The unprecedented success of SS Rajamouli's epic action drama RRR in the global markets is something of a well-documented phenomenon. The Telugu film co-starring Ram Charan, Jr NTR and Alia Bhatt, which won an Oscar for its breakout hit song 'Naatu Naatu', became a tremendous crossover hit in countries like the US and Japan, swiftly joining the Pan-World hit league, just like the director's previous outing, the Baahubali franchise. In Film Companion's Telugu Cinema Adda 2023, producer Shobhu Yarlagadda tells Ram Venkat Srikar about how he looks at this phenomenon.
"The success of Baahubali gave KGF the confidence. Then, Pushpa worked, and then a few other films did. There have been a few films that backfired too, but there is now a scope for other films too to do the same. And today, people are used to seeing Telugu films thanks to the internet. So that’s about Pan-Indian films. The overseas market, however, is a different ball game," says Shobhu, who produced the Baahubali films. "I think RRR doing well (globally) has brought more exposure to Indian cinema, and people are keen to watch more Indian films. But even that is a small segment."
The producer adds that there is no way one can make a film for it to be a global hit. "But to be honest, I don’t think we can make films thinking they will do wonders somewhere. That is a false hope. Let’s take RRR for instance. Except for Japan, where it did about 15 million USD, on the heels of Baahubali 1 and 2, most of the people who enjoyed RRR in the US were the Indian diaspora. The money that came from the foreign audience is very less. But we can’t plan these things."
He adds that our next biggest chance of a global hit will again be in an SS Rajamouli film. "Maybe only the next Rajamouli film can make this happen again. He says whatever he wants through his films. Some films are universal and a few others achieve something else. Either way, this has got nothing to do with a film being good or bad."
Watch our Telugu Cinema Adda 2023 here: