Drishyam actor Ishita Dutta on Hindi vs south films debate: In the end, it’s all entertainment
The actor, who will next be seen in Drishyam 2, feels pan-India content is the future of the entertainment industry, and that all industries will merge into one in the coming years.
The last few weeks have seen numerous debates and discussions on Hindi versus regional language films, with artistes from both sects putting forth their views. But, the success of films such as RRR and K.G.F: Chapter 2 seems to have manoeuvred the debate towards the need for more pan-India films. According to Ishita Dutta, too, this is the way forward.
The actor, who played Anju Salgaonkar in the Hindi film, Drishyam (2015), a remake of a Malayalam film of the same name, believes all industries are coming together as one. “Films, which were Telugu, have done extremely well. The numbers clearly show how well they did. The word pan-India is something people were miffed with, but with time, they will accept it.”
Dutta, in fact, sees it all as one industry. “Earlier, it was said TV actors can’t do films, but it’s all changed. Similarly, actors from the south are working in Hindi. It’s coming together now. Yes, it will take time. Habits can change only when you make things available for everybody. But, I think ten years down the line, it will all be just one industry,” she says, adding, “The audience is changing today. People are open to different kind of content… At the end of the day, it’s acting. It’s all entertainment.”
Hinting at the Twitter spat between actors Ajay Devgn and Kichha Sudeep, Dutta says it’s time people stop fighting and think about releasing their films in as many languages as possible. “The entire fight that happened a month back, I don’t think it has anything to do with not respecting other languages. Hindi is spoken in most cities. If a film is dubbed in Hindi, it’ll cover most of India. I think that’s where Hindi is used, it’s technical. Also, people need to stop attaching tags. We need to say a Baahubali or RRR did well, not Telugu film Baahubali. Why add the language to it? They are released in other languages anyway. Films should just be called films. Once we stop tagging, it’ll become alright. It’s us who tag things,” she says.
Interestingly, Dutta made her acting debut with a Telugu film in 2012, and went on to do a Kannada project as well. “A lot of people have raised questions on the choices I’ve made. But, I never really followed the traditional approach (of picking projects). For me, it’s about a story and my character, not the language. It’s about a performance. If I want to do it, I will. If you don’t feel a difference in terms of language or anything else, nobody can make you feel bad. Know what you’re doing and continue doing that,” she asserts, adding that medium is also not a deciding factor, when it comes to career choices.
“All mediums have their own charm. OTT is a new thing, and because of the lockdown, it has got an edge. People have got more comfortable, also the money you spend is less (compared to theatres). Of course, there are movie buffs who want to watch films in theatres, but there are people who want to watch at home, too, with families. Had the lockdown not happened, the switch may not have been so strong.”
The actor recently took to Instagram to share that her next — Ajay Devgn-starrer Drishyam 2 — is set to release on November 18. And to be back on the set after six-seven years, she says, felt nostalgic. “Some of us have really grown up (laughs). It was good to meet and connect with everyone. I am yet to shoot with many of the actors from the first instalment. But overall, the journey has been great. There are a lot of new characters in the sequel, besides the ones from the previous film. There is so much more in this sequel, it’s more dramatic,” she says, without divulging details about the plot.
Given the success of the first instalment, as well as that of the Malayalam version of Drishyam 2, is there any pressure to live up to expectations? “More than me, makers may feel the pressure. But, Drishyam 2 being released already in Malayalam is no concern. The first instalment was also out before the Hindi film, yet it did well. I think audiences will still want to watch our film. And of course, there are fans of Ajay Devgn and Tabu (who will look forward). So, no concerns there,” she signs off.
Author tweets @srinidhi_gk