The changing face of Malayalam cinema?
Kannada-Tamil bilingual movies are definitely becoming the norm amongst top producers in Sandalwood. Take for example, Kontract featuring Arjun Sarja, JD Chakravarthy and Minissha Lamba; Chandra with Shriya Saran and Ganesh Venkatraman; Mynaa (Chetan, Nithya Menen, Sarathkumar and Suhasini Maniratnam); Priyamani’s Charulatha; Veerappan Attahasa (Arjun Sarja and Lakshmi Rai); Ashoka Vana (Kokila Mohan and Tejaswini Prakash) and another untitled project being produced by K Manju featuring M Sasikumar. All these films have commenced shooting and will be ready for release by year-end or next year. So, what exactly is the reason for producers preferring to produce bi-lingual projects rather than just Kannada films?
The producer fraternity is unanimous in its assessment of the current scenario. “Look at all the big-budget movies involving top actors. They failed to make money… For us producers, cinema is our bread-and-butter. We do not know any other business. If we have to survive in the film industry, it makes sense to recover investments. What’s a better way than producing bilinguals to safeguard investments?” observes Ha Cha Sathyanna, producer of several blockbusters. Now, filmmakers are casting faces known across the south to take advantage of their popularity.