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Mani Ratnam heaps praise on SS Rajamouli


Ponniyin Selvan 2 (PS 2) is all set for a grand release in theatres on the 28th of April. As part of it, there was a promotional event in Hyderabad on Sunday. Speaking at the event, Mani Ratnam said, If Rajamouli had not made Baahubali in two parts, Ponniyin Selvan might not have happened in two parts.

Mani Ratnam said Rajamouli created a path for Indian mythological movies. He thanked Rajamouli on this occasion and said Baahubali gave confidence to the entire Indian cinema industry to do historical films. Mani Ratnam tried of making Ponniyin Selvan in 1994 and 2011, but both times he was unsuccessful.

Lyca Productions, Pen India Limited and Red Giant Movies are bankrolling this film. First part, PS1 was released on 30th September 2022 and it impressed only the Tamil audience.

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CelebRRRating The Oscar Winners


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Official News about Rajamouli’s Oscar Campaign Budget


SS Rajamouli and his team have been touring across the globe for RRR and he promoted it globally. The film’s Naatu Naatu song bagged an Oscar and the team celebrated the occasion. There are several debates that SS Rajamouli has spent Rs 80 crores on this campaign and it was spent from the pocket of Rajamouli. The team neither responded nor denied the news. SS Rajamouli’s son Karthikeya responded about the campaign and he revealed that they have spent Rs 8.5 crores for the campaign.

“We had plans to wrap up things in Rs 5 crores but we ended up spending Rs 8.5 crores for the campaign. Special screenings are arranged in a couple of cities of USA for RRR” told Karthikeya. NTR and Ram Charan, the lead actors of RRR too are present for the Oscars Event that took place this month. Rajamouli is back to work and he started working on Mahesh Babu’s next film. The shoot is expected to start next year.

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Rajamouli shifts his complete focus on his Next


SS Rajamouli worked hard for RRR for almost four years. Even after the release of the film, Rajamouli was focused and took the film to the international circles. There were speculations that Rajamouli spent lavishly from his pocket and the promotions paid off. Naatu Naatu song from RRR bagged an Oscar for the Best Original Song. The entire team of RRR was present and they returned back to Hyderabad recently. Rajamouli is on a break and he will commence the work of Mahesh Babu’s next from tomorrow. He will now completely focus on the script of Mahesh Babu’s film which is an action-adventure.

The scriptwork and the pre-production formalities of this stylish action entertainer are expected to be completed by the end of this year. Rajamouli will lock the script after which he will finalize the actors. There are reports that several Hollywood actors will have space in this film. Rajamouli is also in talks with an international studio for collaboration to have an international release. KL Narayana will produce this film on Durga Arts banner and there are speculations that Deepika Padukone will play the female lead. For now, Rajamouli will spend his entire time on the scriptwork of his next as the RRR fever has calmed down.

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Will RRR2 happen?


RRR with Naatu Naatu has created a global brand. The film got an international reception and fans started guessing about a sequel. Rajamouli on the red carpet of The 95th Golden Globe Awards said he will start working on the sequel script very soon. Rajamouli also said that he initiated discussions for the sequel.

Rajamouli’s next project is with Mahesh Babu and both NTR, Ram Charan are packed for the coming two to three years with their prior commitments. Firstly, the trio has to be free for the sequel. But, RRR sequel international marketing will be easier as RRR has already gained the brand image with Naatu Naatu by winning an Oscar. We have to see how far Rajamouli, NTR and Ram Charan will work together for the sequel. On flip side, Vijayendra Prasad has already started writing for the sequel.

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‘Jealous’ Ram Gopal Varma jokes being part of ‘assassination squad’ to kill Rajamouli


In a string of tweets, director Ram Gopal Varma has praised filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli, whom he says is jealous of, and joked that he is a part of an “assassination squad” of filmmakers set to kill the ‘RRR’ helmer.

In a banter, Ram Gopal Varma asked Rajamouli to increase his security.

RGV took to Twitter, where he re-shared a video of Rajamouli in a conversation with James Cameron from the 28th Critics’ Choice Award where ‘RRR’ won Best Foreign Language Film.

He captioned it: “From Dada Sahab Phalke onwards till now, no one in the history of Indian cinema including @ssrajamouli could have imagined that an Indian director someday will go through this moment.”

“Hey @ssrajamouli U basically SURPASSED every filmmaker from #KaAsif who made #MughaleAzam till #RameshSippy who made #Sholay and also the likes of Aditya Chopras, Karan Johars and the bhansalis of India and I want to suck ur little toe for that.”

“And sir @ssrajamouli, please increase ur security because there is a bunch of film makers in india who out of pure jealousy formed an assassination squad to kill you , of which I am also a part ..Am just spilling out the secret because I am 4 drinks down.”

Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ also won India its first Golden Globe award for ‘Best Original Song’.

The film featured Ram Charan and Jr NTR in lead roles while Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgan also had special roles.

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Rajamouli can’t believe it: James Cameron analyses ‘RRR’ with him


Indian filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli feels on top of the world as he shared that award-winning Hollywood director James Cameron spent 10 minutes analysing his film ‘RRR’.

Rajamouli took to Twitter, where he shared two pictures where he is seen sharing screen space with Cameron, who has made films such as ‘Titanic’ and the ‘Avatar’ franchise.

In the first image, the two maestros are seen having a discussion.

The second image show, Rajamouli holding Cameron’s hands as the two talk.

He captioned the image: “The great James Cameron watched ‘RRR’.. He liked it so much that he recommended to his wife Suzy and watched it again with her. Sir I still cannot believe you spent a whole 10 minutes with us analyzing our movie. As you said I AM ON TOP OF THE WORLD… Thank you both.”

Rajamouli had earlier had a fanboy moment as he met Steven Spielberg at what ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ Boris Kyt described as an A-list star-stuffed celebration thrown by Universal at West Hollywood’s famous Sunset Tower Hotel.

“I just met GOD!!!” Rajamouli had captioned the image of meeting Speilberg.

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‘Naatu Naatu’ Keeravani says John Williams taught him the power for simplicity


‘RRR’ music composer M.M. Keeravani, who’s known to Hindi film watchers as M.M. Kreem, spoke about the power of simplicity and the person who influenced him to think this way. He shared his music philosophy with Deadline on the red carpet of the 28th Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night (U.S. Pacific Time).

“I adore John Williams very much. I am a great fan of his music,” Keeravani said about Steven Spielberg’s favourite music composer who shares with Walt Disney the record for getting the highest number of Oscar nominations.

“He taught me simplicity in scoring music … how to be simple and humble … how to make it big by reducing yourself to the very basic necessity of scoring music,” Keeravani said, acknowledging Williams’s influence.

“That’s what I learnt from him without his knowledge,” he added with half a smile.

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‘Mera Bharat Mahan’: S.S. Rajamouli at 28th Critics Choice Awards


S.S. Rajamouli has made India proud once again after winning the Best Original Song and Best Foreign Language Film at the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards. He dedicated the honour to all the women in his life and said ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’ during his acceptance speech.

The Critics’ Choice Award win comes right after creating headlines at the 80th Golden Globes. His film ‘RRR’ was Best Foreign Language Film and its track ‘Naatu Naatu’ once again clinched the Best Original Song honour.

While accepting the honour, Rajamouli said: “To all the women in my life. My mother Raja Nandini thought school education was overrated and she encouraged me to read comics and story books and encouraged my creativity.”

“My sister-in-law Srivalli who became like a mother to me always encourages me to be the best version of me.”

He also spoke about his wife Rama, who is a costume designer for Rajamouli’s films.

“My wife Rama… she’s the costume designer of my films but more than that she is the designer of my life. If she’s not here I am not here today. To my daughters, their smiles are enough to light my life up.”

Before signing out, he gave a shout out to his motherland.

“And finally to my motherland India, Mera Bharat Mahan – Jai hind.”

‘RRR’ stars NTR Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt and Shriya Saran and tells the fictional story of two real-life Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem and their fight against the British Raj.

Set in the 1920s, the plot explores the undocumented period in their lives when both the revolutionaries chose to go into obscurity before they began the fight for their country.

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RRR wins Golden Globe Award


Indian blockbuster film RRR got nominated for several prestigious international awards. The film bagged a Golden Globe Award in the category of the Best Original Score. Naatu Naatu also impressed the international audience big time and song brought the Golden Globe Award for the team. The film’s music composer MM Keeravani received the honour while the team of RRR cheered up from the crowd. The celebreated the ocassion.

SS Rajamouli, NTR and Ram Charan were present for the award event along with their families. RRR is a periodic drama that has NTR and Ram Charan playing the lead roles. The film made huge money across the country.

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‘Bravo!’: NTR Jr, Rajamouli cheered at special ‘RRR’ screening in LA


NTR Jr and S.S. Rajamouli were welcomed with rounds of applause and shouts of “Bravo! Best picture of the year”, by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the organisation responsible for the Oscars, at a special screening in Los Angeles of their much talked-about film ‘RRR’.

The actor-director duo took centrestage after the screening to discuss various aspects of the movie which gave insights into the splendid bond they share.

Speaking about NTR, who plays Bheem in the movie, during the discussion, Rajamouli said: “Komuram Bheemudu (the ‘RRR’ hit song) is the best thing that I have ever directed. It’s my all-time favourite in all my films. Because NTR is such a great performer. If you place the camera only on one eyebrow of his, he can perform with that eyebrow. He’s that good.”

NTR Jr. also spoke about shooting the interval sequence where he jumped out of the cage along with the animals.

He said: “The best thing for me is the shot where Bheem jumps out with the animals. I never knew how the shot was supposed to be, he never told me how I was going to jump out with all these animals, he never told me how he’s going to shoot. I only got to watch that when the movie released and I was like ‘Woah’!”

The Directors Guild of America theatre had more than 100 people in attendance for the ‘RRR’ screening and conversation with NTR Jr and Rajamouli. Those present included international journalists and Academy members.

NTR Jr and Rajamouli are in LA to attend the Golden Globes, where ‘RRR’ is in the race in two categories — Best Film and Best Song (for ‘Naatu Naatu’).

Apart from shaping up into a pan-India blockbuster, the movie has won hearts in many countries including Japan. It is also winning critical acclaim and waiting for the results of the Golden Globe nominations next week.

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Interesting update on Mahesh Babu and Rajamouli Film


Top director SS Rajamouli will next collaborate with Superstar Mahesh Babu and the film is a jungle adventure that will be high on action and stylish visuals. Rajamouli started working on the script and the shoot commences during the second half of 2023. We have an interesting update about the film. It is heard that the film will be made as a franchise and the film’s writer V Vijayendra Prasad confirmed the news. He said that the sequels will follow. Vijayendra Prasad also confirmed that the film is inspired by a real-life incident.

Vijayendra Prasad and his team is busy with the scriptwork of the film. Deepika Padukone is rumored to play the female lead and the film will also have a lot of Hollywood actors. The film will be shot extensively in several countries of the globe. KL Narayana will produce this film and Rajamouli is keen to collaborate with two Hollywood studios for the film. More details to be announced soon.

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Stars charge because everybody wants stars


S.S. Rajamouli, the maker of the latest international hit, ‘RRR’, says that costs charged by stars and directors caused this sorry state of affairs where the Hindi film industry is in the doldrums. The stars took the credit when a film succeeded and went on to increase their remuneration.

It is a myth that a star makes a film work. At best, a star, if popular, can only help bring in the initial footfalls. The rest depends totally on other factors, notably the content, which counts the most.

It is a fact that content makes a star out of any actor. Rajesh Khanna, for example, was created post-‘Aradhana’. As for Amitabh Bachchan, he struggled from 1969 onwards when his debut film, ‘Saat Hindustani’, was released. It was only in 1973 that ‘Zanjeer’ turned into a superstar. Earlier, a producer would go for the talent of an actor. Otherwise, actors such as Sanjeev Kumar, Rishi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Govinda, Amol Palekar, and other such performers would not have carried their films to silver or golden jubilees.

Rajamouli should know that star prices follow the same economic formula: the demand. It is not limited to Hindi movies. Star prices, along with cinema admission rates, have also been a big concern in the South Indian film industries and to address the issue, the trade bodies there had also passed certain resolutions to convince the stars to be more reasonable.

It is illogical but when it comes to big-time, successful filmmakers, stars are more reasonable, but they fleece an aspiring producer till he bleeds.

How did filmmaking turn into a multi-crore investment business suddenly? It was thanks to big corporate houses that suddenly saw the film industry as a mint! Or, did they think they knew the business better than the freelance filmmakers did?

Sadly, these corporate houses knew nothing about filmmaking. All they had was money. Traditionally, a star’s remuneration would be equal to the price of one major circuit (Bombay and Delhi-UP being counted as the major circuits), but no such formula was followed when corporate houses came into the picture.

The big companies never asked who the writer was or found out about the main technicians involved in a film. They backed what the film trade calls ‘proposals’. Only the stars mattered, so even as the stars made money, the corporate moneybags lost money big time. And while these moneybags deserted the scene, the stars stuck to their impractical demands.

Rajamouli is right about star prices, but he also prefers to work only with stars. Would he have risked working with newcomers in ‘RRR’ instead of NTR Jr and Ram Charan? He had a great subject, after all, and he is also proficient at executing his projects. So why not new faces? Simple, stars draw the initial audience and with big budgets and widespread releases, the first few days matter the most.

Maybe, the two heroes of ‘RRR’ were more reasonable with Rajamouli, considering his track record, but some other producer is certainly going to pay big money to them after the super success of ‘RRR’.

Mr Know All!

Social media has nurtured many attention seekers, and those who have not amounted to much in their chosen field, swarm social media platforms. Those who vent their frustrations here are either those who have gained unexpected success, or, mainly, those who are rejected, failures.

They do it to stay relevant, to stay in the news. All they have been able to do is make social media anti-social.

They are identified with the film industry and are not known to be proficient in other fields. But they know what the government should do, what the prime minister should do, and what the other filmmakers should do. Imagine, this coming from the industry rejects!

The problem is not with social media, they also serve the purpose of those who have no agenda or frustration to vent. The problem lies with the media. Any comment by these irrelevant people becomes newsworthy to them.

This know-all nonentity has aired his observation that when one emulates a South Indian dubbed film such as ‘KGF 2’, which succeeded all over India, you are heading towards a disaster.

Now, why would a Hindi filmmaker want to emulate a certain film? Hindi filmmakers don’t emulate, they simply copy. Copying officially is called a remake. They have copied a lot many foreign films. When a successful film starts a trend, others do try to follow it.

A trend does work for a time. Till another trend is set.

A lot many Hindi films were big hits. Has anybody tried to emulate ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ or ‘Mother India’? Nobody tried to emulate ‘Sholay’, ‘Deewaar’ or ‘Zanjeer’! Yes, it became a to cast Rajesh Khanna in mainly romantic films, even as Amitabh Bachchan carried on with his angry hero image. That is called following a trend.

The same man also has a grouse against Vivek Agnihotri, claiming that the maker’s research for ‘The Kashmir Files’ was not complete! Fine, but while you are at it, are you capable of pointing out what exactly was missing or, what more was needed in the film’s research?

‘The Kashmir Files’ was not an entertainer as genres go, Yet, the film was a huge hit and the best Hindi film of the year, collections-wise. One thing every filmmaker knows is that you can’t prove your audience wrong. ‘The Kashmir Files’ was lapped up by cinegoers and Rs 245 crore that the film managed to collect at the box office vouches for that.

If your films had an audience, you would know that. You tried to emulate your ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ with a sequel, did it work? It did not and that’s why makers don’t emulate a successful film, they follow a trend.

When it comes to ‘The Tashkent Files’ or ‘The Kashmir Files’, neither you, nor any other maker can emulate it. And the same goes for the South Indian blockbusters.

This guy posts his unasked-for comments, observations and advice, and opinions just to gain some publicity. So, I have decided not to name him.

What trend have you been able to set?

Comment on politics and other social issues, but it is not ethical to pass judgments on other makers and their films. Especially when one of them made a huge hit that you need to emulate!

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Exclusive: Rajamouli spending Rs 50 Cr for RRR Oscars

SS Rajamouli’s last film RRR received international acclaim and several Hollywood celebrities lauded the film. The film could not make it to the nominations of the Oscars but the team is trying hard to impress the industry professionals of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Some of the films in Oscars will be picked up on a voting system and Rajamouli came out with a new strategy to make it to the Oscars through a voting system. He is touring across the globe promoting his film and he is making his presence in the award events. Special screenings of RRR are planned for various crowds including the team of professionals who are eligible to vote.

The members are close to 10,000 and Rajamouli is spending a bomb on these screenings and arrangements. As per the news, close to Rs 50 crores is spent for the same. This voting group of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has professionals from various crafts. Rajamouli is pretty confident on making it to the Oscars that are scheduled for next year. RRR happens to be one of the biggest hits of India and NTR, Ram Charan played the lead roles. Made on a budget close to Rs 500 crores, the film raked massive money at the box-office.

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Megastar wishes not to work with SS Rajamouli


Megastar Chiranjeevi is shooting for God Father, a political drama with a mass touch. The top actor is promoting the film and he gave an interview to top critic Anupama Chopra. During the interview, Chiranjeevi was asked about working with SS Rajamouli. Chiranjeevi responded that he is not much keen on a pan-Indian image. “Rajamouli is the best director of the country. He took Indian cinema to the international charts with Baahubali and RRR. He is a man with conviction and will never compromise on the output of the film” told Chiranjeevi.

Speaking about working with him, Chiranjeevi said “The amount of time Rajamouli is taking, I am not sure if I can deliver it or not. He spends ample time on a film and he travels for 4-5 years. I am shooting for four films at a time. Working on a film at this point of time for 3-4 years is not viable. Working with SS Rajamouli and proving myself at a pan-Indian level is not my wish. That is the reason I told that I cannot work with him” told SS Rajamouli. Chiranjeevi said that he is proud of Ram Charan about evolving himself as an actor. Chiranjeevi’s God Father is hitting the screens on October 5th in Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam languages.

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Rajamouli’s International Collaborations on Cards


Baahubali franchise gained international recognition and the film also did well across some of the international circuits. SS Rajamouli’s recent offering RRR is lauded across the globe. The film is also available in various international languages on Netflix which made the film popular and reach wide sections. There are discussions about SS Rajamouli’s international collaborations from the past few months. The latest reports say that the top agency CAA has signed SS Rajamouli and more details about the deal are yet to be revealed. CAA is Creative Artists Agency that creates opportunities and several Hollywood directors are their clients.

SS Rajamouli now joined the list of legends. He will soon direct Superstar Mahesh Babu and the film is an action entertainer. There are reports that Rajamouli is in collaboration with top studios to take this film to the international corners. The film will also have a great boost through the budget and technical aspects. The project is expected to roll next year. Tollywood producer KL Narayana will produce this project and the details about the collaboration are expected to be out soon.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Boycott heat reaches SS Rajamouli


SS Rajamouli happens to be the most successful director of Indian cinema. He is a man of fewer words and more work. The top director prefers not to stand in any controversy and he has never made a single controversial statement or criticized anyone till date. He is presenting the Telugu version of Ranbir Kapoor’s Brahmastra and he is promoting the film across the South. The hashtag of #BoycottBrahmastra has been trending across the country for a long time. Bollywood biggies like Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan have been impacted because of the trolls and the boycott trends.

The Boycott gang expressed their dissatisfaction for Rajamoili promoting Brahmastra. Taking twitter, several netizens and fans asked Rajamouli to stay away from promoting Brahmastra. They suggested Rajamouli to continue delivering brilliant work by directing films and not to involve in the promotions of Brahmastra. Some of them also suggested the master storyteller not to fall in the trap of Brahmastra and land himself in trouble. They say that the team of Brahmastra is banking on the image of SS Rajamouli. There are several tweets against Rajamouli.

Surprisingly, the film’s producer Karan Johar is absent for the film’s promotions as he is facing the Boycott heat. Brahmastra is made on a massive budget and is hitting the screens on September 9th across the globe. Ayan Mukerji directed the film and Ranbir Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna played the lead roles. Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone will be seen in cameos.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Mahesh Babu responds about SS Rajamouli’s Film


Superstar Mahesh Babu is turning 47 today and his fans are celebrating his birthday in a grand manner like never before. His biggest super hit film Pokiri is having a grand re-release in theatres and all the shows are sold out which is a new record. Mahesh along with his family returned back from his Europe vacation and he will celebrate his birthday with his family in Hyderabad. For the first time, the actor responded about SS Rajamouli’s film. Responding in an interview with a Bollywood tabloid, Mahesh Babu said that is a dream come true for him to work with SS Rajamouli.

“I am totally excited about the project and it is a dream come true to work with SS Rajamouli. It will be a physically demanding project and working with Rajamouli is like doing 25 films at once. This will be my first pan-Indian project and the film will reach wider sections of the audience across the country” told Mahesh Babu. The film will be a high-voltage action entertainer and the shoot commences next year after Mahesh Babu completes the shoot of his family entertainer with Trivikram Srinivas.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

SS Rajamouli’s strategy for RRR Digital Rights


RRR happened to be the biggest motion picture that released this year. The makers made huge profits despite of the delay in the release and the heaped-up budget. RRR has been streaming on Netflix for the international audience and the South Indian version is available on Zee5. All the digital streaming platforms competed for the digital rights of the film. The initial deals are sealed for Netflix and Zee5. The makers also sold off the South Indian digital rights for Disney Plus Hotstar.

RRR is now streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar from today in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam languages. After the digital platform approached SS Rajamouli, he sealed the deal for a later date. The digital platform also paid a big amount for the streaming. RRR is the first Indian film that is available on three digital streaming platforms. Considering the craze, SS Rajamouli closed multiple deals and pocketed big money by selling off the rights for three streaming platforms. RRR is also the first Indian film that is available in various international languages on Netflix.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Eight-week OTT gap won’t help; we still need better content


Two developments have caught my attention. One is the decision by the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) that, starting on August 1, all films should adhere to at least an eight-week gap between their theatrical and OTT releases. Presently, the gap between the two releases of a film is four weeks. If the industry, as in filmmakers as well as the exhibitors, think this will help film’s to perform better at the box office, it is debatable.

The other development that said a lot about the way the Hindi film industry functions and makes films, was the statement by S.S. Rajamouli, whose recent Telugu release, ‘RRR’, has proved to be among the biggest blockbusters in recent times. Its dubbed Hindi release has been a big hit too. Rajamouli pinned the decline of the Hindi industry on the failure of the Hindi filmmakers to make films for the masses.

The issue is, will delaying the OTT release create some miracle and help films run at cinemas? Will that prove Rajamouli wrong? Most of all, will it prove the masses, who refuse to turn up in hordes at the cinemas, wrong? And what makes the industry believe that people don’t come to the cinemas because they watch films on OTT!

The fact is, people don’t watch bad films, even on OTT. To confirm that, all one needs to do is check their preferences on social media. Bad films are not watched and, hence, not even discussed. People discuss what they watch, obviously.

If you go by Rajamouli’s observations, this has nothing to do with OTT. It is just that the films made nowadays don’t interest and, hence, attract people to the cinemas. If a film fails to draw crowds on Day One, the opening weekend or otherwise, you cannot blame it on OTT.

Whose decision is it to release a film on OTT eight weeks after its theatrical release, instead of the present gap of four weeks? If it is being advocated by the exhibition sector, they seem to forget that they were in such a desperate situation that during the Covid-19 tapering phase, cinemas in the West were even game to release films simultaneously with OTT platforms, or vice versa.

The purpose of OTT platforms is served if a film is released in cinemas and, as such, gets its promotion and public awareness. An eight-week gap is hardly of any relevance to them. And, finally, do the filmmakers want it that way? I don’t think so. They stopped making films that held their own for eight weeks at the cinema. Sooner it goes to an OTT platform, and a film gets committed to, sooner the encashment of the rights happens.

During the 1980s, when video piracy was a big menace for the box office, films still did very well in cinemas, celebrated jubilees. The reason was that the films had what the masses wanted. In fact, often, after watching a pirated video, people would want to watch it on the big screen. And, all this when the pirated video copies were released simultaneously with films hitting the big screens on a Friday.

The problem is not OTT, or that the people don’t come to the cinemas because they would rather wait it out for a month. Lately, most films are poor in content and do not have the ingredients that bring the audience to the cinema. Even the big-star films have been failing one after the other. They lose traction by the Monday after the weekend in which they are released.

Come to think of it, which recent film has continued to play in cinemas in its eighth week? Just one comes to mind, and that is ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’, which is still running at a few cinemas, though it was released on an OTT platform after a four-week run.

The way a film is released now, in hundreds of cinemas with multiple screenings per day, if it has to do well, it will show the indications from Day One and generate a few hundred crores within three to four weeks. All big films have proved that. The South dubbed films continue to do so even as Hindi films fall short.

The problem is that the big stars are all delivering one flop after another. But they continue to stick around, instead of taking a break, like a lot many other stars did before coming back to play varied and sometimes big roles. Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, the late Rishi Kapoor — they all took a break when age went against their image.

When was the last hit from Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan or Akshay Kumar? Not one in the last few years at least and that is a long time. The recovery target for their films is extremely high. The difference between a hit and a flop is its recovery in relation to its outlay. And the films of these stars over the past few years have been falling far short of recovery.

Hindi historical dramas such as ‘Padmavat’, ‘Bajirao Mastani’, ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’, ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ and ‘Panipat’ were all made on known historical figures, but could not create the required magic at the box office. Compared to these films, Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ is based on the lives of local freedom fighters about whom we knew nothing in the Hindi belt. The film, however, ruled the box office here as well as in the South.

It is all about the complete package a maker presents — an idea with which the Hindi makers seem to have become estranged.

From what one gathers, if a film does not make its mark at the box office, not many people are keen to watch it on OTT either, even after four weeks. By the ninth week, it will be out of people’s memory. And so much else would have happened in the meanwhile. This way, both stand to lose: the cinemas and the OTT investor.

It is all about making good films. That alone will interest people. We can’t expect a film to do well just because it stars so and so and has cost a lot of money. If you are complaining about South Indian films doing well, collecting crores in the Hindi belt, it is because you have created a vacuum and somebody has to fill it.

The irony of it is that even you know South Indian films are good and that is why you choose to remake them, instead of working on original ideas on your own. The thing is, success does not come on a platter!

Coming back to Rajamouli’s observation that the Hindi industry has stopped making films for masses, let me point out that we don’t have masses coming to the cinemas anymore. Not with the exorbitant admission rates and certainly not since the single screens started vanishing one by one. The South has retained its mass base and, when their films come to Hindi belt in the dubbed version, they come with the endorsement of the masses of the South.

Does Rajamouli have the right to comment on the Hindi film industry? If a man who has been instrumental in making some of the biggest blockbusters in the South, he certainly qualifies to do so.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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