Tamannaah Bhatia on north-south cinema debate: We have created these strange differences all of a sudden

Updated on Jun 09, 2022 02:58 PM IST

Condemning the ongoing debate between south films and Bollywood, actor Tamannaah Bhatia says the world perceives it as one industry

Tamanna Bhatia at screening of the film, Top Gun : Maverick, during the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival (AFP)
Tamanna Bhatia at screening of the film, Top Gun : Maverick, during the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival (AFP)
BySugandha Rawal

Of late, there’s been debate around the rising popularity of south cinema across India and its impact on Bollywood. But actor Tamannaah Bhatia, who has worked in both Hindi as well as south films, is displeased with the north-south divide. She feels all the projects are under one umbrella — Indian cinema.

The debate has gathered steam in the current times after the success of multilingual films such as KGF 2 and RRR, overshadowing Hindi films at the box office at the time of the release. But Bhatia feels it is being misunderstood.

“People have actually misunderstood this whole thing, and all of a sudden created these strange differences that it is south industry or the north industry,” Bhatia tells us.

The 32-year-old continues, “But it really doesn’t matter which of India you are coming from. You just need to be super authentic. The world looks at it as Indian cinema”.

In fact, it was her outing at the Cannes film festival who helped her gain a new perspective about the ongoing debate. She made her red carpet debut at the Cannes Film Festival 2022 as part of the Indian delegation.

“I realised at the fest, where a lot of regional films from India were also showcased, that nobody called it a South Indian film, or any other way.. They called it an Indian film. Hum logon ko lagta hai ke alag karein aur hum log India mein bethke usko south aur north aur west bol rahe hai,” she says, adding, “It was funny to see it being played out in front of you. Sometimes when you go outside, perspective changes and it breaks all the ideas that we have here”.

When it comes to Bhatia, she has navigated the world of Hindi as well as Telugu and Tamil films. Talking about it, the Baahubali star says, “I am actually probably the biggest recent example of how language doesn’t matter. I’m from Mumbai. I am a Sindhi girl, who most of the world thinks is from South India. I speak Tamil and Telugu, and a large part of my career has been spent in the south”.

“And here I am, as an actor, exploring my possibilities. Actually, it is up to individuals to actually blur the line. I never wanted to be a part of the south Indian film industry or the north Indian film industry. I just wanted to be in front of the camera and be part of the cinema. In the end, it is about creating authentic content. One can be in any part of our country and reach people with authentic content,” she shares.

For Bhatia, going to the Cannes film festival came with a lot of lessons. “I understood what actual possibilities are and what you can actually explore as an actor. Usually, we don’t really get introduced to the actual market with so many different pieces of content, and the business aspect, which we don’t figure out sitting here,” she begins.

Explaining her thought, the actor says going to the fest turned out to be an entry into a completely different world.

“Now, I definitely feel I want to collaborate with people from all around the world a lot more. That definitely shifted for me. It has opened my mind to the possibility of that, and showed how we are catering to a larger audience when we actually make our films more inclusive,” she concludes.

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