South-West winds of change

Stating that he enjoys Tamil and Malayalam films, KJo hopes Hindi films find favour with south audience as he backs Vijay’s Liger

Vijay Deverakonda makes his Bollywood debut with Liger

Karan Johar was well-aware of the power of south cinema when he presented Baahubali 2 in 2017. Almost five years on, the south wave is dominating Indian cinema, with Pushpa: The Rise (2021), RRR and KGF: Chapter 2 having taken the box office by storm. The filmmaker says that he, like the rest of the OTT audience, is deeply impressed by the content coming from Tamil and Malayalam film industries. 

Also Read: Arjun Bijlani, Shraddha Arya to star in Karan Johar’s upcoming film

“People’s viewing habits have changed, and we, as filmmakers, will have to take stock. I am watching a lot of content coming from the south. The storytelling in Tamil and Malayalam films is ahead of us by leaps and bounds. I have fallen more in love with Malayalam films, while the robustness of Telugu cinema is infectious. I realise now that the audience will be picky,” says Johar.

The filmmaker is ensuring that he gives the audience what they want. With his next production Liger, Johar is launching Telugu star Vijay Deverakonda of Arjun Reddy (2017) fame in Bollywood. The filmmaker believes that the actioner, helmed by Puri Jagannadh, is a crossover film in the truest sense. “When we talked about crossover earlier, we meant crossing over from Hindi cinema to the West. But the true crossover is happening now between the north and south [talent]. We are watching films made in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. I hope the [reverse] will also happen, wherein our films will be viewed by the [south] audiences,” he says, before quipping, “We have Tollywood, Kollywood and Bollywood. None of those woods should exist; we should be one strong forest of content.”

Also Read: Koffee With Karan 7: Ananya Panday connects Kartik Aaryan, Karan Johar over call

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