha’s direction make this docudrama an exceptional portrayal of Karnataka, its people, and its diverse natural treasures. The movie stands as the ultimate proof of Puneeth’s inherent nature as a social crusader.
There is no denying that the day we lost Puneeth Rajkumar, we also lost an incredibly important icon. Puneeth’s approach to acting involved gaining a deep understanding of his character and bringing it to life through his performance. He was a remarkable dancer and acrobat, and his natural talent shone through on both the big and small screens. During his time in the Kannada film industry, he was among the most notable and highly-paid actors. It is truly a great loss to no longer have him with us.
We hope you enjoy watching the ten best Kannada movies of Puneeth Rajkumar we have brought you. These performances represent some of his finest work, demonstrating his enduring talent. Do comment about your favourite movie of Puneeth Rajkumar.
Check out our Top 10 movies list for more information about your favourite actors. If you are a fan of Telugu films, we suggest you take a look at our Top 10 Must-Watch Movies of Mahesh Babu article. For die-hard Tamil movie fans, check out our Top 10 Movies of Tamil Actor Silambarasan aka STR aka Simbu blog post.
Frequently Asked Questions About Puneeth Rajkumar Films
1. Who is known as the God of the Kannada film industry?
The Kannada film industry was home to renowned actor Puneeth Rajkumar. He won the hearts of Kannada fans with his acting prowess, charming demeanour, and background. He was often referred to as the God of the Kannada Film Industry. Son of actor Rajkumar, Puneeth was an actor, playback vocalist, and television host who predominantly worked in the Kannada film industry. Puneeth started performing as a child and later broadened his career to encompass music and television roles. Please refer to our article to read about Puneeth Rajkumar’s best films list.
2. How many films has Puneeth Rajkumar acted in?
He has worked in 49 movies out of which he worked as a child actor in 14 of them. He debuted as a lead actor in the movie Appu in 2002. At only six months old, he made his acting debut. For the 1985 movie Bettada Hoovu, The Power Star won the National Award for the Best Young Artist. Read more about Puneeth Rajkumar and the best Puneeth Rajkumar movies listed in the above document.
3. Which is the last film of Puneeth Rajkumar?
The last movie of Puneeth Rajkumar was Gandhada Gudi. An overview of the ecology in Karnataka is provided in a documentary directed by National Award-winning director Amoghavarsha. In the docudrama Gandhada Gudi, Puneeth Rajkumar will be remembered by viewers without the heroics and glitz of the movie business. Surely, the documentary honours him for who he was in real life. Also, it contains significant lessons on the usage of plastic, water conservation, and deforestation as his contribution to the folks of Karnataka.
4. Which is the first film of Puneeth Rajkumar?
When he made his debut in a movie alongside his father, the renowned Kannada actor Dr. Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar was only six months old. The 1976 thriller Premada Kanike, directed by V. Somashekhar, marked Puneeth Rajkumar’s acting debut. He quickly rose to fame as a young actor. Along with the actress Rakshita, he made his lead acting premiere in the romantic comedy Appu in the year 2002. After its premiere, Appu drew positive ratings and spent 200 days in theatres. In the years that followed, the Power Star appeared in several acclaimed movies. Do check out our article on the best hit films of Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar. You are sure to love it.
5. What are the popular films of Puneeth Rajkumar?
Appu (2002), Arasu (2007), Hudugaru (2011), Raam (2009), Prithvi (2010), Veera Kannadiga (2004), etc., are a few of his popular films. You’ll find his dedication and passion in the way he has performed each role in these movies. He takes time to understand each role in depth and then performs them to their full justice. Why not check out our article on the ten best Puneeth Rajkumar must-watch movies? It will give you the right headstart to his best performances.