Namma hero beats Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero

Deccan Chronicle.  | subhash k jha

Entertainment, Sandalwood

In a startling surprise, Kannada film KGF beats Zero at the box-office. Sandalwood star Yash responds to the success.

Yash in a scene from KGF

The dubbed Hindi version of the Kannada film KGF starring Yash and directed by Prashanth Neel, is doing better business than the new Shah Rukh Khan starrer Zero.

This should be a cause for concern for not just Shah Rukh but the other Bollywood superstars who have dominated the pan-India box office.

According to trade sources KGF is not only a certifiable  blockbuster in  its home state Karnataka where its collections are next only to Rajamouli’s Baahubali, it has also scored a  telling victory in the Hindi belt with its dubbed Hindi version.

The film’s leading man Yash who  is known as the ‘Rocking Star’ in Karnataka says he is most gratified  by the response. 

“I won’t say that  doing better than  a Shah Rukh Khan  film in Hindi speaking belts is something I  aspire to do. Ideally I  would want  both the films to do well. But yes, the  way North Indian audiences have responded  has  surprised  all of us in the  KGF team. In North India they  don’t know  who I am.Yet they are clapping and cheering at  my entry.”

Did Yash expect this  level of success for  KGF? “We knew we had made a film that would do us proud. We wanted to  take Kannada cinema  to another level. So far we  were seen as underdogs. We wanted that to end. And we’ve succeeded in  doing that.”

Yash says  the Hindi , Tamil and Telugu dubbed  versions  of   KGF were  not treated as  typical dubbed  products. “We worked really hard  on the dubbing to  ensure there were no overlaps  in the lip-sync. Also the cultural references  in  the dialogues had to be changed. Certain words and phrases in Kannada have an entirely different  connotation  in  Tamil or Hindi.”

Bollywood trade expert  Girish Johar feels the tag of regionalism must be completely removed  after Baahubali and  KGF. “With the advent of mpxs and  modernisation regional stories are being watched more by their respective native audiences. Their localisation and connect with their kind of stories is getting stronger and bigger. This is clearly evident from the recently released KGF which has worked superbly in its local belt and has surged strongly ahead of the Global star SRK’s Zero at many places dominated by the local audiences. This is gonna stay now. We have to make pan Indian audience stories and films to attract all audiences else local films will now be taking over more frequently.”

Adds trade analyst Amod Mehra, “After the success of Baahubali more and more South films are being dubbed in Hindi. The  success of KGF over Zero proves the point that if the content is good then even if the film is dubbed, it does not make a difference.”