Tamil Cinema – Badly Hit?

With the rise of Telugu cinema with magnum opus Baahubali, Pushpa and RRR, Kannada too proved its mettle with KGF Chapter 1 & Chapter 2. Particularly, Chapter 2’s Hindi figures are mind-blowing.

On the flip side, Tamil stars and their films are on a downward spiral. Vijay, Ajith’s recent films haven’t done well at the marquee. Their films have no business outside the Tamil market. Suriya used to have a good base in Telugu, but poor choices have affected his market in the Telugu states as well.

Dhanush is now taking baby steps to reach into the Telugu market. He has projects lined up with Venkt Atluri and Sekhar Kammula. Dhanush has also tried his hand in Hindi, but as a solo and independent hero, he too doesn’t have a good market in Hindi. Vijay Sethupathi is slowly making his mark in Telugu but still he doesn’t have much market in Hindi. He lost a big opportunity to do Aamir Khan’s ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ that was grabbed by Naga Chaitanya. On the other hand, there are Tamil films like Shriya’s Jai Bhim are exception that stood in Oscars race and won critical acclaim from all corners. But certainly in terms of revenues and BO numbers, Tamil cinema is lagging behind its peers.

Tamil Star directors like Shankar are now eyeing Tollywood stars like Ram Charan. Lingusamy is directing Ram for the bilingual and Naga Chaitanya teamed up with Tamil director Venkat Prabhu. No doubt, even Telugu stars don’t have a good market in Tamil. Atlee is directing Shah Rukh Khan and he is hoping to leave a mark in Hindi.

Meanwhile, Telugu stars have already made their mark in Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. They have smartly expanded their base outside their domain. Allu Arjun is undefeatable in Malayalam. He has a good base in Kannada and with Pushpa, he has emerged as a Pan India actor too. Prabhas has made unthinkable with Baahubali, Saaho. Although Radhe Shyam turned out to be a debacle, Prabhas has an impressive line up including Project K with Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Salaar with Prashanth Neel, Spirit with Sundeep Reddy, Om Raut’s Adipurush. Ram Charan and NTR turned heads in Bollywood with RRR and they’re gearing up for their next Pan India movies. Mahesh Babu and SS Rajamouli movie is also going to be a Pan India movie.

After Yash from Kannada, Malayalam actors are also planning to test their luck with Pan India movies. But even they are lagging behind. But compared to Malayalam, Tamil is a big film industry. Earlier, South cinema is used to be referred to and mistaken as Tamil cinema. But Tamil cinema is struggling to make a comeback. Robot 2 with Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar was a moderate success. Bharateeyudu 2 didn’t take off. Now, Tamil stars are stuck with their love for native language. It’s high time, Kollywood should introspect and make a stellar comeback.

No doubt, it is all Indian cinema. Still regional barriers do play a prominent role. It’s a healthy competition that Kollywood stars and filmmakers should catch up with the pace to give their best.