India’s recent success at the Oscars has opened up the North v South debate and what Bollywood means in a country where film output is not just in the Hindi language; then there’s a word on the forthcoming cinematic square off between Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan and today sees the release of a star vehicle film…
By Rodrigues C
THE BEST ORIGINAL SONG Oscar for ‘Naatu naatu’ from ‘RRR’ came as a huge surprise to a country which hasn’t seen Academy Awards glory in the past. Days after the awards ceremony, India has been still celebrating the win, especially since ‘RRR’ is a Telugu film and not from Bollywood, which is supposed to be the flag bearer of Indian cinema. In fact, Jimmy Kimmel calling ‘RRR’ a Bollywood film at the Oscars hasn’t gone down well here. Even Jane Fonda got bad press in the country for calling SS Rajamouli’s epic a Bollywood film in an Instagram post. As things stand, the biggest film industry in the country, Bollywood, is now being slammed for not winning a single Oscar.
In India’s Parliament many members spoke about ‘RRR’ and ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ (set in Tamil Nadu), another winning entry from the country, and credited South India for their success. Jaya Bachchan, who as a member of India’s Upper House of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha, reacted to ‘RRR’ being called a south Indian movie and said: “It doesn’t matter where they (films) are from — North, East, South or West – they are Indians. I stand here with pride and respect for our film fraternity, who have represented this country many times and won many awards.” Soon, Bachchan was being trolled on the web for taking credit for the wins.
Thereafter, TV channels and publications joined in the south versus north debate yet again.
After the success of ‘Pathaan’, another Bollywood movie has done well at the box office. ‘Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar’ featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor has so far collected £13 million. The Luv-Ranjan directed film is this year’s second most successful film. This week another big budget movie, Tabu and Ajay Devgn’s £10m ‘Bholaa’ hits theatres. The film, which is one of the most anticipated of the year, has also been directed by Devgn, who in the past has helmed ‘U Me Aur Hum’ (2008), ‘Shivaay’ (2016) and ‘Runway 34’ (2022), all of which were box office disasters.
‘Bholaa’ is a remake of the 2019 Tamil thriller ‘Kaithi’, which starred Karthi and was directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. So far, this year has seen two remakes of south movies bite the dust, Akshay Kumar’s ‘Selfiee’ and Kartik Aaryan’s ‘Shehzada’.
Back in 2012, on August 15 precisely, Salman Khan’s film ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ hit screens with the actor playing a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent Avinash Singh Rathore.
The film’s success led to a follow up in 2017, ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, where Khan reprised his role.
In 2019, Yash Raj Films (YRF), which released both these films, released ‘War’; it featured Hrithik Roshan in the lead as a RAW agent going rogue.
Shah Rukh Khan’s (SRK) most recent blockbuster, ‘Pathaan’ merged characters from all the three movies.
This November will see the fifth installment in the series, Tiger 3 with Salman Khan.
In India, its being reported this week that one of the biggest films of Bollywood, ‘Tiger Vs Pathaan’ will start shooting in January 2024.
The film will be the sixth installment in YRF’s so called Spy Universe. Salman Khan and SRK will square off in the action thriller.
Here’s something else for the record books. The year 2017 saw the release of the Telugu film ‘Jaya Janaki Nayaka’ staring Bollywood actress Rakul Preet Singh. Also staring Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas, it is directed by Boyapati Srinu. The film was dubbed in Malayalam as well as Hindi. Now, the film’s Hindi version has hit 700 million views, the highest for any movie on Youtube.
After the success of his ‘Drishyam 2’ in November 2022, all eyes are now on Devgn’s ‘Bholaa’. Devgn appeared in the most recent Hindi version of the original Malayalam blockbuster. The actor is busy now promoting his movie all over the country. At the time of going to press, ‘Bholaa’ was doing respectably, notching up box office returns of an 11 Crore (£10m) opening in India alone and reviewers have praised the madcap action scenes.