Saturday, December 19, 2015

Is South Indian Cinema obsessed with Bollywood stars as villains?

There was a time when Bollywood was obsessed with South Indian actresses. From the 50’s to the 80’s several actresses from South India like Vyjayanthimala, Hema Malini, Rekha, Sridevi, Jaya Prada etc. dominated Bollywood.

However now it seems South Indian film industry has been obsessed by Bollywood actors to play the villain. Recently Khiladi Kumar aka Akshay Kumar has been signed opposite Rajinikanth to play the main villain in the sequel to ENDHIRAN 2 and now the news is that another Bollywood top star Vivek Oberoi has been signed to play the antagonist opposite Chiranjeevi in the remake of Tamil hit KATHTHI

It is not that South Indian Cinema is importing Bollywood villains for the first time the only difference is that for the first time South Indian cinema has dared to sign top Bollywood stars and vouched out whopping amount.

If insiders are to be believed filmmaker Shanker has signed Akshay Kumar for an enormous amount of Rs 25 crore!!! Likewise Vivek Oberoi, who played the menacing villain in Hrithik Roshan’s hit film KRRISH 3 is likely to demand a massive amount. 

A look down history reveals that it was South Indian movie maverick Mani Ratnam, who started the trend of importing Bollywood villains in South cinema. He firmly believed that the film’s anatomist must have multiple dimensions hence for the first time he hired Bollywood’s top notch villain Amrish Puri for his post-modern Mahabharata, DALAPATHY (1991)and later signed Pankaj Kapur for ROJA (1993).

What followed next was a crop of Bollywood villains invading South cinema like Mukesh Rishi, Pradeep Rawat, Sonu Sood, Rahul Dev etc minting money.

Following is the list of Top 10 Bollwood actors as villains in South Indian Cinema

Manoj Bajpayee in Telugu film VEDAM.
Ashish Vidyarthi: POKIRI (Telugu)
Pradeep Rawat: GHAJINI (Tamil)
Mukesh Rishi: INDRA (Telugu)
Mukesh Tiwari: KANTHASWAMY (Tamil)
Sayaji Shinde: DHOOL (Tamil,Telugu,Kannada)
Atul Kulkarni: RUN (Tamil)
Sonu Sood: ATHADU (Telugu)
Murali Sharma: ATITHI (Telugu)
Salim Ghouse: THAZHVARAM (Malayalam)

Akshay Kumar made his debut in South Indian Cinema 20 years ago! ENDHIRAN 2 is NOT his first South Indian Film!!


Well it is definitely worth earth shattering because while most believe that filmmaker Shanker’s  ENDHIRAN 2 is Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s first South Indian film than let me make it clear that ENDHIRAN 2 is NOT the debut film of Akshay Kumar in South Indian cinema!

So you may wonder - Which is Akshay Kumar’s First South Indian film that he acted in? Any guesses??

Well it was two decades back when Akshay Kumar made his debut in South Indian cinema opposite South Indian Super Star Dr. Vishnuvardhan in the Kannada film titled VISHNU VIJAYA (1993) that was a big blockbuster at the box-office. 

In fact the film was made simultaneously in Hindi too as ASHAANT (1993). It was directed by Keshu Ramsay. However the Hindi version was a major debacle. Nevertheless Akshay Kumar had a great time working opposite Dr. Vishnuvardhan and learned a lot in his company.

When the legendary actor Dr. Vishnuvardhan expired in 2009 at the age 59, Akshay Kumar was deeply sad.

Paying tribute to the great star, whom his fans fondly called "Sahasa Simha" (a valour lion), Akshay Kumar candidly confessed, “I remember working opposite South Super Star Dr.Vishnuvardhan. We did a Hindi and a Kannada version of Ashaant. The Kannada version was a super hit. The Hindi version was a flop. During the making of the movie I realised Vishnuji’s potential as an actor. He was a much bigger star than I could ever be."