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Exclusive! Aparshakti Khurana: It's time to stop the South vs Bollywood debate and start celebrating inclusivity

The actor-singer opens up on why it's important to stop bashing Hindi films

Exclusive! Aparshakti Khurana: It's time to stop the South vs Bollywood debate and start celebrating inclusivity
Aparshakti Khurana
  • Arundhuti Banerjee

Last Updated: 01.35 PM, Nov 21, 2022

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The constant bashing of Bollywood films and comparing them to those from the South on social media by netizens, followed by some substandard films and poor box office collections has negatively impacted the Hindi film industry. So much so that some feel that some films have not been able to find enough space to celebrate their merits.

In a conversation with OTTplay, actor-singer Aparshakti Khurana, whose film Dhokha: Round D Corner released on Netflix recently after a theatrical release, expresses his opinion on the Bollywood vs South Indian films debate, and why one should stop bashing the Hindi film industry.

Aparshakti said, "I think that this is just a phase — of people constantly making the comparison between films from the South and Bollywood films. What has spurred this is the fact that the footfall in theatres has been less (for Bollywood films) than what it used to be before the pandemic. But it is surely not the time to pull one industry down and constantly criticise it. Since the pandemic, a lot of people have prioritised earning money and spending it on life's necessities. It is only natural that when you still have access to free entertainment in the comfort of your home, you will think twice before investing in a theatrical experience."

"Having said that, I think that people have gone to a stage where they find it rather cool to troll or say negative things, rather than appreciate people's effort. Trolling is not cool," Aparshakti added.

The actor also mentioned that while OTT platforms have given opportunities to new talent and created several jobs, an equal number of good and bad films are being made in all film industries.

This year, even though some big-budget Bollywood films tanked at the box office, there were many that managed to do well.

Be it Gangubai Kathiawadi, The Kashmir Files, Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva, Jugjugg Jeeyo, Vikram Vedha or Uunchai — so far, the Hindi film industry has managed to earn a great deal of money and praise from audiences. On the other hand, films that made in the South Indian languages that were released in Hindi also received a lot of love from audiences. These include Major (starring Adivi Sesh) and Rishab Shetty's Kantara.

There is no doubt that South films like Pushpa: The Rise that released in 2021, and RRR and KGF: Chapter 2 that released early this year, created history and set milestones for Indian cinema. At the same time, there have been big-budget films like Radhe Shyam, with Baahubali-fame superstar Prabhash, which failed to make a dent at the box office. 

Speaking about this, Aparshakti said, "Look, in every film industry, multiple films are made and not every film sets a milestone. But unless we stop belittling Bollywood films and comparing them with others, we will not be able to celebrate all the good things we have in Hindi cinema. It is high time we become more inclusive and celebrate all kinds of cinema without trolling a section of the industry."

Aparshakti has two projects in the pipeline — Stardust, a directorial venture of Vikramaditya Motwane, and Berline, a film by Atul Sabharbal. Dhokha: Round D Corner is streaming on Netflix. 

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