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    A shift in filmmaker preferences-

    A shift in filmmaker preferences-


    New Delhi: Top Bollywood stars are increasingly choosing to work with filmmakers from the south, who are believed to have a better understanding of mass-market commercial cinema, rather than Hindi film directors that often seem to cater to upmarket, urban audiences. While Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor have tasted success this year with Jawan and Animal, directed by Atlee and Sandeep Reddy Vanga, respectively, Varun Dhawan is now working in a film backed by Atlee. Actor Shahid Kapoor will be seen in a film called Deva next October, directed by Rosshan Andrrews, known for Malayalam blockbusters such as Salute and Kayamkulam Kochunni. These filmmakers are commended for presenting actors as larger-than-life heroes, instead of realistic characters that Hindi cinema increasingly taps into.

    “Southern films have consistently delivered high-quality content across genres, from action-packed spectacles to dramas. This has led to a loyal fan base and consistent box-office performance throughout the year. Themes that resonate universally, irrespective of language or cultural barriers, have seen a common trait of acceptance, as far as south Indian movies at a pan-India scale go,” Ashish Saksena, chief operating officer, cinemas at BookMyShow said. “Collaborations between South Indian filmmakers and pan-Indian actors and vice-versa help bridge the gap and attract a wider audience. It would be essential to explore whether this shift is a temporary trend or reflects a more sustained change in audience preferences,” he added.

    To be sure, entertainment industry experts point out that southern film remakes in Hindi, once a guaranteed recipe for box office success, are losing their appeal amid recent failures such as Selfiee, Shehzada, Vikram Vedha, and Jersey. Original versions of several southern films are already available on streaming services, with many platforms also offering Hindi dubbed versions, which has led to a decline in demand for remake rights. The next best option is to rope in southern directors who can churn out fresh content with similar mass-market sensibilities. However, southern directors are also known to focus on strong storytelling with emotionally rooted arcs. Their rise has increasingly meant fewer opportunities for those Hindi film directors whose action movies drew flak for unimpressive writing.

    “The remake era is dead, but there is a huge demand for big action films that can garner significant advance bookings and openings. Southern filmmakers, who are known for these, are red-hot at the moment,” independent trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai said. Despite the polarizing reviews and an adult rating, Sandeep Reddy Vanga-directed Animal has crossed the 500 crore mark at the box office. Pillai added that these action films are also preferred by streaming services that are looking to add more subscribers from tier-two and tier-three towns, making business sense for all stakeholders.

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