Sunday, Jul 03, 2022
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The Irresistible Rise Of Popular South Indian Cinema In The Pan-Indian Market

The South Indian cinema eco­system is taking on interesting subjects and putting them out in new, creative ways. Is this making Bollywood feel insecure?

Artwork: Deepak Sharma
Artwork: Deepak Sharma Artwork: Deepak Sharma

From Tamil filmmaker Pa. Ranjith’s Rajinikanth blockbuster Kaala (Black) to Malayalam star Tovino Thomas’ Kala (The Unwanted), South Indian filmmakers are experimenting in myriad ways. Amb­ed­karite Ranjith speaks out for the slum dwellers in the first and Tovino’s macho image is completely inverted in the second, where a poor farmhand gets his revenge against the callous landowner. There are many films in between, from big commercial monsters like KGF: Chapter 2, Pushpa: The Rise, RRR (these three films together are estimated to have made a whopping Rs 2,500 crore at the box office) to small slice-of-life gems like Kumbalangi Nights, most of Fahadh Faasil’s films, and quiet but powerful feminist takes like The Great Indian Kitchen, about the casual patriarchy in most Indian middle-class homes, the Southern cinema eco­system is taking on interesting subjects and putting them out in new, creative ways.

ALSO READ: Southern Surge: Film Industries Of South Are Doing What Bollywood Used To Do In 70s & 80s, Even Better

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