As recent as three years ago, Bollywood was the kingpin of the Indian film industries. South industries looked up to Bollywood for better stories and inspiration. Hindi heroes, directors, and heroines enjoyed unstoppable superstardom across the country. But it has become a glory of the past. That aura of Bollywood’s top heroes is fading. On the other hand, just the dubbed versions of South films are grossing Hundreds of crores in the Hindi belt. You call it a proper tasty dish only when the ingredients are properly distributed. In the same way, you call a movie superhit when it caters to the majority of the audience. One needs a proper cook to make a proper meal. Seems Bollywoood is now in scarcity of cooks. No matter what’s the genre, Hindi stars are unable to crack the code to make their film a superhit. Now southern technicians are being brought with the hope that they will provide them the required impetus to get back on track. The stories, directors, and producers of the south are being called to Mumbai.
Just one commercial hit per year
This year has been an eye-opener for the Hindi film industry. Out of 40 films that were released this year, the super hit ‘The Kashmir Files’ is the only superhit. It grosses a worldwide total of nearly Rs.350 crores. However, the producer of the film is Abhishek Agarwal hails from Hyderabad. Akshay Kumar’s ‘Suryavanshi’ was okayish in collections. ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ created by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a director known for making art films, seemed average. Alia Bhatt’s stardom somewhat saved the film. Only these films have made little noise at the Bollywood box office so far. Akshay Kumar’s ‘Bachchan Pandey and John Abraham’s Attack’ which were released with some hype were outright rejected. The recently released ‘Jersey’, yet another remake of the Telugu film ‘Jersey’ was released in the cyclone of KGF 2 and was washed away. There is a lot of introspection going on among Bollywood heroes, directors, and producers as to what are the reasons for the series of failures. On the one hand, South films are hitting balls out of the park in the Bollywood stadium. Baahubali series, Pushpa part 1, RRR, and KGF-2 have destroyed the box office records and rained cash for their distributors. If the situation continues like this for the next year, then it’s safe to assume that Bollywood’s dictatorship in the Indian film market has come to an end.
In hindsight, the reason behind Bollywood’s steep fall could be because of the monotonous stories they are picking up whereas the South industries serve a variety of buffets to their audience. Now, to bring back the mojo, Hindi film stars are looking at technicians and stories of the south. The Khan trio never wanted to make films with Tamil director Shankar though he was on a superhit movies spree. Now, all that ego has vanished into thin air. A star like Salman Khan is co-starring with Chiranjeevi in the regional language film ‘Godfather’. Salman’s last superhit was ‘Bhajarangi Bhaijan’ with the story given by Vijayendra Prasad. Now Sallu again wants to come up with ‘Bhajarangi Bhaijan 2’. Again Vijayendra Prasad was approached for a better story. Vijayendra Prasad has contributed stories to many Hindi films including Kangana Ranaut ‘Sita’, ‘Aparajitha Ayodhya’, and ‘Rowdy Rathod’. Shah Rukh Khan too is facing a similar situation. The ‘Chennai Express”, which ran in a southern setting, was a great success for him at the time. Shah Rukh Khan was then haunted by a series of failures. Now once again, he gave the opportunity to Tamil director Atlee. The film is currently on the sets. Tollywood director Teja is making a Hindi film named ‘Zakhmi’.
South is the new destination!
Bollywood’s top heroes are listening to the south technician’s stories now. A few years back, it was unimaginable to think of a Telugu or Kannada, or Tamil technician meeting a Bollywood star. As of now, Ranveer Singh is doing a sequel to ‘Aparichit’ with Shankar. Ranbir Kapoor is doing ‘Animal’ with Arjun Reddy fame Sandeep Vanga. Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan are remaking the Tamil movie ‘Vikram Veda’. Tamil director Vishnuvardhan had good success last year with Sidharth Malhotra in ‘Shersha’. Tamil films like Karthi ‘Khaidi’, Vijay ‘Master’, and Surya ‘Surarai Potru’ are being remade in Hindi. Some of these remakes are remade with the original directors themselves. Telugu films like ‘F2’, ‘Hit’, ‘Crack’, ‘Naandi’, ‘Ala Vaikunthapuramlo’, and ‘Brochevarevarura’ are also being remade in Hindi. It remains to be seen whether Bollywood’s attempt to stop the pan-India trend and revive the Hindi film industry will be successful or not. For now, the new Kingpin is the south cinema.
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