Actor R Madhavan says it is futile to get into north-south cinema debate as things are constantly changing in the film industry and no one can predict how a film will be received by the people. In 2022, only three Hindi films — Gangubai Kathiawadi, The Kashmir Files and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 — have emerged as commercial hits, while SS Rajamouli’s Telugu epic RRR, Kannada actioner KGF Chapter 2 and Allu Arjun’s Telugu movie Pushpa have created new box office records in north India.
At a press conference to promote his maiden directorial venture Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, Madhavan said it is “useless to analyse” why south films are doing good business in the Hindi-speaking market.
“To analyse (these things) is useless because if you think there is a rule (to succeed), then you can also lose everything as every day is a changing scenario. I hope in the years and days to come other films will do well and another pattern will set in. I don’t think we can predict how the audience will react,” the 52-year-old actor said.
Madhavan believes the popularity of south films does not mean that Hindi are not doing well at the box office. “Baahubali one and two, RRR, KGF one and two and Pushpa are the ones that have earned more than Hindi films because there has been a fan following of them all over India and that they are made on a big scale. However, it doesn’t mean that Hindi films haven’t worked. Gangubai Kathiawadi to Kashmir Files to Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 have been big hits as well,” he said.
The actor believes the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way audiences consume cinema.
“I believe that in this COVID era, there is a change in the mindset of the audience. After COVID, people’s patience and tolerance has become less. Like in the screenplay, the pacing is not there and that is why it is not working,” Madhavan added.
The success of south films can also be attributed to the commitment and hard work of actors like NTR Jr, Ram Charan, Allu Arjun in RRR and Pushpa, respectively, he said.
“The actors have done immense hard work. Like in RRR, they all worked hard or in Pushpa where Allu Arjun, who is a great actor, maintained that (look) and acted and danced like his character. The commitment where an actor works on a film not just for three months or so but for years, is something that people like to watch.” Madhavan, best known for films such as Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein, 3 Idiots, Tanu Weds Manu and Vikram Vedha, said he is proud and satisfied of his first film Rocketry: The Nambi Effect as a director.
He has written, produced and acted in Rocketry, a biopic on Nambi Narayanan, a former scientist and aerospace engineer of the Indian Space Research Organisation, who was falsely accused of espionage.
“I started the film at the end of 2016 and it will be released in 2022. It has taken six years. Not just my role but I am satisfied with the way the film has turned out compared to the script we had written. So, it is as close to the script as possible. That is our victory.
“I am proud that I have made a film that I wanted to make even though it may have taken six years to make it. I take great pride in presenting the story of Nambi Narayanan,” he added.
Releasing on July 1 in theatres worldwide, Madhavan said the film will have a substantial release in terms of screen count.
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect was shot simultaneously in Hindi, Tamil, and English and will be dubbed in Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada languages.