Telugu actor Adivi Sesh, who’s in the Capital to promote his movie, “Major”, said that Bollywood actors have to make an effort to connect with southern audiences to ensure their movies succeed like the recent pan-India blockbusters from the South.
“Most people here do not understand Telugu or Kannada, so I have come to Delhi today, and I have come before, and I showed the trailer before it was released, so this is the kind of respect we are giving to you. I am speaking to you in Hindi and trying to connect with the audience,” said the actor playing the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks braveheart, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan.
“Had I spoken in Telugu, no one would have understood,” Adivi Sesh continued. “But when the actors go from here, they don’t make an effort to speak in Telugu. So, if we ask why Bollywood movies are not doing well in the South, the question is, are the stars making an effort to promote their films in the South and connect with the audience?”
A bilingual film, “Major” has been shot in Hindi and Telugu. It will be released in Malayalam as well for the benefit of audiences in the late army officer’s home state, Kerala.
Talking about the creative cross-fertilisation between Bollywood and southern films, Adivi Sesh said: “I remember seeing the movie ‘Premalayam’, which was nothing but the Telugu version of ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’. Likewise, the Dilip Kumar classic, ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ was a remake of Chanakya’s 1964 Telugu film ‘Ramudu Bheemudu’.”
The actor concluded the discussion by making the point that: “Just like many South Indian movies have become so successful here, a number of Bollywood movies have done well in the South. For instance, I remember watching ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, one of my favourite movies, in a packed theatre in Hyderabad.”
Adivi Sesh also dwelt on how his team went about promoting the film by actually letting people view it on BookMyShow ten days before the film’s release. He said they took the decision after they realised that the two routes for a Hindi film promotion today — appearances on “The Kapil Sharma Show” and “Dance India Dance” — were not available to them because Sharma is shooting for a movie and the season of ‘Dance India Dance’ is over.
“We then started thinking how best to reach out to the general public,” the actor said. “We thought that instead of constantly talking about the movie, it may be better to show it to the people.”
So, Adivi Sesh added, “for the first time in Indian history, a big Indian film has taken the decision to release it online 10 days in advance in 10 different cities by teaming up with a portal, where audiences can book tickets and watch the movie.”
Produced by Sony Pictures International Productions in association with Tollywood star Mahesh Babu’s GMB Entertainment and A+S Movies, “Major” is directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka. It also has Revathi, Prakash Raj, Saiee Manjrekar, Anish Kuruvilla, and Murali Sharma playing the lead characters.
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