South Indian films marching on the path of ‘popular’

Today, the discussion of South Indian cinema is everywhere in the popular media. It is also being said that Bollywood should not be scattered in this strong wind coming from the south. By the way, in recent years, films like Baahubali, Pushpa, RRR, KFG have created a buzz at the box office and the popularity of actors like Allu Arjun, Rashmika Mandanna, NTR Jr, Sai Pallavi in ​​the Hindi field, is surprising. These films are being called All India (Pan Indian) cinema. There is no denying the fact that the way ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ entertained people with latke-jhatke, characterization, action, songs and dialogues, the audience is eagerly waiting for the second part of the film. .

But is this happening for the first time in the history of hundred years of Indian cinema that these films are making national headlines outside the regional and linguistic regions of Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam? Recently, when I asked the same question during a conversation with Girish Kasaravalli, the nationally-internationally famous director of Kannada cinema, he said that ‘it is true that these films have drawn everyone’s attention towards South Indian cinema and are bigger than the audience. has been recognized. But South Indian cinema has been attracting the attention of people since long. This is not a recent thing. Be it Adoor Gopalakrishnan or Pattabhirama Reddy’s Sanskar (1970), Biwi Karanth’s Chomana Dudi (1975). Other films also received pan-India recognition for their content and art. Since these films were never released on a very large scale, they did not get as much recognition from the audience as today’s films are getting.

In the seventies-eighties of the last century, films such as Kasaravalli’s Ghatashraddha (1977), Tabarana Kathe (1986) himself established Kannada cinema on the national-international stage. But the films of Adoor, Shaji Karun or Kasaravalli were not made in the frame of popular cinema. These films were made in the era of art or parallel cinema, whose reach was limited to a specific audience. Even today, his films are hardly available in Hindi language, whereas the films made in South Indian languages ​​which are being discussed today were also dubbed simultaneously in Hindi language. They have also got the support of Internet and OTT platforms.

However, even when technology and media had not exploded in the last century, actor-politicians like NT Rama Rao and MG Ramachandran had a pan-India popularity. Incidentally, the birth centenary of Telugu cinema’s famous actor NTR is being celebrated this year, where his cinema and political life is being remembered prominently. It is noteworthy that fifty years ago, in the year 1952, when the first international film festival was organized in four metropolitan cities of India (it was also the first international film festival in Asia), it was accompanied by Raj Kapoor’s film ‘Awara’ starring NT Rama Rao. ‘Paatal Bhairavi (Telugu)’, ‘Amar Bhupali (Marathi)’ by V Shantaram and ‘Babla (Bangla)’ by Anugraha were shown.

Similarly, actors like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi, Mammootty and directors like Mani Ratnam have been ruling the hearts of Hindi audiences. It is the misfortune of Bollywood that it has not been able to make proper use of the talent of these actors. It is pertinent to add here that Mani Ratnam’s films like, Nayakan (1987), Roja (1992), Bombay (1995) were quite successful at all India level.

Girish Kasaravalli, however, says that ‘personally I am concerned about the content and art side of these films. They get wide audience recognition and are successful at the box office too, but neither you nor I benefit from it. If a film is well crafted from an aesthetic point of view and addresses certain social issues (which are being ignored), then I think we will get something out of it. It is also not that South Indian cinema is located in the ‘popular frame’. Movies like ‘Jalikattu’ in Malayalam, ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’, ‘Kaala’ in Tamil, ‘Jai Bheem’ and recently released in Telugu ‘Virat Parvam’ are examples of the combination of artistry and social reality possible. Is.

But is it not true that for decades, the audience has been running towards Bollywood films to get rid of the everyday hassle and hustle and bustle of them and to be entertained. Doesn’t ‘Pushpa’ remind us of Bollywood commercial films made in the 70s and 80s? In such a situation, if these films are progressing on the way of ‘popular’, with the help of technology, then how is it surprising?

(Disclaimer: These are the personal views of the author. The author himself is responsible for the correctness / accuracy of any information given in the article. News18Hindi is not responsible for this.)

about blogger

Arvind Dasjournalist, writer

Writer-journalist Published the book ‘Media Ka Map’, ‘The Lost City in Bekhudi: Notes of a Journalist’ and ‘News in Hindi’. Film Appreciation Course from FTII. PhD from JNU and post-doctoral research from Germany.

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