We here in Teluguland may troll or comment negatively about Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas films. But you know, 5 among his 7 films dubbed in Hindi became 100 million views hits? Highest for a Tollywood hero. He’s also the only South Indian star after Allu Arjun to score a 300 million views hit with Jaya Janaki Nayaka from a single channel. How has this become possible for a South Indian hero?
The change has happened over time. But it started with the new millennium. Bollywood had gone international from being Desi and the first and the biggest victims are mass audience. Especially in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh areas. This is where the so-called mass audience reside. Ever since multiplex culture started and single screens became function halls and real estate sites, mass films in Bollywood started to take a back seat.
What was once a main course of a meal for Bollywood has become an allergenic food. And the income from those areas are supplemented by the international venues. Especially with increase in popularity of Bolly movies in Europe, and North America where Punjabi expatriates settled, films catering to their sentiments started to take prominence. And the youth are obviously influenced by world cinema and genre based films have also become the norm. So, the mantra for success has become Multiplexes plus Overseas. Add to this the Gulf area.
This is where the South Indian masala films started to appeal to these mass audience who are grossly ignored by the mainstream Bollywood. While Tamil films are equally massy, the sophisticated and glossy coating of the Tollywood mass films have become the prime choice for these. The films which were flops when released in native Teluguland have become biggest blockbusters when dubbed in Hindi. SetMax and other local channels reaped gold with these films.
The availability of internet has become boon for the YouTube channels which started to upload the mass films with over the top stunts and larger than life heroes. The likes of Ram Pothineni have become overnight stars. He scored 4 back to back 100 million views hit films and now Bellamkonda Sreenivas (5 films with 100 million views) is the hot favourite among the audience with his consistently mass and action movies with ample dose of violence. Ah! How can we forget glamorous white-skinned heroines?
Allu Arjun’s blockbuster Sarrainodu was a big big hit and recently superstar Mahesh scored an unprecedented 500 million with Aagadu.