When someone thinks of a movie from India, the first thing that pops into the mind is a dance number. While that’s mostly unique to the Indian films, not many know that even many Hollywood movies used to feature songs until the early 20th Century, albeit in a different way. In fact, that is the time when Bollywood, the clichéd name that represents the entire Indian film industry, had its origins. To the unknown, the name Bollywood was inspired by Hollywood, with B representing the city of Bombay where its roots were formed. India has many different languages, Hindi being the most spoken one. As Bollywood primarily produces Hindi-based films, this very reason also laid the foundation for the inception of regional cinema in different languages. Among all, there are 4 film industries that gain the maximum traction other than Bollywood: Kollywood based on the Tamil Language, Tollywood based on the Telugu language, and Mollywood based on the Malayalam language, and Sandalwood based on the Kannada language. It’s interesting to note that all these 4 languages are primarily spoken in the southern parts of India, hence the term regional cinema. Many refer to the movies from any of these industries collectively as “south Indian movies”.
While it is still a fact that Bollywood is the biggest film industry in India, the content that the regional cinema has been producing for the past few years is on a different level altogether. Coming from Tollywood, the movies Bahubali part 1 and 2 have been trendsetters, as the franchise became the highest-grossing one among all the film industries in India. The franchise was dubbed and released in all 5 languages simultaneously and became the instant favorite for all. The success also paved the way for many pan-Indian films, completely erasing the language boundary. Blockbusters like KGF – 1, RRR, and KGF - 2 are the best examples. Meanwhile, Bollywood is not keeping up with the pace of the regional cinema, not just in terms of the quality of the movies but also the penetrability. The change is real and hence the future of the Indian cinema is not just for Bollywood but for all the Indian film industries combined.