Ground Report | New Delhi: South Indian movies; South Indian films are crushing Bollywood commercial cinemas in all aspects, from KGF to Pushpa indicating that South dominance is here to stay. South Indian films have formed a loyal fan base for them in Bollywood’s house. The success of movies like Baahubali, Robot, KGF, Jai Bheem and now Pushpa are solid evidence of them.
According to an estimate by the mint newspaper, South Indian films are set to dominate the Indian cinematic space in 2022. Estimates suggest that they will be taking up more than 50 per cent of total box-office collections. Basically, they will be overtaking Bollywood. They must be doing something which Bollywood doesn’t.
South Indian movies are being made of exemplary storylines of India and continue to shoulder the responsibility of highlighting social issues and showing a mirror to society. On the contrary, Bollywood is disconnecting with the audience in order to please woke advocacy of the west.
In fact, South Indian cinema reminds us that beneath an imaginary macho India lies the real India deformed by the caste system and atrocities at the hands of law enforcement agencies.
Jai Bhim one of the boldest films has highlighted that South Indian cinema has denied conforming to the official line but the Bollywood industry had bid bye to the art and has been conforming to the government’s line. Bollywood is producing Ultra nationalist movies polarising the society to Indian Muslims or Pakistan to spice up the films at the box office. Such films not only do quick business but are praised by the right-wing elements as they fulfil Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) ideology.
Film distributor, exhibitor and analyst Raj Bansal believes that content is not up to the mark. “We are failing at making good cinema. We have talented actors, very good directors, but we are lacking stories, and ideas in the content. If we look at the past few films, we are failing in content. Whereas South is taking the edge over the content. North audience had not heard of Allu Arjun’s name before. Suddenly they are now fans of Allu Arjun. If you talk about ‘Master’, Vijay became popular, Ram Charan and NTR were popular since the beginning, but suddenly they have also become huge here. Before ‘Baahubali’, who knew SS Rajamouli, ‘Makkhi’ movie by Rajamouli did not go soo well. ‘Baahubali’ worked and Rajamouli was seen as a very big director pan-India,” he says.
Back in the day when a lot of people used to troll south Indian movies for their action and choreography but with time they advanced and improved it. Now when you see action in films like Bahubali, KGF, robot 2.0 Mersal. They worked on choreography, sound effect, VFX, etc. and these changes lead towards greatness.
Another flaw in the Bollywood industry can be Nepotism. Bollywood seems to have accepted it. But, South Indian movies stand apart. In Bollywood, new talents are removed in the first round itself. South Indian movies, on the other hand, welcome new talent. This makes sure that favoured people should give their best when it comes to their professions, if not, a long line of newbies is waiting there to replace them.
Looking at the box office figures from recent times, the South film industry is evidently attracting more to the theatres than Bollywood movies. Even filmmaker Karan Johar praised the South cinema and admitted that Hindi movies are not doing as much business as Telugu films in recent times. Citing an example, he spoke about ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ to explain the commercial stamina of Telugu movies. “With no promotions at all, Allu Arjun’s ‘Pushpa’ was released with just a few posters and the trailer. Even though Allu Arjun is not known in the north, the movie made a lot of money at the box office. Can you imagine the scenario? Now, this is called the pan-India craze,” he said.
Karan Johar had once termed South Indian cinema as a healthy opponent. They have broken more barriers since then. Now, Bollywood has many competitors. These include OTT platforms, the South Indian movie industry and about to be launched Noida film industry. If Bollywood refuses to improve, they are in for a Darwinian extinction.
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