Dulquer Salmaan says the term 'pan-India film' irks him: 'I just don't like hearing it...we are one country'
Actor Dulquer Salmaan says he is puzzled by the rampant use of the term "pan-India" for movies as one can't design a film that works on a national level but resonates with a wider audience organically. The term has been extensively used for films that are expected to have a national appeal and can cross language barriers. Some examples include the two Baahubali films, last year's highest-grossing Indian film Pushpa: The Rise, Prabhas' Radhe Shyam, and the upcoming RRR. (Also read: Salute movie review: Dulquer Salmaan’s film is a fine police procedural)
Filmmaker SS Rajamouli's two-part action-fantasy series Baahubali, released between 2015 and 2017, is often credited for bridging the gap between the North and South film industries. Since then, the word pan-India gained momentum after movies of South stars like Vijay's Master and Allu Arjun's Pushpa set new box office records in Hindi regions.
"The word pan-India really irks me. I just don't like hearing it. I love that there is so much exchange of talent happening in cinema, it's great, but we are one country. I don't think anyone says pan-America. I don't get it, even though they say it sweetly," Dulquer actor told PTI.
Dulquer, the star of films like O Kadhal Kanmani, Bangalore Days, Hey Sinamika, and Kurup, said the movies that have travelled across India are the ones that were essentially made for one market. If one designs their project to cater to all, the actor believes the film "won't belong anywhere".
“You can't engineer a pan-India film. Those films that have actually travelled across India are the ones that were rooted and made for one market. If you try to do a 'pan-India' film, try to appeal to all audiences for different markets, it will not belong anywhere,” he said, before adding, “So, you make your film as rooted as it can be, tell the story of that land and mount it bigger, cast it differently and maybe put in a few familiar faces from different markets. I get all of that but I don't think you should lose the sensibilities or the culture of that particular story.”
Dulquer stars in the Malayalam police procedural drama Salute, currently streaming on SonyLIV. The film is directed by Rosshan Andrews and penned by writer-duo Bobby and Sanjay. The film features the actor as a cop for the first time.