The Golden Opportunity-Regional Cinema

Remember Tanuja mouthing “Champa chameli golaperi baghe” from the 1967 super hit bangla film “Antony Firingee”. Now one wonders what does a marathi actress with a lineage like Shobna Samarth and Nutan doing in a bangla film and that too in early 60s when the silk saree clad, bouffant haired heroines were ruling the roost in bollywood.

The answer is simple…perhaps regional cinema has given the much necessary importance, popularity, a huge fan following and yes the much needed dough to these actors. Another name pops in my mind, anyone remember baby Khushboo from a film called Dard Ka Rishta, she delivered a poignant role as Sunil Dutt’s daughter and reappeared again in the 80’s hit Meri Jung as Anil Kapoor’s sister after that there were a few failed attempts till she headed south [literally] and ended up getting a couple of temples built in her name as a gift from her ardent fans.

Hope you get the drift now…because I completely disagree with the viewpoint of bollywood overshadowing regional cinema, for me regional cinema is the welcome respite for the bollywood actors, actually all of them for I believe that they probably carry this in the back of their mind… if not here then south will definitely usurp us.

More than overshadowing, it’s a win-win situation for both, one actor moves to south, delivers quite a few hits, chooses the “hittest” of all, gets a telegu/tamil producer, comes to bollywood and remakes the film in hindi for a bigger audience hoping it will click and will atleast book 50% revenues that what it did for south.

Bollywood has paved the way for regional cinema, to experiment, to hone skills, to display creativity, giving politics a different new meaning altogether and yes showcasing talent. One follows another, let’s see it this way… they overshadow eachother…sometimes it’s a gloomy day in bollywood and sometimes its sunshine for regional cinema. All in all, both are tummy full of wholesome entertainment and we can’t live without it.