Actor Vijay’s wooing of the audience with Master may hold a few lessons for Bollywood stars as they get ready for box office.
The year 2021 is set to see a new trend. Over the years, quite a few dubbed films from the South have made an impression, especially through satellite television and later OTT platforms, but the success of the Baahubali franchise followed by that of 2.0 and Saaho, which entered the Rs 150-crore club, in the Hindi version meant more filmmakers started thinking of a pan-India audience.
It is this thought of across-the-country-audience thinking that will begin yielding results, with several superstars—Vijay, Prabhas, NT Rama Rao Jr, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan, Yash and Rana Daggubati —deciding to bring their films in Hindi as well.
When these actors conceptualised their films, not many would have thought that in 2021 these films would be expected to bring cheer to the box office during the coronavirus gloom.
First off the block is Vijay starrer Master that released in Tamil on January 13 and the Hindi version a day later. Given the popularity of the Tamil superstar in Hindi circuits, courtesy films like Bigil, Sarkar and Master, Vijay has built a strong fan-base. The Hindi version will be the first major release for the film industry since Baaghi 3 in March 2020. The Hindi version of Baahubali stormed the box office and the lead actor Prabhas has three big films lined up.
As for Prabhas, he has three big films lined up. While Radhe Shyam with Pooja Hegde was the first to be announced, Adipurush with Kriti Sanon and Saif Ali Khan is already in news for its Ramayan adaptation. He will also be working with Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan in a yet to be titled film. Prabhas is the most prolific of the superstars who are set to invade the Indian box office.Also read: Here's why a Tamil movie has brought relief to Kerala's cinemas
We are also eagerly awaiting SS Rajamouli's RRR, which went on floors a while back and has a mix of superstars from Tollywood —Rama Rao Jr and Ram Charan—as well as Bollywood—Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt. The period drama, which was planned for release in 2020, may finally be out in the second half of this year.
The film that is already making waves is KGF: Chapter 2, the teaser of which has set the wheels in motion. While the majority are either just announcing the plans or are offering a sneak peek, the makers of this Kannada-Hindi bilingual have come up with a powerful audio-visual experience that ensures that “the promise would be kept”—that of bringing the film only to theatres. KGF: Chapter 2 has stolen some of Master’s thunder for sure.
This is something that Allu Arjun would also be hoping for when he brings his Pushpa later this year. Announced in 2020, the film would be released in Telugu as well as Hindi. This romantic drama should work well with the audience. Reason? Arjun’s dubbed films have done well across the country and with his Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo turning out to be a roaring success on OTT as well, Pushpa will have a ready audience.
Rana Daggubati’s Haathi Mere Saathi will soon be arriving as Kaadan (Tamil) and Aranya (Telugu) as well. The film, with Pulkit Samrat in a key role as well, was announced some time back and even had a couple of release dates. Now plans have been finalised for March 26 release for the “family entertainer”. Rana roared as Bhallaladeva in Baahubali franchise, one can be assured of a powerful presence in this jungle film as well.Let us hope things get back to normal and more people are allowed in theatres so that these stars get the audience they deserve and bringing much-needed respite to the box office. Superstars from the South are raring to go and with a good number of films to their names, it is just a matter of time before language barriers fall on the wayside.