It appears Bollywood can no longer hold a candle to Tollywood (Telugu), Mollywood (Malayalam), Kollywood (Tamil) and Sandalwood (Kannada), after recent box office hits RRR, KGF: Chapter 2, and Pushpa have won audiences with socio-political themes, women protagonists and slick action.
The new Bollywood movies are single-minded in suggesting that military duty prevails over everything else, and signalling the rise of Hindu nationalism
Have southern films outsmarted Bollywood? Pushpa’s chin-wipe has cast a spell across the world, as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam films sweep aside Bollywood’s carefully manicured reputations, budgets and delusions of invincibility.
Faced with stiff competition from the South Indian film industries, Hindi cinema is looking at an existential crisis
The pandemic hastened the OTT boom by several years, and offered hungry new talent from outside the establishment an opportunity to shine
There are as many ‘South’ film industries as there are ‘Madrasi’ languages. And they are winning the pan-India market with lavish extravaganzas.
Giridhar Jha speaks to S.S. Rajamouli, the 48-year-old director with the Midas touch, who has taken the box office by storm with his Telugu-Tamil bilingual, Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), its sequel Baahubali: The Conclusion (2017), and more recently RRR (2022).
In Hindi cinema alone, we discovered a new, talented crop of filmmakers who created such lovely pieces of content like web series 'Gullak', 'The Scam', 'Paatal Lok', and even movies like 'Sharmaji Nakeem' and 'Kaun Pravin Tambe?', writes Shujaat Saudagar
The South Indian cinema ecosystem is taking on interesting subjects and putting them out in new, creative ways. Is this making Bollywood feel insecure?
A slew of Malayalam films attempt to highlight toxic patriarchy and unaccounted toils by women at home
Increasingly angry and anarchic, a new spate of Tamil films are embracing—even asserting—their inherent Ambedkarite politics in ways that are both revolutionary and rewarding
As Kannada and Telugu screens birth new gods, Rajinikanth’s star slowly fades away
The phenomenon of actresses successfully working both in commercial and women-centric movies is more common to the South than Bollywood
Malayalam cinema’s recent flowering has fortuitously coincided with the rise of OTT platforms, exposing new audiences to their cutting edge offerings
Poised against extravagant masala films and sombre arthouse outings in the tumultuous 70s, Middle Cinema limned the lives of middle class men and women
Many cinephiles and playwrights accepted the stereotypical and entrenched trope of the abalaippen—the helpless woman who has to be rescued by a man
Author Amitava Kumar on the importance of keeping a journal, juggling words with drawings, and writing fiction in the time of fake news
I could never get into the South Indian film milieu like some of my friends who had grown up in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore or Cochin. I missed a lot of great films as well as the buzz around many filmmakers of that time. But it had its pluses too