Tamil cinema moves up the quality chart and moves away from Bollywood crossovers


By Arun Lakshman

Chennai, May 1 (IANS): The Tamil film industry is the epitome of entertainment and the politics of Tamil Nadu have always been synonymous with the film industry.

The industry gave prominent politicians who became chief ministers in the late AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran, J. Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi, whose storylines have always been directly connected to the masses.

Even the first Dravidian Party Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, CN Annadurai has been involved in the world of cinema with his writings and words.

Thus, the Tamil film industry has always been directly linked to politics and therefore to the fate of the state.

The former Madras, now Chennai, has been the capital of the South Indian film world with almost every film from the south having a Madras imprint.

There were excellent studios at AVM, Bharani and other major studios that had all the facilities needed to make the movies as well as recording and dubbing.

The Tamil film industry was also synonymous with crossing into other territories, especially Bollywood and films like ‘Haathi Mera Sathi’, ‘Bombay’, ‘Roja’ and ‘Yuva’ were made simultaneously in Tamil and Hindi.

Female superstars like Vaijayantimala Bali, Rekha, Hema Malini and the late Sreedevi were of Tamil descent and became their own stars in Bollywood.

“Jai Bhim” depicted the actual incident of a Scheduled Tribe, which became a major hit. The film, produced by actor Suriya who played the lead role of lawyer Chandru, was India’s official Oscar entry.

Oscars host Jacqueline Coley responded to a tweet about which movie would get the biggest reaction, replying “Jai Bhim” for Best Picture.

Another recent Tamil film that did well outside Tamil Nadu was Vijay’s starring ‘Beast’.

Tamil film writer and columnist R. Pushpakumar told IANS, “The fact is, Tamil films are doing well on their own. even the music and hence there is no need to have a discussion about the fact that the industry is not making inroads into Bollywood.The Tamil industry stands its ground and the huge Tamil Diaspora happily consumes the films produced by the industry.


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