The biggest trends in the four southern industries in the past 5 years

Posted on July 25, 2019


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This period has seen some landscape-altering developments in the cinema of the four southern states. A look at the breakout talents of this movement.

In Telugu cinema, it was the return of the mega-movie, thanks to the mind-boggling success of Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) and its sequel. For the longest time, conventional wisdom was that only Hindi films could penetrate every pocket of India, given that (1) the reach of Hindi cinema is a pan-Indian phenomenon, and (2) even the biggest hits of Tamil and Telugu cinema have been consumed only in their respective states and among the diaspora. But SS Rajamouli dynamited this belief. The Baahubali films showed that people don’t care where a film is from (and who stars in it) as long as you give them a reason to visit the theatre, and their impact can be felt across other southern industries as well, from KGF (Kannada) to Mani Ratnam’s upcoming historical epic, Ponniyin Selvan (Tamil).

Breakout actor: Vijay Deverakonda got noticed in the coming-of-age drama Yevade Subramanyam (2015) and got a hit in the rom-com Pelli Choopulu (2016), but nothing prepared the world for his star turn in Arjun Reddy (2017). He snarled, smouldered and swaggered his way through this blockbuster and became the biggest Telugu star to emerge in a long time. Safer choices like Geetha Govindam (2018) suggest that he may have bought into his stardom and we won’t be seeing much envelope-pushing in the future, but the actor remains an exciting representative of “new-age” Telugu cinema.

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