Wednesday, January 27, 2016

“South Indian Cinema and Bollywood should join hands” : Ramesh Sippy

Marveling at the mega success of S.S. Rajamouli’s BAAHUBALI, brilliant filmmaker Ramesh Sippy at the recent IIFA-FICCI Media and Entertainment Business Conclave said that if South Indian cinema and Bollywood come together the two can bring a great revolution in filmmaking. 

Citing example of BAAHUBAL’s success he said, “It’s heartening to see a South Indian film BAAHUBALI joining the highest ranks. It’s a pat on the southern cinema.”

Incidentally sharing a similar view with Ramesh Sippy, Oscar award winning sound designer Resul Pookutty at the first edition of IIFA Utsavam too confided that South Indian cinema is doing a great work and 45 percent of the total revenue of Indian cinema is generated from the southern filmdom.

In fact if we look back during the 50’s and the 60’s it was the South Indian Cinema that ruled the roost. Film production houses like AVM, Prasad Production, Gemini studio, B. Nagi Reddy etc hired Bollywood top stars and remade their hit south films in Bollywood and minted money. 

What’s more the South film production companies maintained a kind of discipline that was not visible in Bollywood as a result many Bollywood movies would fail at box office but movies produced by South film companies were generally hit. 

Top stars like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Jetendra, Sunil Dutt etc considered it a privilege to work in South Banners. The popularity of South Banner could be gauged from the fact that cine buffs thronged cinema halls not by the allure of top stars but the stamp of South Banners was enough to pull in audience. 

People had a trust in ‘Madras’ Movies. Movies like BHABHI, KHANDAAN, RAM AUR SHYAM, CHORI CHORI, PREM NAGAR, DIL EK MANDIR, HATHI MERE SATHI etc. are example of top South Banners ruling Bollywod

Hence it would be great if South Indian Cinema and Bollywood once again come together and reap rich dividends! 

A trend of this has been initiated by South filmmaker Shanker by casting Rajinikanth (South superstar) and Akshay Kumar (Bollywood superstar) in the upcoming film ENTHIRAN 2.

Rajinikanth is above Padma Vibhushan, he deserves Bharat Ratna!

What Lata Mangeshkar is to music and Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket, likewise Rajinikanth is to Indian Cinema, particularly South Indian Cinema. Rajinikath’s mass popularity is such maniac that he is literally worshipped as a Demi God down South. 

Yet it is tragic while Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar have been bestowed by Bharat Ratna Award, Rajinikanth has been awarded Padma Vibhushan, when the truth is he should be decorated with Bharat Ratna! 

Nevertheless down to earth, humble and simple Rajinikanth has no complaints. When the government officials called Rajinikanth’s residence at Poes Garden, Chennai, to convey about the Padma Vibhushan award, the ‘Thalaivar’ was not at home. He was busy shooting for his upcoming film KABALI and the call was received by his daughter Aishwarya Dhanush.

Briefing media about the honor, Aishwarya Dhanush, said, “We are all elated and really thankful for this honour. We got a call this morning and interestingly, all of us, including my sister Soundarya, were at Appa's residence.”

“Ever since the news came out, we have been getting so many calls... He is not at home right now and is busy shooting in the city. So, we are all busy attending all the calls on his behalf," she laughed.

His younger daughter, Soundarya also tweeted, "Proud daughter!!!!! Appa is now Padma Vibhushan shri Rajinikanth." 

Though Rajinikath and his family has expressed delight and made no resentment but Rajinikanth fans feel the pinch. 

Looking at the enormous contribution of Rajinikanth to South Indian Cinema, bringing it out from the shamble of regional cinema and taking it to international heights, both in terms of quality and commercial success, the Padma Vibhushan award looks pigmy and the only award that does justify to ‘Thalaivar’s gigantic contribution is none but India’s ultimate award –The Bharat Ratna!