From ‘RRR’ to ‘Kantara’, South language films dominated Bollywood
At the end of the year, news came that Pan Nalin’s Gujarati film ‘Chello Sho’ (Last Show) has been shortlisted for the Oscar award. This film has been officially sent by India for ‘Best International Feature Film Category’. Also, the box office hit song ‘Naatu Naatu’ from SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ (Telugu) has also been shortlisted in the ‘Music (Original Song)’ category. Whatever may be the result of the Oscar award in the new year, it is certain that in 2022 Indian cinema will be dominated by films made in regional languages. According to a figure, two years after the Corona epidemic, Indian cinema did a business of about 11 thousand crores at the box office. Here also Hindi films were left behind by films made in South Indian languages. Not only ‘RRR’, but ‘KGF 2’ and ‘Kantara’ made in Kannada language also broke all the records. People were also curious about Mani Ratnam’s ‘Ponniyan Selvan (PS-1)’ (Tamil). There is a substantial difference in the subject matter and on-screen filming of these films.
‘Kantara’ depicting folk culture
‘Chello Show’ centers around a Saurashtra kid’s irresistible fascination for cinema. While it is an autobiographical film, ‘Kantara’ is a fictional tale that beautifully weaves the local folk-culture, tradition, faith-belief, customs, religious beliefs and myth of the coastal areas of South Karnataka with the story Is. RRR (movement of freedom) and PS-1 (Chola dynasty) make history the basis of the narrative. ‘Action drama’ is at the center of these films. The skill with which pomp, colour, grandeur was woven in these big budget films, managed to pull the audience to the theatres. The changing social and political situation of the country, expansion of means of communication, distribution strategy have also contributed to the success of these films. All these films come in the framework of popular Bollywood films. Here technology dominates instead of discussion. Incidentally, Kannada has a glorious history of parallel cinema, which is not discussed today.
Discussion of ‘The Kashmir Files’ is necessary
The movement of majoritarian politics was visible in these films. In this context, it is necessary to discuss ‘The Kashmir Files’ directed by Vivek Agnihotri, which was very successful at the box office. There was a lot of controversy after famous filmmaker Nadav Lapid, jury chief of the International Film Festival of India, described the film as ‘obscene and propaganda’. Many sympathetic viewers and critics also seemed to agree that the filmmaker did not intend to seek truth through cinema. In a conversation, famous film director Shyam Benegal told me that ‘as a filmmaker you have a responsibility towards history. The more propaganda there is in the film, the less its importance will be. Film is also used for propaganda, but while making historical films, it is necessary to take care of objectivity. Without objectivity, it becomes propaganda. Most of the films in the world (about two thousand) are made in India and it is accepted as a cultural power (soft power). The socio-political conditions of democratic India are also expressed in films, willingly or unwillingly.
These Hindi films got a shock at the box office
However, if we talk about Hindi films, even the big stars could not show any special charisma. Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Shamshera’, Akshay Kumar’s ‘Rakshabandhan’ and ‘Samrat Prithviraj’, Ranveer Singh’s ‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’, Kangana Ranaut’s ‘Dhaakad’ etc. failed to pull the audience to the theatres. Economic plight is also a reason. In such a situation, there was a lot of pressure on Bollywood. Clearly, Bollywood is in dire need of new ideas, stories that can keep pace with the changing mood of the audience, but fear that this path may lead to South Indian films! In the last two decades, Hindi cinema has given many excellent films by taking a path between popular and parallel, and in true sense, the future direction will be determined from here only, not from the clichéd masala films.
The sound of ‘Boycott’ was heard on social media
Bollywood’s leading director Sanjay Leela Bhansali brought ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’. Alia Bhatt impressed everyone with her performance in the role of a ‘sex worker’. In this sequence, it is necessary to discuss Aamir Khan’s ‘Lal Singh Chadha’ and Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Brahmastra’, which may have done decent business but failed to create something new. There was also a negative feeling towards Hindi films in a certain section. In what form a viewer accepts cinema with entertainment, it depends on his interest and social status. Seeing and judging cinema under a particular ideology hinders the enjoyment of the taste. On the coming days, the sound of ‘Boycott’ was heard on social media regarding Hindi films.