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South Actors Crossing Regional Language Barriers to Make it To Hindi Films

That would mean universal acceptance and recognition which the Hindi film medium offers

South, Actors, Regional
While, all South actors are content ruling the roost locally, crossing the regional language barriers only on rare occasions, they have aspirations and ambitions to make it to Hindi films. Pixabay

The Indian film industry may be the biggest in the world and the South film industry, combined in itself, outnumbers the Hindi films produced. The South has four main languages in which the films are made: Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. While, all South actors are content ruling the roost locally, crossing the regional language barriers only on rare occasions, they have aspirations and ambitions to make it to Hindi films. That would mean universal acceptance and recognition which the Hindi film medium offers.

Similar is the case when it comes to female artistes. While in most cases, it was the Hindi film producer who sought out a South Indian female star, in the case of male actors, their Hindi foray came through some or the other South Indian filmmaker making a Hindi film. This was because, the familiarity between the two, the actor and the producer as well as the ease of communication. This also benefitted the producer in that, a Hindi film with a South actor in the cast, also opened up the South market which, otherwise, gave very limited exposure to Hindi movies.

Take the example of Kamal Haasan. He was brought to Hindi films by the legendary filmmaker, L.V. Prasad with “Ek Duuje Ke Liye”. Similarly, Rajanikant made his Hindi debut with another South producer, A. Poornachndra Rao with “Andha Kanoon” along with Amitabh Bachchan. The idea was that, as mentioned earlier, cast the best of both the worlds, North and South. Chiranjeevi, the Telugu superstar of his time, was launched by his brother-in-law, Allu Arvind. Mukesh Udeshi, who dubbed South films into Hindi among his other businesses, was the co-producer. His Hindi debut film was titled Gentleman, a big hit.

Dr D. Rama Naidu, a prolific filmmaker from Telugu Industry, produced around 150 films in various languages, over a period. He started off his Hindi film making in a joint venture with the reputed South banner, B. Nagi Reddi’s production house, Vijaya Productions with “Prem Nagar”. The film, starring the reigning superstar Rajesh Khanna with Hema Malini, marked the glorious entry of Dr Naidu into the Hindi films. Dr Naidu’s sons were doing well in the family business as the oldest, Suresh, looked after the production and the younger, Venkatesh (Venky) had turned out to be a successful hero. So why not launch Venky in Hindi films?

South, Actors, Regional
The Indian film industry may be the biggest in the world and the South film industry, combined in itself, outnumbers the Hindi films produced. Pixabay

Venky was launched opposite Karisma Kapoor in “Anari”, which was a hit. Next, Dr Naidu wanted to launch his grandson, Rana Daggubati. He wanted to see if Rana’s debut Telugu film was a success so the same could be remade into Hindi. That was not to be and Rana’s debut came with “Dum Maaro Dum” in 2011, where he did not lead the cast and the film went generally unnoticed. Rana now keeps doing an odd Hindi film. However, he played an important though a negative role in “Baahubali” which has brought him back in the limelight.

Another South actor ready to be launched was Nagarjuna, also from a renowned South film family of A. Nageshwar Rao. Ram Gopal Varma launched him in Hindi with “Shiva”, a remake of his acclaimed Telugu film, “Siva”. Having watched “Siva” one knew that even its Hindi version would be a hit, too. And, it was. The film also brought to Hindi cinema a stylised villain from the South in Raghuvaran. But, both could not go far in the Hindi cinema.

The trend was to play safe and launch a star in a Hindi film with the remake of a South language film. During this time, other heroes from the South also tried their luck with Hindi films. These included Ambareesh and Vishnuvardhan from Kannada industry and Mammootty from Malayalam films. The trend continues through the involvement of the South filmmakers in Hindi films is now almost non-existent!

The one-film wonder with the South stars continues as we have seen actors like Kamal Haasan, Rajnikant, Chiranjeevi, to the present day aspirants like Siddharth, Dhanush, Suriya and others. They come and go. Madhvan is the only South star who continues to get assignments though not as a solo hero. While the other South heroes could not make a mark on the Hindi screens, the one who survived for the longest time was Rajanikant. This is because, Rajanikant did most of his films with other, established Hindi film heroes. In fact, most of his films were multi-starrer. That helped. What also marred the careers of these stars from the South was that, after they gained some recognition in Hindi films, the market was flooded with their films from South dubbed into Hindi by those wanting to cash in while it lasted.

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But when it comes to heroines, the South films sourced many. Besides their classy looks, what worked in their favour was that they were usually well trained in classical dancing which made them extremely expressive and just the kind the films made in those days demanded. Those female artistes who made it big in the Hindi film industry include Waheeda Rehman, Vyjayantimala, Leela Naidu, Padmini, Kalpana, Hema Malini, Rekha, Sridevi, Jaya Prada, Meenakshi Seshadri, Tabu, Zareena Wahab, Diya Mirza, Deepika Padukone among others.

While the actors from the Hindi film had no reason to seek work in the South, the Hindi film villains did find a lot of work there. The week past saw the entry of another South star, Prabhas, with the film “Saaho”. The film seemed more about cashing on the popularity of the hero post massive success of his “Baahubali” franchise. The film offered nothing else except Prabhas even while it boasted of a budget of a whopping Rs 350 crore. The moviegoer has not taken well to the film and this is no good news for Prabhas.

@The Box Office
* Much was expected from “Saaho” since the film starred Prabhas whose both earlier films, “Baahubali: The Beginning” and the sequel, “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”, broke all box office records. However, “Saaho” lacked in purpose and content relying mainly on action. And, what good is a film which has a title which needs explaining! Considering the number of screens the film engaged, the opening day figures seemed to fall short by a few crores. The film had easy three days but, after the weekend was over, it started showing a marked drop. Monday, despite being a holiday in many parts for Ganesh Chaturthi, showed a drop of over 50 per cent compared to the previous day. The film has managed to end its opening week with about 113 crore.

South, Actors, Regional
The South has four main languages in which the films are made: Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. Pixabay

* “Mission Mangal” continued to do well in its third week and added about 15 crore for the week taking its three week (22-day) tally to 188.5 crore.

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* “Batla House” has added about five crore to take its three week (22- day) total to 88 crore. (IANS)

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Tamil Nadu CM Allows TV Serial Shootings to Resume in the State

Tamil Nadu allows shooting of TV serials subject to conditions and guidelines

TV serial
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami has allowed to restart television serial shooting in the state subject to precautionary guidelines. Wikimedia Commons

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Thursday allowed television serial shootings in the state subject to conditions.

An official statement said Palaniswami considered the representation received from the industry and has allowed shooting of television serials subject to the following conditions: Shooting is allowed only indoors or in the houses having compound walls; No shooting is allowed in public places, except in rural and on Covid-19 containment areas; No permission for onlookers; Spraying of disinfectant before and after the shooting at the shoot spots; Barring actors, all others should wear masks and maintain social distance.

Outdoor shooting is not allowed according to the guidelines. WIkimedia Commons

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During breaks actors too should wear masks; All equipments, vehicles coming to the shooting spots should be sanitized; a maximum of 20 persons alone are permitted at the spot including actors and technicians. (IANS)

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“Bhalla Calling Bhalla”: A Unique Show Made and Presented in Lockdown

A show named "Bhalla Calling Bhalla" has been made during the ongoing lockdown

The show will feature actor Gaurav Gera. Wikimedia Commons

Writer Sumrit Shahi is excited about his new show “Bhalla Calling Bhalla”. He says that the show has been made in a very unique way since all the actors are stuck at home due to the ongoing lockdown.

“The most unique thing about ‘Bhalla Calling Bhalla’ is that it is a show that is completely conceptualised, written, shot, edited and is presented to the audience during the lockdown. There was no set, no actors met each other. All of it happened remotely so it is truly a new-age technology experiment that we have done in this lockdown,” he said.

Talking about his thought process behind writing the show, he said: “I think what I kept in mind while writing the show was that since we are going through such challenging and testing times and everyone’s patience is low and stress levels are so high, everyone is worried and uncertain.”

Gracy Goswami also stars in the show. Wikimedia Commons

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“I just wanted a show that feels warm and easy to understand and most importantly to bring a smile on everyone’s face – that has been the endeavour behind the show. The story is about a dysfunctional Punjabi family and how they are not together in the lockdown. But somehow the lockdown will help them come together,” he added.

“Bhalla Calling Bhalla” stars Lubna Salim, Rajesh Kumar, Leenesh Matoo, Gracy Goswami and Gaurav Gera. (IANS)

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Bollywood’s Participation in COVID-19 Fundraiser Concert-I For India

Here's how Bollywood celebs regaled at COVID-19 fundraiser concert

Actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who is also an established singer, sang "Ik vaari" and "Mitti di khushboo". Wikimedia Commons

I For India, the mega fundraiser concerts, which was live-streamed on Facebook on Sunday, saw a massive Hollywood and Bollywood participation.

Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Tiger Shroff, Vicky Kaushal, Vidya Balan, Katrina Kaif, Rani Mukerji, Arjun Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh were among 85 artistes who participated in the virtual concert to raise funds for those affected by the novel coronavirus.

Also joining in were Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan, and Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan.

International stars including Jack Black, Will Smith, Russel Peters, Mick Jagger, Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner were also part of the concert.

Bollywood Celebrities like Shahrukh Khan have participated in the concert. Wikimedia Commons

Everyone did their bit to entertain the audience while performing at the noble show, which was organised by filmmakers Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar.

Over Rs 3 crore was raised by the end of the four-hour digital concert. All the proceedings will go to India COVID Response Fund.

Amitabh Bachchan gave a tribute to the late actor and his close friend Rishi Kapoor during the concert. SRK and Hrithik turned singers.

Shah Rukh sang, “Sab sahi ho jayega”, assuring people that things will be alright soon. His son AbRam too made a special appearance in his song, composed by rapper Badshah.

Hrithik played piano and crooned to “Tera jaisa yaar kahaan”, which was composed by his uncle Rajesh Roshan for the 1981 Amitabh Bachchan-starrer “Yaarana”. Reportedly, Hrithik spent over seven hours honing his musical skills.

Ayushmann Khurrana, who is also an established singer, sang “Ik vaari” and “Mitti di khushboo”.

Akshay Kumar recited a poem, titled “Tumse Ho Nahi Paega”.

Alia Bhatt, along with sister Shaheen and composer Ankur Tewari, sang ‘Ik kudi’. Wikimedia Commons

Aamir Khan and his wife, filmmaker Kiran Rao, spoke about how important it is to extend support to the needy. They also sang “Jeena isi ka naam hai”.

Alia Bhatt, along with sister Shaheen and composer Ankur Tewari, sang ‘Ik kudi’ from her film “Udta Punjab” while Priyanka Chopra Jonas too recited a poem on the current situation.

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Madhuri Dixit Nene performed her rendition of popstar Ed Sheeran’s Perfect with son Arin on the piano and Anil Kapoor urged everyone to become “Mr India” by staying at home.

Farhan Akhtar along with his band performed the songs of “Rock On”, while the film’s composer trio, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, belted out some of their blockbuster hits.

Abhishek Bachchan spoke of about how memes are lightening up the mood of people during the ongoing serious health crisis, while Aishwarya Rai Bachchan conducted a meaningful session as she talked to an expert on COVID-19. (IANS)