As the success of ‘Pushpa’ redefines people’s tastes in movies, we look at how films from the South are bringing about a change in Bollywood and even on the streets – and a 2012 movie scene is doing the rounds for the way its Indian star outfoxes Russian soldiers...
By Rodrigues C
OUR last outing here gave an insight into how South Indian movies have started taking over traditional Bollywood turfs; namely its film markets.
Now, surprisingly, a new phenomenon is taking root in these new turfs. The fame of South movies is spreading to other spheres of life.
Take for example the tracks of the Telugu language ‘Pushpa: The Rise’. You hear them almost everywhere in Mumbai. The city is in the midst of the wedding season. Visit a wedding and all you hear is ‘Oo bolega ya oo oo bolega’, ‘Oo anthiya oo oo anthiya’, ‘Oo chollunno oo oo chollunno’ or ‘Oo solriya oo oo solriya’, the Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil versions of the original Telugu song ‘Oo antava oo oo antava’ from ‘Pushpa: The Rise’.
Thousands of Instagram reels are dedicated to either ‘Oo antava oo oo antava’ or other tracks from the movie. There are videos of singers Rahul Vaidya, Neha Kakar and Manmeet Singh, cricketers Suresh Raina, DJ Bravo, David Warner, Hardik Pandya and even actors Madhuri Dixit and Anupam Kher’s mother Dulari Devi dancing to Pushpa hits. An army of loyal fans is lip-syncing to Allu Arjun’s famous line “Pushpa naam sunke flower samjhe kya? Flower nahi, fire hai main, Jhukunga nahi. (Did you think that I am a flower because of my name? I am fire, not a flower). A part of the line has been used by police in the city of Nagpur to warn people against cybercrimes.
In the last few years, Bollywood has remade several South Indian movies. ‘Tere Naam’, ‘Wanted’, ‘Ready’, ‘Bodyguard’, ‘Kick’, ‘Billu’, ‘Ghajini’, ‘Bhul Bhullaiya’, ‘Rowdy Rathore’, ‘Housefull 2’, ‘Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi’, ‘Singham’, ‘Son Of Sardar’ and ‘Sooryavansham’ are some of the notable few.
Now, owning to the success of many South Indian films in the recent past, Bollywood has started working on a slew of new South remakes.
These include Varun Dhawan’s ‘Sanki’, ‘Aparichit’ with Ranveer Singh, ‘Selfiee’ staring Akshay Kumar, ‘HIT’ featuring Rajkummar Rao, Ajay Devgn’s ‘Bholaa’, Hrithik Roshan-Saif Ali Khan thriller ‘Vikram Vedha’ and Kartik Aryan’s comedy ‘Shehzada’, which are remakes of ‘Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru’ (Tamil), ‘Anniyan’ (Tamil), ‘Driving License’ (Malayalam), ‘HIT’ (Telugu), ‘Kaithi’ (Tamil), ‘Vikram Vedha’ (Tamil) and Allu Arjun’s ‘Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo’ (Telugu). Untitled south remakes include one of the highest grossers of 2021 ‘Master’ (Tamil), which is being remade in Hindi with either Salman Khan or Shahid Kapoor the lead, and ‘Ratsasan‘ (Tamil) and ‘Soorarai Pottru‘ (Tamil), both of which will star Akshay Kumar.
Many South Indian actors are also debuting in Bollywood films this year.
Naga Chaitanya, son of South superstar Nagarjuna, will be seen in Aamir Khan’s much delayed ‘Forrest Gump’ remake ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’.
Vijay Deverakonda, who featured in ‘Arjun Reddy’ (Telugu), which was remade as ‘Kabir Singh’ with Shahid Kapoor, will be seen in the sports drama ‘Liger’.
Rashmika Mandanna aka Srivalli from ‘Pushpa’ will star in ‘Mission Majnu’ opposite Bollywood star Sidharth Malhotra and ‘Goodbye’ along with Amitabh Bachchan, the biggest Hindi movie star of them all.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu, who’s the face of the ‘Pushpa’ hit ‘Oo antava oo oo antava’, will be seen in an untitled film produced by actor Taapsee Pannu’s new production house.
One of Tamil cinema’s most prolific actors Vijay Sethupathi will be seen in Sriram Raghavan’s ‘Merry Christmas’, which also stars Katrina Kaif, and ‘Mumbaikar’, a remake of the 2017 drama ‘Maanagaram’ (Tamil).
Nayanthara, who acted in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam films, will be seen in the Shah Rukh Khan film ‘Lion’ this year.
Adivi Sesh, who starred in ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’ among others will make his Bollywood debut with ‘Major’, a film based on Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was killed in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Over the years, several South Indian actors such as Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, R Madhavan and Prakash Raj made their mark in Bollywood. But their entry into Bollywood happened over an extended period. The pace at which South Indian films are being remade in Hindi or the entry of South stars into Bollywood is surely a sign that the audience is unhappy with Bollywood content. After all content is king.
PS: As the Ukraine crisis takes centre stage, a clip from the 2012 film ‘Players’ is going viral. In the clip, actor Bobby Deol, who is known as Lord Deol because of his futuristic scenes in movies such as ‘Soldier’, ‘Badal’, ‘Bichoo’ and ‘Apne’, is seen deceiving Russian soldiers. Sonu Sood, Javed Akhtar, Richa Chadha, Swara Bhasker and Priyanka Chopra have tweeted their viewpoints on ongoing war.