Tollywood V/S Bollywood

Does South Indian Cinema Have More To Offer Than Bollywood?

Bollywood, the Hindi movie industry of India if often cast as the arch nemesis of the South Indian cinema, Tollywood.

The immense swag of “Yanna Rascala, Mind it” pit against the eternal charisma of “Mere Paas Maa Hai,” (I have a mother) the “battle” for superiority continues to unfold. “Bollywood is better. It exudes class,” the Bollywood enthusiasts holler. “Tollywood has a style which Bollywood cannot match,” Tollyians defend their honour.

Due to the large number of movies produced and the extensive budget involved, Bollywood is often considered the better of the two industries. Size zero figures and six pack abs of the stars further jazz up the glamour factor. As a result, Bollywood often moves around with a chip on their shoulder. However, it would be unjust to put Tollywood down.

While Bollywood captures the metropolitan theme with finesse, the aura of fun that surrounds Tollywood movies is unattainable to an outsider. IBN Live‘s Prajakta Hebbar clearly says, “If you are a fan of south Indian films, you will understand when I argue that while Hindi films adapt the script, locations and situations from the original movies well, they are unable to do so when it comes to the personal ‘draw’ of the actors.” The entertainment masala (spice) culture of Tollywood movies is impossible to compete with. Striving successfully since decades, Tollywood has not only given the society a plethora of royal classics, but has also inspired several Bollywood blockbusters.

Wanted, Singham, Tere Naam, Mr and Mrs Khiladi, Ghajini, Holiday – the list is endless; all being adapted from South Indian films.

It isn’t uncommon to see teenagers shake their booty to scintillating Tamil songs like “Apdi Pode”. Truly, their energy is infectious. One simply can’t stop their feet from tapping to the beat when Tollywood songs are played in the house.

Tollywood of south India is more than just an industry, it is a religion. With followers of Rajnikant worshipping him with undeterred veneration, there is more to the south Indian film industry than sassy dance numbers.

However, Bollywood too has its own special place. With global recognition and appreciation knocking on its door, it is indeed India’s pride and joy. Especially movies like Barfi, Dhobi Ghat, Peepli Live, Shaitan, and so many more offering more than just mash up song hits; they have powerful story line that have been able to reach to audience even outside of India.

From Pokkiri to Wanted, we’ve been swept away by the magic of both Tollywood and Bollywood.

Arushi Walecha

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