And the award for the best original song goes tothe announcement on the mic at the 80th golden globe awards stated, and the room became pin-drop silent. To the award nominees, it was a defining moment, and for Indian cinema, it was of even greater importance. Finally, after two decades, any Indian song or movie made it to the nominations. It was also the moment that could go down in history as the day India won its first golden globe award.  

And the award for the best original song goes to…. “Naatu Naatu”, the announcement roared in the room The entire team of RRR, the film that featured the song, leapt up in joy. The proud smiles on their faces depicted the marvellous victory for Indian Cinema. After all, India won the golden globe award for the first time in history. This case study will look at “how South India is the trendsetter for India.”

Leading from the latest example: RRR:

S.S. Rajamouli’s film “RRR” should stand for “Raw, Rich and Remarkable”- because those are the words that clearly define the masterpiece, which has not only become one of the highest-grossing films in India but has bagged compliments from international critics.

The movie became the highest-grossing Indian film in Japan and broke the 2-decade-long record of Rajinikanth's film Muthu (1995). In addition, the film collected over 14 million US dollars in the US, the highest ever for Rajamouli in the states.

English filmmaker Edgar Wright was elated to see the audience's response to the film. For him, it was the first time he had witnessed an audience applauding to even an intermission card.

Oscar winner Jessica Chastain and iconic singer Rhianna are some of the few Hollywood A-listers that came lauding this historic film.

And when we say historical, we mean it in the literal sense. Starring Ram Charan and Jr. NTR as the lead, the film is based in pre-independent India in the 1920s. It revolves around a fictional story of unapologetic friendship between two revolutionaries rebelling against British rule in their intertwined ways. The film, along with Ram Charan and Jr. NTR, features young Indian actress Alia Bhatt and actor Ajay Devgan.

The film is directed by S.S. Rajamouli, who has already given some of the most renowned films, such as Baahubali: the beginning and Baahubali: the conclusion, to the world. However, these three films are a few of the highest-grossing films ever in Indian Cinema. RRR alone has gathered net earnings of more than 1000 Cr.

An amalgam of intellect and wit:

When we talk about RRR, other than being the amalgam of intellect and wit, the film is a massive hit due to its brilliant storyline, beautiful portrayal of raw emotions, action and drama-packed theatricals, and, not to forget, perfectly synchronized dance performances in its songs.

Do you know that for the award-winning song “Naatu-Naatu”, lead stars Ram and NTR were grilled for 65 days to match their dance steps to perfection? In an interview with BBC, Choreographer Prem Rakshit revealed that he created 95 steps for the songs and over 30 different signature steps for this song alone. And due to their drudgery, the song is so contemporary that even if you pause it at any moment, their steps will align near perfectly. For us, this is the kind of work that stands out.

And as Sydney Sweeney once said, “Hard work pays off. The harder you work, the more people will notice.” That is something that has proven fruitful for the industry.

Raw locations, simple attires, on-point stories, and the creative direction of amazing directors have added to the success of this industry.

Leading the way in Indian Cinema:

While the world applauds the Indian film industry for presenting such a remarkable film, only a few know that India has a diversified film industry, meaning different states produce different kinds of films, preferably in the local language.

While Hollywood produces films in Hindi for mass media, it is the south Indian cinema that has bagged international glory for India repeatedly. If you look at the list of highest-grossing films in Indian History, from Baahubali to RRR, South Indian films top the list, breaking the stereotypes.

Although Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone are renowned globally, their films are seldom as exhilarating as movies of lesser-known stars. Tollywood is a vibrant and ever-evolving industry, constantly pushing the boundaries and capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide with its unique blend of emotion, drama, and creative storyline.

Originality stands out:

Unlike most Bollywood films these days, which are mostly either a sequel of the same film or a remake of an older film, Tollywood has originality. When it blends with the creative direction of some of the most amazing directors India has ever produced, spell-binding films like RRR are born.

And it is not just the case with RRR; other such films are Pushpa, KGF, and even Baahubali, which has been the highest-grossing film in Indian Industry. The film, even before its release, gathered momentum. We can clearly remember “why Katappa killed Baahubali” becoming a catchphrase for the youth on the internet. However, the film's glory was not limited to youth and was loved by young and old alike.

We are not saying that Bollywood has stopped producing original films. On the contrary, “Kashmir files” and “Gangubai Kathiawadi” are some of the most exceptional low-budget films performed wonderfully on the silver screen.

Creativity begins from the ground, not from the sky:

Just as the God of the south Indian film industry, Rajinikanth, says, creativity begins from the ground, not from the sky. The superstar has been featured in more than 150+ films, bagged many awards, and was named one of the most influential persons in south Asia by Asia week. Yet, despite all the fame, the star leads unpretentious life and is a source of inspiration for the rest of the world.  

Leading Literacy rates:

Not just him, in southern India, the prime focus is on building intellect rather than building a wardrobe. That is why people in south India possess the highest literacy rate in entire India. (Kerala: 94% literacy rate, highest in the country).

Click on the link below for the detailed list of state-wise literacy rates in India.

Home for scientists:

 Not just literacy rate, countless scientists and renowned personalities have hailed from southern states.

For starters, former president and paramount scientist, late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, eminent mathematician- Ramanujan and famous Indian physicist- C.V. Raman had roots in Tamil Nadu. Likewise, the Birdman of India- Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, and father of the Indian nuclear program- Homi Jehangir Bhabha, hail from Mumbai, and not just them, the epitome of south Indian cinema, Rajinikanth along with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan winner, Kamal Hassan also have roots in peninsular India.

Leading economies:

Not just that, as per the calculation of GSDP for 2021-2022, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Gujrat are the richest states in India.

Besides this, the educational infrastructure stands out for south India. As a result, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have been the hub for global IT, pharma and manufacturing industries, and the glory of Bengaluru does not need any introduction. Referred to Silicon Valley of India, it is leading the nation with IT expertise and entrepreneurship.

Pondering thoughts:

Stating all the facts and figure straight, South India is the trendsetter for India. From fashion hub Mumbai to entrepreneur hub Bengaluru, south India is a vital component of India. With contributing more than 20% of the total GDP of the nation, it has a vital role to play. From rich education to cultural diversity, from new thought-provoking cinema to jolly humans, the southern peninsula leads the way!

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