Obviously, this year has anyway been the most unusual one.But 2022’s uniqueness, besides having one OTT film release for every three in the theatres, also goes beyond the many box-office surprises and shocks. For the year was, primarily, about the sudden, Southern impact! And with that we do not just mean KGF2, the highest grosser of the year (in its Hindi version alone), or RRR, Kantara and Kartikeya 2. For that matter, films like Rocketry: The Nambi Effect and Major were filmed simultaneously in Hindi.
From Brahmastra to Laal Singh Chaddha: Here’s why we can’t overlook south’s impact on Bollywood films in 2022
But what was significant was the undisputed fact that even in Mumbai-made Hindi cinema, the South remained quite ubiquitous.
Brahmastra: The hit genre-defining film featured Nagarjuna Akkineni in a key role.
Cirkus: The year ends (so far as major releases are concerned) with Cirkus. Let us leave aside the fact that the film is directed by the Mumbai-based Rohit Shetty and stars Pooja Hegde, born in Maharashtra but originating from Karnataka. But for the first time in a Rohit Shetty film, a South Indian composer, Devi Sri Prasad a.k.a. DSP Rockstar, has composed a song, ‘Sun Zara’.
Cuttputlli: This OTT release was a rehash of the 2018 Tamil film Ratsasan,
Drishyam 2: The latest bumper hit, Drishyam 2, now heading towards joining the elite Rs. 250-crore club, also has a South Indian origin. The Hindi remake of a story and franchise by Malayalam filmmaker Jeethu Joseph, who had also directed the original, the film also had music by DSP Rockstar! What’s more, the film featured Hardwar-born UP-ite Shriya Saran, who has made a name for herself in multiple South language films—over 75 percent of her films have been produced there!
Good Luck Jerry: Based on the 2018 Tamil film, Kolamovu Kokila, the film was co-produced by Subaskaran Allirajah of Lyca Productions (best associated with Rajinikanth movies).
Heropanti 2: A.R. Rahman scored the music for this film.
HIT: The First Case: This was the fourth film this year was written and directed by the director of the original—Sailesh Kolanu. The original was a 2020 Telugu film of the same name (as with Vikram Vedha and Jersey). The Rajkummar Rao film was also co-produced by Dil Raju.
Jersey: This was yet another remake, of a 2019 Telugu film of the same name. It was written and directed by Gowtam Tinnaruri, just like the original, and co-produced by Dil Raju and Suryadevara Naga Vamsi. Again, an evocative background score was done by Anirudh Ravichander.
Laal Singh Chaddha: This Aamir Khan film also featured Naga Chaitanya as a significant character in the story.
Mili: A.R. Rahman again was the composer of this remake of the 2019 Malayalam film, Helen. Yet again, the film was helmed by the original film’s director, Mathukutty Xavier, while the creative director was Noble Babu Thomas, producer, co-writer and leading man of Helen. Malayalam National award-winning Make-Up artiste (for Helen) Ranjith Ambady was obviously also repeated in the Hindi version.
Nikamma: Another Mumbai-based South Indian actress, Shilpa Shetty’s touted comeback was a Hindi version of the 2017 Telugu film, Middle-Class Abbayi.
Operation Romeo: Operation Romeo also was an official remake of the 2019 Malayalam film, Ishq. The film had music by M.M. Kreem.
Tadka: Tadka was directed and co-produced by South Indian acting stalwart Prakash Raj, though this OTT release featured Maharashtrian characters and was based in Goa! One of the writers was also from the South, as was music composer Anup Reubens.
Vikram Vedha: Easily among the most riveting films of the year, the film was a remake of the 2017 Tamil film of the same name. Co-produced by YNot Productions, Chennai (S. Sasikanth and Chakravarthy Ramachandra), the film was written and directed by Pushkar-Gayathri and two songs, ‘Bande’ and ‘Yaara’, were composed by South composer C.S. Sam, who also composed one of the finest background music soundtracks of the year!
Yes, the South has always been in the forefront in Hindi films, right from the 1948 blockbuster, Chandralekha. But this year was known also for major calamities at the box-office, vis-à-vis some unprecedented hype for some ‘pan-Indian’ South-made films. And it is in this context that the inroads into Hindi films merit greater attention.
And although the only South remake that has done spectacular business has been directed by a Mumbai-based filmmaker—Drishyam 2, one cannot deny the cinematic calibre of the Hindi Vikram Vedha or of Mili.
Also Read: Ram Charan reacts to Salman Khan’s comment on Hindi films not working in the South- “It is the writing”
More Pages: Mili Box Office Collection , Mili Movie Review
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