When we talk about Indian cinema, many of us take it as synonymous to Bollywood, which is just the film industry based in Mumbai. India cinema, however, consists of other Indian regional film industries as well which produce many artistic and successful movies every year. After Bollywood, the most popular film industry in India is that of South India. From Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali and other regional film industries, Tamil and Telugu stand apart and are even liked and watched by Northerners and in regions other than South India.
Some Popular South Indian Actors (Courtesy: The News Minute)
But even after all this, Bollywood remains the most popular and most importantly, commercially successful film-producing industry in India. There are certainly many factors which make Bollywood the best, even when regional cinema of India is more artistic, realistic, and relatable.
Before revealing what these factors are, I want to clear it that I don’t take them in a positive light. I think whatever South Indian cinema does makes it positively different and idiosyncratic in its own way and this idiosyncrasy is worth retaining.
The things which make Bollywood more popular than South Indian Cinema include, first of all, the tendency of Bollywood to follow Hollywood quite closely. No it is not just stars which are copying Hollywood divas’ styles. From movie directors to song directors, and from story lines to movie posters, there is a lot which Bollywood copies to stay ahead of others in the race of winning good viewership. Another factor is the glamour and masala that Bollywood deliberately induces in its movies to attract public to the theaters. From deliberate intimate scenes to non-sense item songs, Bollywood just know no bounds when it comes to attracting eyes and attention.
(Courtesy: The National)
South India cinema is producing its own share of larger than life stars. If Bollywood has Amitabh Bachchan and the Khans, South Indian cinema has Prabhas, and most importantly Rajnikanth, who is the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan. South Indian cinema, let us not forget, has produces masterpieces like Baahubali
The Boss. Even Bollywood is copying it and making movies like Bhool Bhulaiya
. And not just Tamil and Telugu movies, but Kannada movies like that of Girish Karnad
are well received in the film arena.
(Courtesy: Hindustan Times)
So the only thing that South Indian film industry lacks is the commercial success, according to me. And yet, Baahubali was able to beat Bollywood flicks at the Box Office. I’d rather suggest Bollywood to take some lessons from the regional cinema of India.