With Karan Johar gearing up to present SS Rajamouli's 'Baahubali' in Hindi, we take a look at the South films that have received ample support from Bollywood's top guns in the past...
Opulence is the word for many big-budget South Indian films. The scale of their grandeur and the amount of money splurged to achieve the same is so obscene that Bollywood potboilers often pale in comparison. Yet when it comes to promoting these movies in the Hindi market, it is the B-Town celebs that South makers often reach out to in order to pull in big crowds into theatres. From attending trailer launches as chief guest to publicising the film on social media, Bollywood actors help in creating the perfect buzz for South Indian movies among their sizeable fan base.
Karan Johar with SS Rajamouli. Pic/PTI
Director SS Rajamouli has tied up with Karan Johar to present the Hindi theatrical version of his upcoming bilingual magnum opus, 'Baahubali'. Rajamouli feels a good film will not translate into money unless showcased well. "There are two important things that goes into making a film a blockbuster hit — getting audience to the theatre and getting them engaged inside the theatre. The latter is my job, while for the former we have Karan on board," says the director, who also claims to have not known much about KJo until actor Rana Dagubatti introduced them. "How Karan and his team will market the film for Hindi speaking audience is up to them," adds Rajamouli, placing implicit trust in KJo's marketing acumen.
hitlist points out instances when Bollywood stars extended support to movies of their Southern counterparts...
Shah Rukh Khan
Project: 'Kochadaiiyaan' (2014)
Lowdown: The King Khan flew down to Chennai to grace the audio launch of the film. SRK, who is quite close to Rajinikanth, spoke in glowing terms about the movie and the legendary Southern cinestar as well.
Shah Rukh Khan attended Kochadaiiyaan's audio launch in Chennai
"I come here as a fan, as a friend and seeker of knowledge because the films made here actually make our country the proudest," said SRK even as he broke into an impromptu song — 'All the Rajini fans, Don't Miss the chance... Kochadaiiyaan Kochadaiiyaan'. Needless to say, the crowd erupted in cheers.
The Bachchans did it too...
The Mumbai leg of 'Kochadaiiyaan' promotions had the feel of a mega awards ceremony as the who's who of Bollywood trooped in to support Rajinikath's debut anime venture.
Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan at the trailer launch of Kochadaiiyaan's Hindi version
From Subhash Ghai to Shekhar Kapur, bigwigs flocked to a suburban theatre for the trailer launch. But the biggest star attraction was reserved for the Bachchans, all of whom made it a point to attend the event. Amitabh Bachchan lavished praise Rajinikanth while talking about the superior special effects in the film. He also lauded the efforts of Rajinikanth's director daughter Soundarya for the project touted as the country's first film to be made using motion capture technology.
For: SS Rajamouli
Project: 'Makkhi' (2012)
Lowdown: It was Bol Bachchan's not-so-attractive collections in Andhra Pradesh due to the houseful shows of 'Eega' (Makkhi in Hindi) that made Devgn sit up and take notice of Rajamouli's commercial prowess in the South.
Ajay Devgn (left) with South actor Nani who starred in Telugu film, Eega. Its Hindi version was dubbed by the Bolly actor-producer
He finally ended up meeting Rajamouli and in the bargain forged a professional association with the director — he lent his voice to the dubbed Hindi version of 'Eega'. The actor-producer vigorously promoted 'Makkhi' in the Hindi market, the icing on the cake as described by the director was getting Kajol to dub for a few lines.
Project: 'Paradesi' (2013)
Lowdown: A self-confessed fan of the Tamilian filmmaker, Kashyap had dedicated his 'Gangs of Wasseypur' (2012) to him. He was so blown away by the period-drama 'Paradesi' that he and his production company Phantom Films decided to take on the responsibility of distribution.
Anurag Kashyap (right) distributed Bala's Tamil film Paradesi
The movie was released it in the North market with Hindi sub-titles. Anurag even held a screening of the film for his friends from the industry to help spread the word about it.
Holly's aye for 'I'
Hollywood's muscleman Arnold Schazwenegger landed in Chennai last year for the music launch of Shankar's 'I'.
From left: Rajinikanth, Shankar with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the audio launch of Tamil film I in Chennai last year
The deal was reportedly struck by Sony which was in charge of distributing the music of the film. In a video recorded message, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his arrival to India and praised Shankar for making a sophisticated VFX laced visual spectacle.