Over the last two years, there has been a trend that films from the southern film industries have been minting money at the box office, even in the Hindi belt. In contrast, most Hindi films are failing to find takers. Barring a few exceptions, most Hindi films in 2022 have flopped. This has given rise to a notion that ‘Bollywood is dead’ and its demise has been brought about by South cinema. Recently, actor Rakul Preet Singh, who has worked both in Bollywood and South, reacted to the controversy. Also read: Aishwarya Rai reacts to north vs south cinema debate
The three highest grossing Indian films of 2022 are all from south–Kannada film KGF Chapter 2, Telugu film RRR, and Tamil film Ponniyin Selvan: I. In fact, the top 10 only has four Hindi films this year so far. This stranglehold of the south films is even bigger considering that KGF 2 and RRR outdid many Bollywood films with the earnings from their Hindi versions alone.
Speaking at the India Today Conclave about the North vs South debate in cinema, Rakul said, “Cinema is a language of emotion and not boundaries. The conversation has started now but veteran stars like Sridevi and Tabu have all worked in the South. There have been so many films that have been remade then and now. Today, they reach the high so we are having a discussion. But the pandemic has made us have discussions about contents from the West, Korean or regional. The best of all worlds have come together.”
When asked if she believes Bollywood is ‘dead’, Rakul responded, “So, is Bollywood over? Rakul answered, “It’s just a phase. People love to write about things that are not working. But it takes a lot of effort behind a product. Today, South films are working but we are only talking about ones that released here. Others don’t release here and don’t work. Post the pandemic, the taste of the audience have changed. It’s not about South or Bollywood films working but the kind of cinema people want to watch. They need larger than life cinema.”
Rakul began her career with the Kannada film Gilli in 2009 and worked in both Tamil and Telugu cinema before her Bollywood debut with Yaariyan in 2014. She was last seen in the Hindi release Thank God and is currently awaiting the release of Chhatriwali. She has two big-budget Tamil films in the pipeline–Ayalaan and Indian 2.
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