Bollywood has a serious rival now in India. 

There is a new genre of films from southern India — epic, big-budget, over-the-top action flicks, some of them served with a dollop of toxic masculinity and gory violence.

They’re dominating the country’s $24 billion media and in some cases, they have attention beyond the national borders.

Though shot in regional languages like Telugu and Kannada, they are bigger, louder and are making more money than its prolific, glitzy Hindi-language cousin known for its signature dance moves and opulent wedding scenes. Thanks to the subtitles and dubbed versions. 

Rolling Stone magazine has glowing reviews of RRR, a story of two Indian freedom fighters battling British colonialists in the 1920s. It has raked in as much as $150 million worldwide.

The K.G.F. and Pushpa action franchises garnered about $200 million in total. The wild success of a two-part mythical fantasy Baahubali in 2015 and 2017, which collected about a combined $290 million is no less.

Speaking of more numbers, Consultancy Ormax Media estimates that the Telugu-language film industry earned about $212 million last year, eclipsing the $197 million made by Bollywood.

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This success of South-Indian cinema, known as Tollywood, is indicative of power-shift since Bollywood is reeling from a consistent flops as the increased westernized content appeals only to urban audiences while cinema in the South caters to a wider audience. 

The movie makers in southern India “have figured out content that transcends regardless of language,” said Karan Bedi, chief executive officer of Indian streaming platform MX Player. “If you look at the couple of films that have gone ballistic, it’s all that superhero formula.”

SS Rajamouli, 49, the maverick redefining Indian entertainment with the new genre of a bombastic style, shot RRR on a budget of a whopping $72 million which is different from the norm.

The formula is to have larger-than-life heroines and heroes with no dearth of histrionics and grandiose. This is heightened by male-centric plot with mythical heroes as women get relegated to the sideline. 

In a review of RRR, Rolling Stone wrote, “if ever a movie deserved to be seen with a crowd and on the largest screen imaginable, it’s this one,” but also warned it runs the risk of being “one long, context-less adrenaline rush.”

“Obviously the film has to be a success,” the director said in his office in the southern city of Hyderabad, home to Tollywood. “Otherwise everyone is going to be in big trouble.”

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: MSN, Indian Express, NDTV

Find the blogger: @Drishti Shroff

This post is tagged under: South-Indian Movies, Other Movie-Making Powerhouse, Bollywood, Tollywood, India, Media, Baahubali, RRR, Pushpa, SS Rajam0ouli, Movies, Entertainment Industry, Bollywood Mafia, Bollywood News, Movie Time, Highest Grossing Movies

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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