Karan Johar weighs in on North-South debate amid Pushpa, RRR, KGF success

New Delhi: 

The post-pandemic era saw South-Indian films dominating the Indian box ofice like never before. What started with Allu Arjun starrer’s Pushpa: The Rise was later followed by RRR and KGF: Chapter 2. In fact, RRR and KGF 2 went on to gross over Rs 1000 crore at the box office, a feat that only Baahubali series and Dangal have managed to achieve. 

Karan Johar, who was one of the presenters of India’s first pan-India successes — Baahubali: The beginning and Baahulabi: The Conclusion — has recently shared his thoughts on the ongoing debate about the comparison between Bollywood and and the south Indian film industry. The filmmaker said that the recent success of South Indian biggies have “raised the bar for Indian films” and taught the industry to aim high. He added that the success of any film across India should be viewed as collective growth. 

He said, “We can say with a lot of pride that we are a part of Indian cinema. We are proud of RRR, KGF and Pushpa which did phenomenal business. These films have raised the bar of Indian films, told us that our standards can be so massive and we can reach so far ahead.”

“In Hindi cinema, Gangubai Kathiawadi did solid business, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 has opened fantastic. We hope that Jugjugg Jeeyo also becomes a part of that list,” he added.

“We want films of all languages to work… Panjabi films, Marathi films have also done well recently, so we don’t want any language (films) to be compared to each other. We are just proud of Indian cinema. We want our cinema keeps marching ahead and being on the entertainment global map,” he added.

When asked if he considers south Indian films are proving to be a competition to Hindi films, he said, “There is no competition. Many years ago, I had presented Baahubali. I had huge faith in the power of cinema. There’s no competition between the same industry, how can there be? We grow together. To compete would be completely not servicing the requirements of entertainment in the industry.”

Karan then shared how he thinks this is the time for all the film industries of the nation to unite. He said, “We have to be one collective unit. Rajamouli sir has said this many times that we should be one cinema. The best crossover has happened recently, when the South films have done such good business in the North. Going to any festival, wining an Oscar doesn’t matter to us. We want to grow as Indian cinema, that has been proven time and again.”


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