|Directed by||P. Vasu|
|Screenplay by||P. Vasu|
|Story by||Madhu Muttam|
|Edited by||N. P. Satish|
|Budget||₹3 crore |
|Box office||₹12 crore   to ₹20 crore |
Apthamitra (transl. Close friend) is a 2004 Indian Kannada-language horror film directed by P. Vasu, and stars Vishnuvardhan, Soundarya and Ramesh Arvind in the lead roles with Prema, Dwarakish and Avinash in supporting roles. The movie is a remake of the 1993 Malayalam film Manichithrathazhu .  The film was released on 27 August 2004 on Varalakshmi festival to positive reviews. 
It ran for one-hundred days in theaters across Karnataka and was one of the highest-grossing films of the year.  Apthamitra was later followed by its sequel, Aptharakshaka (2010). P. Vasu also remade the film in Tamil in 2005 as Chandramukhi with Rajinikanth and Jyothika in the leads. Actress Soundarya is remembered for her performance in this film. 
Ramesh and Ganga are a married couple who recently move into Mysore to buy an ancient palace, against the wishes of his uncles and family elders. His uncle agrees to reside with them with his two daughters Vani and Hema, on one condition that the room on the first floor which is locked and sealed should not be visited by anyone in the family. They have their caretaker Rangajja, who lives in the outhouse with his granddaughter Sowmya.
During their stay in the house, they learn that this palace once belonged to Raja Vijaya Rajendra Bahaddur. He had a court dancer named Nagavalli from Andhra Pradesh, whom he was in love with. But Nagavalli already loved a fellow dancer named Ramanatha, who used to reside in a house just behind the palace. When the Raja discovered their affair on a Durgashtami day, he beheaded Dancer Ramanatha and burned Nagavalli alive. So Nagavalli vowed to burn the Raja alive on the very same Durgashtami day.
Strange things start to happen in the palace and everyone suspects Sowmya, who is always found at the place of the incident. So, Ramesh calls in his psychiatrist friend Vijay to help him clear the misconceptions regarding the palace and its history. Ramesh's uncle is unhappy with the way Vijay functions and is suspicious of him. Vani, Ramesh's cousin is in love with an orphan-dance teacher, Mahadev who incidentally resides in the same house behind the palace. Vijay learns of this and tells Ramesh's uncle about this and the alliance is approved by all in the family and their marriage is fixed.
When the whole family is out of town to visit Mahadev, to decide on his wedding with Vani, Ganga with help from Sowmya opens the room on the first floor with the key given by Sowmya. While she entered the room, Sowmya comes running to tell her not to open the door as the key maker who made the key had died. But Ganga told her not to believe in these superstitions. During this time there are attempts to kill Ramesh by someone unknown, which every time is foiled by Vijay. Even Vani is attacked once by someone unknown. So Ramesh's uncle calls upon an Acharya Ramachandra Shastri to perform some peace ritual upon the palace.
Though Ramesh is not interested in all these proceedings he agrees with his advice of Vijay. On the eve of Mahadev and Vani's engagement ceremony, Ganga accuses Mahadev of trying to molest her - which is refused by both Mahadev and Vijay. Upon hearing this Ramesh gets angry at Vijay and shouts at him to get out of his house. Acharya stops the family from doing so and asks Vijay to tell them the mystery behind the strange incidents. Vijay reveals to everyone that Ganga who turned into Nagavalli is behind all the strange incidents and Ganga who turned into Nagavalli tried to kill Ramesh and Vani because Nagavalli thinks that Mahadevan is her lover Ramanathan.
Ganga who visited the first-floor room was enamored by Nagavalli and her diary. Since Ganga suffered from Split personality disorder, the mystery behind Nagavalli's story compelled her to assume herself as Nagavalli, compelling the spirit of Nagavalli to enter her body. She (Nagavalli inside Ganga) now intends to kill Vijay as he had posed in front of her as Raja Vijaya Rajendra Bahaddur, on the coming Durgashtami day as vowed by Nagavalli while dying.
Vijay explains to everyone that since Nagavalli inside Ganga thinks that Mahadev is the dancer Ramnath. Vijay on Durgashtami Day, makes Nagavalli (Ganga) believe that he himself is the king, and employs a trap door to make Nagavalli burn a dummy with his image on it. Nagavalli satisfies herself and leaves Ganga's body. Vijay is also safe. Vijay helps Ganga psychologically later to regain herself. Ramesh thanks Vijay for his help.
The film began production after Vishnuvardhan agreed to act in a film produced by Dwarakish.  Vishnuvardhan and Dwarakish has starred together in several films including Kalla Kulla (1975).  According to P. Vasu, seventy percent of the film is similar to Manichithrathazhu (1993).  This was Soundarya's last film in her career which ended with two posthumous releases - the other being the Telugu movie Shiva Shankar which released a week before Apthamitra. Shashikala dubbed for Soundarya. 
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||26 July 2004|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
Gurukiran scored the film's background music and composed for its soundtrack, with lyrics for the tracks written by V. Manohar, Kaviraj, V. Nagendra Prasad and Goturi. The soundtrack album, which received positive reviews from critics, consists of six tracks.  The track Kaalavannu Tadeyoru was taken from the 1977 film, Kittu Puttu which had Dwarakish and Vishnuvardhan playing the lead roles as well; the lyrics for which was written by Chi. Udayashankar. The music for the film was well received upon release. 
|1.||"Anku Donku"||V. Manohar||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Chithra||4:40|
|2.||"Kaalavannu Tadeyoru"||Chi. Udayashankar||Hariharan, Gurukiran||5:05|
|3.||"Kana Kanade"||Kaviraj||Madhu Balakrishnan||5:01|
|4.||"Pata Pata"||V. Nagendra Prasad||Udit Narayan, Chithra||4:32|
|5.||"Baara Baara"||Goturi||Rajesh Krishnan, Nanditha||4:43|
|6.||"Raa Raa"||Goturi||Nithyashree Mahadevan, Rajesh Krishnan||4:41|
A critic from Sify wrote, "This is a well made film in which talented actress Soundarya made her last appearance in a Kannada film which is a supernatural thriller. Gurukiran’s music is a major advantage for the film and on the whole Aptamithra is worth a watch."  A critic from Viggy wrote that "Multi-starrer Aptha Mitra is a perfect treat for people who wants quality entertainer".  By the film's 34th week it collected over 10 crores at box office. The release of Chandramukhi did not affect the film's collections.   It completed one year (52 weeks) screening at Santosh theatre in Bangalore. 
The film, won five Filmfare Awards that include: 
The line "Vaal to velladaniki odalava?" (transl. How dare you stop me from going with him?) spoken by Soundarya's character and the line "Ide, illeno samasye ide." (transl. There is some problem here.) spoken by Avinash's character in his introductory scene became popular.   In an introduction scene of Sudeep from Vishnuvardhana , Sudeep's character is shown watching Apthamitra featuring Vishnuvardhan in a fight/intro scene in a theatre with other fans. He is also shown imitating the character of the actor in a fight scene from Apthamitra with archive scenes from the film, which was shown to be a tributary scene for the actor from the film.
Sowmya Sathyanarayan, better known by her stage name Soundarya, was an Indian actress who worked in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam films. She was regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Telugu Cinema and the most Successful actress after yesteryear's superstar Mahanati Savitri. In 2002, she received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film as a producer for the Kannada film Dweepa. She has also received Three Nandi Awards, Two Karnataka State Film Awards for Best Actress and Six Filmfare Awards South for her performances in films such as Ammoru (1994), Pavitra Bandham (1996), Anthahpuram (1998), Raja (1999), Doni Saagali (1998), Dweepa (2002) and Apthamitra (2004).
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