Do it the way the South does: it works!

The Indian film industry, especially its stars, have this ridiculous attitude towards South Indian films and filmmakers. They hate South Indian films, especially hits and more than dubbed ones, and are a success with the Indian belt audience!

Recently, quite a few films dubbed in South India have been doing record business in the Indian belt and there are no exceptions. Earlier, Telugu films mainly worked when remade in Hindi, with a rare Tamil film doing so. Kannada and Malayalam remakes are rarely successful and producers have avoided remakes.

In fact, quite a few Indian stars have built or maintained their careers due to South Indian remakes or Hindi films made by South Indian filmmakers. The Kannada market was small and its reach limited. Tamil films were very traditional, drawn out. Malayalam films were very daring and unconventional, well ahead of their time to appeal to Indian audiences who feasted on what were called formula films.

Telugu films worked because they were close to Indian themes and easily accepted. This was one of the reasons why more Telugu filmmakers entered the Indian market than others.

In the recent past, when some South Indian films were doing big, some actors took to social media to air their grudges. Dubbing of South Indian films was a small by-product that did not bother Indian filmmakers; Instead, they acted as a gap filler for distributors and exhibitors during phases when it was not appropriate to launch a new Hindi film.

South Indian filmmakers have retained their core components of family relationships, mother-sister relationships, and traditional culture; In fact, they stuck to their roots, but their approach to filmmaking has changed. Provide greatness. And I started doing films like Baahubali, RRR, Kantara and the like. Indian filmmakers and stars should not be envious of such films. Not that they didn’t try to imitate the multi-star costumed drama, but it didn’t help.

In spite of everything, Indian stars have now decided to do their best to copy South Indian trends all the way (without bothering to stick to rooted content).

South Indian stars have a massive fan following that is loyal to their idols. They have fan clubs. Here, stars may have fans, but each fan may also have a crush on some other actor. There, fans do their best to congratulate the star’s new release, showering his bitches with milk and building temples in his honor. So why not pretend we have a fan base and fan clubs for our Indian superstars?

To this end, Indian stars now invite their “fans” to all events and premieres of their films, and help fill empty cinemas. It reminds me of political events and rallies where the politician’s followers/fans are a crowd on bikes. The next day, when the other politician is holding a rally, you wouldn’t be surprised to see the same faces.

Loyalty and dedication when hiring! This is good for social media handles. To go the whole hog, Indian filmmakers have started putting out huge cutouts for major movie stars in the South. This is the usual trend in South India. Huge cutouts are placed for the star, 40 to 60 feet high.

So, get ready to see Shah Rukh Khan’s huge cutouts displayed for ‘Pathaan’ or Ajay Devgn for his upcoming movie, ‘Bhola’. If you can’t beat them, join them!

Star secretaries for casting directors

There used to be this breed called star secretaries. Now, they have been replaced by casting agents or talent managers. You must have seen what the secretary’s job was; Just keep a star date diary and face the music producer when dates need to be canceled and when it comes to asking for payments!

Asrani plays the secretary who manages the affairs of the former, Amitabh Bachchan, and later Jaya Bhaduri, in Abhimaan (1973). But the star secretary as expected in Abhiman’s movie is straightforward, blunt and very practical, keeping busy with a fading singer husband and a rising singing star, balancing their rival egos.

This was not what the real-life secretaries of the stars were. They wouldn’t survive in action if they were like Asrani in the movie. The secretaries of the big stars were exclusive — they only attended one star. Then there were a few people who dealt with a bunch of stars, and their clients are mostly artists.

A star secretary was searched for as much, if not more, than the same star. He made meeting a star possible and set your movie dates into the star’s schedule. The star did three shifts a day and dates were distributed by the hour, so the stars sometimes ended up with four to five shifts at a time. No wonder producers often take two to three years to complete a movie.

But one thing was common. The ambition of all of these secretaries was to become film producers. Rajesh Khanna’s first secretary, Gurnam Singh Arora, produced Savera in 1972, and his second secretary, Yoosuf Hasan, produced Chakravyuha in 1978. Dharmendra’s secretary, Dinanath Shastri. He produced “Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke” (1969).

Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha shared a joint secretary, Pawan Kumar, who, along with Jaya Bhaduri’s Susheela Kamat, produced the film Abhimaan, although the film’s original producers were said to be Bachchan and Bhaduri. Rakesh Nath, who handled the works of Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor, produced Yarana (1995).

Akshay Kumar has involved his secretary in many of his productions. Ajay Devgn’s secretary, Kumar Mangat, has produced a number of films, the latest being “Drishyam2”.

Many of the men who came down to Bombay at that time, dreaming of becoming stars, directors or film producers, took up other jobs, such as becoming stars’ secretary, public relations agents or journalists after initial struggle. It used to be that a secretary would become an independent filmmaker, or that a star would make films under his own name.

The secretary is usually paid 20 percent of the star’s wages. But as soon as it succeeds, the secretary will be replaced by a family member. The stars found 20 percent of what they paid too much to part with once they succeeded.

Now, the landscape has changed. Star Secretaries Abroad. Instead, casting agencies took their place. However, the backstories are the same. For example, the best casting agent, Mukeh Chhabra, aspired to be an actor and played a small role in ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’. Kunal Shah worked for trade magazines and eventually found his calling as a casting agent. Other known clients are Abhishek Banerjee, Awni Trehan, Vicky Siddhana and Joji Malang.

Things are easier for these casting agencies. The range has grown diversified as they do not have to rely solely on film casting. Now, there are OTT TV Series, Platforms and Movies.

Earlier, the aspirant was accepted by the secretary only after he had signed a film; No secretary wished to struggle on behalf of an aspirant. Today, because so many manufacturers rely on these selection agencies, it’s easy to push a newcomer. But now it appears that the casting agents are going all out on social media following the hopefuls. If you don’t have a lot of followers, you are disqualified!

How can one expect the average internet user to have so many followers? This can only happen if one attains the status of, say, a movie or television star, social media influencer, or any other type of celebrity.


This week’s column would be incomplete without mentioning Pathan. There are a lot of outlandish remarks and claims floating around. One might do it better justice with an article about it in due course.

#South #works

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