Releasing a film in multiple languages is the latest trend in Telugu cinema, with many filmmakers now releasing their films in Tamil, Hindi and other languages.
Take for instance, the recent film Ghazi, which also released in Hindi and Tamil. It not only met the expectations, but also recovered the budget. Baahubali was the trendsetter for Telugu films as it released in multiple languages and became hugely successful. One of the costliest films made in India, Baahubali, in fact, recovered its money because of its multi-language release.
“When I learnt about the script of Ghazi, I immediately told the makers that it won’t work out if it is made only in Telugu. It’s an India-Pakistan war subject with a national appeal, so we decided to make it in other languages too,” says Rana Daggubati, who acted in the movie.
So they roped in Hindi actors for the film and shot both versions separately. The film became a big success and was appreciated by audience throughout India. “If a movie is successful, then more filmmakers will come out with subjects that suit all languages. My next film also has a war backdrop and it’s a Telugu-Tamil bilingual,” adds Rana.
The yet untitled Mahesh Babu-Murugadoss film is also a bilingual, releasing in both Telugu and Tamil. “While making a multi-language film, you need a big star who is also known in other industries. You also need universal content where you can make the film with extraordinary visuals. The makers need to spend their money on the visuals and the richness of the film. Your film is going to be something new when compared to the local star films,” says producer Tagore Madhu.
He adds that if a producer is planning to make a high-budget film, he has to be prepared to release it in other languages too. “Otherwise the producer can’t recover the money he put on the film,” says Madhu, who is producing the high-budget action entertainer with Mahesh Babu.
Rajinikanth’s upcoming film 2.0 is releasing in multiple languages and Akshay Kumar has been roped in as the villain to attract Hindi audiences. The film’s satellite rights has been sold for nearly Rs 110 crore. Movies of tamil actors like Kamal Haasan, Suriya, Karthi and Vikram among others have also done good business in Telugu.
“Director Shankar started it all with his Gentleman. The film was a big hit in Telugu and from then onwards, all his films are being released in other languages. Interestingly, those films collected more revenues than the Telugu version,” says Madhu, adding that this multilingual filmmaking is going to be a big trend in the coming days.
The upcoming Prabhas film that is being directed by Sujeeth is also a high-budget film and the makers have roped in many Hindi actors for it. “They are spending nearly Rs 25 crore on the action episodes,” says a source.
Not only high budget films, but even small films like Sundeep Kishan’s untitled next, directed by Suseenthiran is being made in Telugu and Tamil. Manchu Vishnu’s Voter is also a bilingual, releasing in both the languages again.
“Whether to make it a multilingual or not depends on the subject. For example, Maanagaram (Nagaram in Telugu) is a Chennai-based story and so, can’t be made in Telugu. But my next with director Suseenthran is definitely a bilingual subject as it has a universal theme. We are shooting separately for the Telugu and Tamil versions. When you make a bilingual, the budget is also a bit high, but if you can present the film with creative visuals, then the producer can definitely recover his money,” says Sundeep Kishan.
He adds that director Suseenthiran has a good Tamil market and is known to the Telugu audiences too. The actor says that Baahubali was a big hit as it could be made in any language. “The subject is universal and the visuals are fantastic. It’s a good sign as it makes directors and writers think about new subjects that are suitable for other languages too,” says Sundeep.
With so many multilingual films, Tollywood is widening its market and reaching out to other parts of India. This will enable filmmakers to not only capture the business but will also help to concentrate on innovative subjects that are more interesting than local films....