Rohit Shetty’s message to #BoycottBollywood lot

The ace director feels that rising popularity of South Indian films, stars is nothing new, but scoffs at those who say that Bollywood is over.

Rohit Shetty at the launch of an ad film in Mumbai.

By Mayur Lookhar

Another day, and another word on the ongoing South vs Bollywood debate. Barely few hours after Kamal Haasan was applauded for his ‘Cinema has no language’ comment at the presser of Vikram: Hitlist [2022] in Mumbai on 28 May, Bollywood’s ace director Rohit Shetty echoed the same sentiment. The Cirkus [2022] director felt that nothing has changed but it’s only the new generation who perhaps isn’t well versed with history.

“When generations change, so does media. If you check the history, it is not as if South [cinema] has emerged from nowhere. It’s been there since the 50s,” said Shetty.

The Golmaal franchise creator cited many examples to remind people about the influence of South Indian cinema and their stars on Hindi film industry.

“Pyar Kiye Jaa [1966] was a remake. L.V. Prasad was a big director He made 19 blockbusters,” Shetty says, “In the 80s, when Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna were at their peak, then a new boy came into the scene. He was Kamal Haasan [with] Ek Duuje Ke Liye [1981]. That became a super hit.”

“Super stars Jaya Prada, Sridevi were from South. Jeetendra’ era was full of South remakes. Biggest music director A.R. Rahman is from South. Mani Ratnam’s Roja [991] was a trendsetter. Ram Gopal Varma made an action film – Siva [1989] (remade into Hindi as Shiva),” added Shetty.

The filmmaker reiterated that it is only the new generation that feels that rise of South Indian films and its stars is a new trend. It was here that Shetty took the opportunity to mock at trolls who regularly keep beating the #BollywoodOver #Bollywoodisfinished #BoycottBollywood trends.

“As for this trend #Bollywoodisover, it gives us a high. In the 80s, it was said that cinema is finished when VCRs came in. If you go to your own portal six months, ago, probably we will find stories of Bollywood over after OTT boom. This Bollywood is over [trolling] gives one that momentary high, but Bollywood will never end,” said the Cirkus director.

Shetty and Ranveer Singh had launched a new ad film of a popular FMCG brand that the latter endorses. Shetty has directed both the ad films. The duo are currently working on their third Hindi feature with Circkus [2022] set to be released during Christmas this year.

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