Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lure of other Woods

Once upon a time in Kollywood, the girls were keen to expand their frontiers to Bollywood or Tollywood. They wanted to do either a Hindi movie for the pan Indian attention it gets or a Telugu film for the big bucks it gives. Now Kollywood and Tollywood are almost like one territory and Bollywood looking distant the craze seems to be for Mollywood and Sandalwood.

Even actresses who have a strong footing in either Kollywood or Tollywood or both are suddenly showing their interests for Mollywood and Sandalwood. These areas were once considered taboo for top actresses as they don’t fatten their purses and had limited market. These only lured the actresses who have had their full run in Kollywood or the ones who failed in Kollywood. The popularity waning actresses took the offers happily as it was something like working even after retirement.

But now the scenario is very different. Even reigning stars don’t mind doing films in Malayalam and Kannada. And they are making it big with the offers they get.

Last year Lakshmi Rai made the most out of Malayalam with films like ‘Harihar Nagar’ and ‘Chattambinaadu’. Padmapriya won the critics and the masses together in ‘Pazhassi Raja’. Nayantara and Bhavana, who moved to Kollywood from Mollywood are coming back to Malayalam even while reining in Kollywood. Nayantara’s ‘Bodyguard’ with Dileep and Bhavana’s ‘Happy Husbands’ are the first big hits of the New Year. Oomph girl Namitha surprised all when her first Malayalam film Black Stallion did great at the box office. Lakshmi Rai has again got a major film ‘Christian Brothers’ opposite Mohanlal.

This year will see many more entering Mollywood. Shriya works with Mammootty and Prithviraj for ‘Pokkiri Raja’ and she had said she is enjoying in Mollywood. Sneha has completed the film ‘Pramaani’ with Mammootty. Even hotties like Sameera Reddy are making hay in the Mallu sunshine. Sameera plays Mohanlal’s wife in ‘Oru Naal Varum’. Charmi whose ‘Aagathan’ with Dileep released this month. This sudden rush of beauties had severe effects on local girls like Kavya Madhavan and Navya Nair.

Even Kannada films are not left out by these young stars of today. This year new glamour girl Priyamani made a successful debut in Kannada with the Power star Puneet Rajkumar starrer movie ‘Ram’. Nayantara has signed her first Kannada film opposite Kannada super star Upendra. Another bewitching beauty Bhavana will debut in Kannada opposite Puneet Rajakumar in the film 'Jackie'. Namitha continues to do Kannada after she was introduced by V Ravichandran in ‘Neelakanta’. She had a recent release ‘Hoo’ in January.

So how much of this movements will affect Kollywood? Not even a minuscule we feel. In fact we feel the producers of these films have understood the Tamil market even though they don’t work here. The dubbed films market in Tamil Nadu is as big as direct films. So, most of the producers signing popular Kollywood stars actually increase the market value of their films. Even now you can see Telugu films starring actresses like Trisha, Nayantara and Shriya are regularly dubbed into Tamil. Even a Telugu film like ‘Drona’ was dubbed in Tamil solely depending on the bikini act of Priyamani for box office success.

So who’s complaining? Definitely, not the actors concerned.

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