MUMBAI: The unprecedented success of recent films like Allu Arjun’s ‘Pushpa: The Rise’, SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus ‘RRR’, ‘KGF: Chapter Two’ has once again sparked debate over the brawl between Bollywood and the regional industries of Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada in the south.
But in essence, it will only push Bollywood back to the table and work hard with determination to come out stronger and ultimately push the boundaries of Indian cinema as a whole, in the words of filmmaker-turned-director Basil Joseph. star. with his superhero film, ‘Minnal Murali’, which starred Tovino Thomas in the lead role.
In a one-on-one with IANS, Basil spoke about the new dawn that awaits Indian cinema, the lessons of ‘Minnal Murali’, the new opportunities for filmmakers in the south, thanks to the global exposure power of OTT platform and the changing undercurrents of narrative sensibilities of South Indian filmmakers and talents.
The Indian film industry is reaching new heights with South Indian content penetrating into new territories not only in India but also globally. This provides a range of opportunities for storytellers, who have a penchant for innovative stories and treatments.
Basil shares, “We can now think more globally thanks to OTT. Previously, manufacturers used to think from a very limited perspective to cater to a particular set of regional audiences.”
He continues, “But, given the success that South Indian content has amassed, it has given creators the confidence to cross physical boundaries. Our stories are becoming international and are now being scrutinized from a very We think and design our ideas more responsibly Topics and emotions become more universal.
He adds that “it will lead to more quality content” because it will be a constructive process.
“In a positive sense, the pressure of creating great content will rest heavily on the shoulders of filmmakers,” he backed up his opinion with good reason.
And the pressure is already turning the raw coal into diamonds of stories precisely cut with the acute vision of filmmakers whose narrative sensibility has evolved enormously.
“The storytelling sensibility of the South Indian film industry as a whole has evolved a lot,” Basil continues.
He draws a parallel with Korean cinema, which experienced a similar change many years ago, saying, “I find it very interesting because the same thing happened with the Korean film industry at one point. The Korean film industry started distributing more universal content and saw where it took them, the Oscar win with “The Parasite” This evolution of South Indian film industries will also result in the improving the landscape of Indian cinema”
Speaking of lessons learned from his superhero film, he says: “The success of ‘Minnal Murli’ has taught us that we don’t need to restrict ourselves in terms of budgets or scale just because we are a small industry. If we have a story to tell, we will pull out all the stops and deliver it to the audience gallery. If the content is engaging and good, the audience will like it.
But what he cherishes the most is his new perspective to deal with the problems posed in a different way.
He adds: “It also taught us that creative solutions come out of difficult situations. Making a film is also about meeting challenges in a creative way. It also gave me more confidence to try my hand at universal content. with greater scale and greater scope in my future projects. . It’s about telling local stories in an international way.”
South Indian films have an element of grandeur. One wonders how this would carry over to the OTT medium given that the size is basically geared towards a big-screen experience. Basil has a rather interesting answer up his sleeve.
He says: “The greatness will be there both on OTT and on the big. For example, ‘Minnal Murali’ was made for the big screen, but we finally released it on Netflix, which is a streaming platform. But the impact was not lost anywhere in this process.”
He further refines his point: “There will be a balance between OTT and cinema, only content will reign supreme. So I think movies with a lot of grandeur will impact streaming platforms as seen out there. from India that super-scale movies are coming out on OTT and doing really well.”
The debate around Bollywood and South Indian film industries may have gained momentum lately, but as a true artist, Basil stands up for his fellow Bollywood artists and technicians. He has a firm belief that even though he is not in good shape right now, Bollywood will soon bounce back with unstoppable force.
He says, “Over the past few years, the South Indian industry has been delivering really good content that has worked across India, which can be very motivating for Bollywood as well. We can’t completely discount Bollywood because we have very good artists and technicians working in Bollywood.”
“I think we have to see every film as an Indian film without any demarcation between South Indian cinema, Hindi cinema or regional cinema,” he concludes.