...Kollywood -- so named because its films are produced in an area of Chennai called Kodambakkam -- is enjoying a powerful and profitable renaissance, as are the other ollywoods. Although India has the largest film industry in the world, only 200 of the 800 movies made each year are from Bollywood. Meanwhile, the number of productions from the other ollywoods has nearly doubled in the last decade, according to film industry experts.
On why Bollywood is losing out somewhat within India:
Although regional films here are as old as Indian cinema itself, they have never before been in such demand. Film critics say Bollywood plots have become too focused on Indians living abroad -- so-called Non-Resident Indians, known in slang as NRIs -- with characters who jet between New Delhi and New York, living glamorous lives that don't resonate in small-town India. Other critics say Bollywood films involve too much sex and have been Westernized, with some actresses dressing in hot pants and tight shirts rather than saris.
There's also a sense that Bollywood stars have grown distant from their fans and are more likely to be seen on corporate billboards than during visits to mid-size towns and cities. Regional stars, on the other hand, are still accessible.
Agree on the above. For every Mallika Sherawat or Rakhi Sawant (arrogantly wanton, and appreciated for that by a larger chunk of society than you would think), we definitely need a Kajol, Tabu or Vidya Balan (how cool was she in the sarees she wore in Parineeta (2005)?), top performers who portray themselves with dignity and do not shed their clothing to garner attention. Sex sells folks, whether it is in print, or on screen. I learnt that in my first English language class in [undergraduate] college about nine years ago. We see it in action more than we would like, for better or for worse.
A lot of our Bollywood stars, much like our cricketers, forget the spirit that brought them to their current celebrity status to begin with. A lot of them, on the other hand, do not, and those are the ones we are out here to appreciate and celebrate. Those who mingle with the fans and do so with a smile on their faces, not merely because the event they are attending is sponsored by one of their endorsers. Do you think that is a fair ask of our Bollywood celebrities?