Southern film industries line up mythological, historical movies

by admin
Southern film industries line up mythological, historical movies


Southern film industries are beginning to ride on the Hindutva wave to line up mythological and historical films with strong Hindu figures and heroes, in line with hyper-nationalist Bollywood films.

Kantara, the latest Kannada blockbuster, tells the story of a local Hindu demigod while Telugu film Karthikeya 2, released in August, was a mystic thriller centered on the myth of Lord Krishna. Another mythological film called Shaakuntalam starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu is lined up while Telugu producer Allu Aravind is backing an adaptation of the Ramayana. While the 1960s and 70s had seen southern superstars like M.G Ramachandran and N.T Rama Rao appear in mythological films, the genre had phased out. Media experts say the return is inspired by large-scale historicals spawned by the Baahubali franchise as well as the need to cater to the strong Hindutva sentiment across the country. The second is a priority as southern films launch dubbed versions and seek pan-India releases.

“The dominant theme for all filmmakers, including those in the south is to appeal to pan-India audiences now and while the Hindutva wave has been late to be caught on to in the south, this (the trend of mythological and historical films) is a nod to the phenomenon,” said senior journalist Ram Karan. There are two related streams of influence playing out in south Indian cinema at the moment, Karan said, one is the larger-than-life fantasy spectacle on the lines of Game of Thrones or Hollywood’s superhero films, that has found huge draw since the Baahubali franchise. And two, the need to go beyond native geographies and bring Hindi-speaking audiences in states as diverse as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar on board. The scale of economics is at play here. “The costs of making these films are so high that investment can’t be recovered from the home market alone,” Karan pointed out.

Independent trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai agreed Baahubali is the inspiration for large-scale spectacles belonging to the mythological or historical genre, with pro-Hindu themes. “The idea is to talk about familiar legends or narrate a tale of the win of good over evil, but all of it with strong Hindu roots. Baahubali has shown the world that an Indian spectacle has universal appeal and can find draw even outside of India,” Pillai pointed out. This August, Telugu action adventure Karthikeya 2 released without marketing buzz or a large star cast but the film centered on a doctor’s quest to discover truths related to the ancient Indian belief system and the essence of Lord Krishna, set the cash registers ringing. It made over Rs. 30 crore in Hindi alone, higher than big-ticket Bollywood titles such as Anek, Liger, Goodbye and others.

South Indian films have a tradition of banking on core Indian values and human emotions in order to appeal to mass-marker audiences, said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema. In that sense, it isn’t unusual for filmmakers to pick up these subjects already familiar to viewers, trade experts like him feel. “Southern films have always been technically sound, but they come with very Indian storytelling. That is why they appeal easily to large sections of the audience and are picked up by satellite channels so they can be enjoyed by families together,” Mohan said.

Catch all the Industry News, Banking News and Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.



Source link

You may also like