Vishal Krishna: Where are the writers in Bollywood?
Actor Vishal Krishna, popular his roles in Tamil-language films such as Pandiya Naadu (2013), Naan Sigappu Manithan (2014) and Poojai (2014), feels that lack of writers and not the popularity of films produced down South, is the reason behind Bollywood’s recent slump at the box office
There has been plenty of discussion about whether regional films down South are getting more popular than the films made in Bollywood, but ask popular actor Vishal Krishna, who is known for his films such as Pandiya Naadu (2013), Naan Sigappu Manithan (2014) and Poojai (2014), about the same and he insists that regardless of Bollywood’s current form, films from down South have always been popular with the Indian masses.
“People in North India don’t know the numbers for the films down south. It’s the same as Bollywood, if not more. These films have done well and it’s not just now. You look at a film like Wanted. It did so well!” says Vishal ,. who is currently shooting for his upcoming film titled, Mark Antony.
“10 years back I could go up North, to the Himalayas, easily, because no one would recognise me. But now, I cannot do that because people have seen my films which have been dubbed in Hindi. Now I get recognised easily. Today, I am as famous in Bombay as I am in Hyderabad or Cochin,” adds Vishal who outrightly dismisses the argument that “South films are over taking Bollywood”, because he feels that’s “making it sound like India V Pakistan.”
However, the 44-year-old actor who turned to a producer because he wasn’t getting many chances in the industry laughs at the term “ Pan-India films”, and instead calls them “Paan India”.
“I am not a multilingual actor. I only act in one language, and when people see my movies up North, which are dubbed in Hindi, that one language is working for me, right?” he says.
“So, it (the term Pan India) is nothing, but a new trend where a few film producers are claiming they are making content for everyone and they are reaching out to everyone. But how do you reach out to people? Through content, right? KGF was a Kannada film which was lauded by everybody in the country, because of its content. If you give good content, people will watch it,” he adds.
And for making good content, Vishal feels writers are the proverbial heroes, who need to be celebrated, just like, as Vishal points out, they are in Malayalam-language films. “They make amazing films only because you see how they credit their writers. They have so many of them. Even the Tamil industry doesn’t have too many writers,” he says.
That, and not the popularity of films produced down South, according to him, is the first possible explanation behind Bollywood’s poor run at the box office.
“Where are the writers in Bollywood? Apart from a few directors like Sanjay Leela Bhansali or Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, there are no writers,” he says. The second reason why Vishal feels his peers in Bollywood is their non-seriousness when it comes to pre-production.
“You know, Gladiator was made in 72 days. I go into pre-production at least four months before the shoot has to start. That is because I sit with my writer and the director and ask them what they want to do. You need to prepare, as an actor/director camera person, and know, on the day of the shoot, what you are going to do. Focus on these two things is the only way a film producer can prolong their careers!” he signs off.
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