How South Indian movies have acquired a Pan-India reach

Of late, Tamil and Telugu movies and even Kannada movies are making a big impact in the national market. This article discusses some trends in this direction, with a focus on actors, directors and the music.


Contrary to public perception, several South Indian movies have made a huge impact at the national level for decades. Though Hindi movies still dominate the country in terms of reach, and Hindi is easily the most spoken Indian language, South Indian language movies have had their own class and have made some good impact on moviegoers for decades. For example, some good movies that had Sivaji Ganesan in the lead, like Deiva Magan, Baabu, and Thanga Pathakkam were talked about all over India. Malayalam movies have also made a big impact, as they have had very good story lines and the acting by leading actors like Mammootty, and Mohanlal made a whale of a difference.

Let us discuss the trends of South Indian films, namely- a) The acceptance of South Indian actors in Hindi movies b) The emergence of classic directors from South India c) Music that transcends language barriers and d) The emergence of international markets for South Indian movies.

Acceptance of South Indian actors in Hindi movies

Tamil and Malayalam movies, in which Rajikant or Kamal Hassan were heroes, have been remade in Hindi. The former is a superstar of Tamil Nadu, but his movies, even in Tamil, have an all-India impact. The simultaneous dubbing of the entire movie in Hindi is so common. Enthiran, a science fiction movie in Tamil, was dubbed into Hindi.

There is a big acceptance of South Indian actors, both male and female, in Hindi movies like never before. Rashmika Mandanna of Kannada movies is the latest in this development. Ramcharan of Telugu movies is another such hero. The film RRR is an international phenomenon and it also has the famous Junior NTR, whose acting in the movie was a revelation. Bahubali-1 and 2 have been dubbed in Hindi. This healthy trend of South Indian actors making a big impact is a welcome development in Tamil cinema.

KGF-1 and KGF-2 talked about a hero taking on the might of the rich and powerful in the mines. The original Kannada movie was later dubbed into Hindi and many other languages. Kannada movies have also made a big impact in the recent times.

Emergence of classic directors from South India

The blockbuster called Nayagan, a film based on the real-life story of a gangster from Tamil Nadu who made it big in Mumbai, was directed by Maniratnam, the ace director. This movie was remade in Hindi, as Dayavan. Alongside the other big directors like Murugadoss, who is a master of masala movies done by Vijay, Maniratnam has an all-India market, and an international market as well. His direction of the historical movie, Ponniyin Selvan, was simultaneously released in many languages. Only part-1 has come out and this has become an international sensation. The part-2 promises to be even better.

There are promising directors from Telugu as well, like Chandramouli, and it is a matter of pride that his movies have become big hits. Telugu movies also have an international market and this is not lost on the distributors of Hindi movies, who have reportedly entered this business in the Hindi belt and in the West, particularly the UK and USA.

Music that transcends language barriers

The song from a Tamil movie done by Dhanush, a person who hardly resembles a hero, but one with a boy-next-door image, became an international sensation. This song was "enna kola veri di?" (why do you have this murderous rage?) The song reached all parts of India, and it was reportedly remade in so many Indian languages. This happened more than a decade ago. Today, Dhanush is quite famous for such songs, that transcend language barriers. His "rowdy baby", with Sai Pallavi, the big star of Telugu movies, was a hit, pan-India.

The interest in learning Tamil is now seen and this has become even more pronounced with a vast Hindi-speaking population migrating to Tamil Nadu to work in a variety of unskilled jobs. Similarly, there is a big understanding that the four different South Indian languages are different and that the cultures are also different. The different movies have showcased some salient points of such cultures and this has been instrumental in others understanding more about South India, in general.

The emergence of international markets for South Indian movies

Movies in which Vijay and Ajith are heroes are released all over the world. The first week collections, as per reliable sources, normally crosses at least 100 crores for most movies. Rajnikant was the superstar who set this trend. Now there are new heroes doing the same. The movie "Varisu" by Vijay reportedly crossed 100 crores in the first week, and this is a barometer of his success. The international appeal of Tamil movies is now a fact of life. Both Vijay and Ajith are in their forties and will act in romance movies for at least another six years.


There was a time when only Hindi movies dominated the national scene and sort of synonymous with big success. This trend has changed. South Indian movies are now beginning to make a big impact and the present trends are likely to continue. This is a welcome development and augurs well for national integration.


Author: Dr N V Srinivasa Rao15 Mar 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

There are no barriers to Language these days in movies. The movies are getting released all over the world on the same day due to the emergence of the internet and the development of Technology. These days satellites are used for screening movies and there is no necessity of sending film boxes like in earlier days.
There are capable people in the South Indian cine field also and they have international exposure. Directors like Rajmouli ( Not Chandramoul) who created history by winning an Oscar award for a song in his black buster movie RRR, are bringing fame and money to Telugu movies.
There are young heroes who are delivering goods and leaving their impression on the viewers. All these points are making it possible. These days many South Indian movies are well-received not only in North India but also in many other countries. There is talent in all areas of movie-making and that is making it possible. I think.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: