Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Kannada film industry is roaring like never before. While the hangover of KGF Chapter 2 still remains fresh and Kantara is continuing its dominance, another pan-India movie is readying to hit the theatres. Upendra and Kiccha Sudeep starrer Kabzaa, helmed by R Chandru, is all set for theatrical release in seven languages including in Odia.

Odisha’s regional film industry, Ollywood is still suffering a catastrophe. While theatre owners are showing a least interest in releasing Odia movies, regional audience is turning away from watching the movies. For a long time, people have been blaming the makers and directors for copying the story from south movies and making the movies with major compromises. Apart from the story plot, the audience also blamed the presentation quality multiple times. The prolonged disastrous situation of Ollywood says it all. 

On the other hand, while Odia movies are failing to pull the audience to the theatres, movie lovers across Odisha have shown an inclination towards south movies. The recent box office collection of movies like Pushpa: The Rise, RRR, KGF: Chapter 2, 777 Charlie, Kantara, among others proves that. 

As claimed by certain theatre owners, south movies have a demand in specific regions. Earlier, release of south movies remained limited to night or evening shows. Then, several south movies were either released in their original languages or were released in dubbed languages. Even, south movies dubbed in Odia language were also aired on television channels. However, recently the demand witnessed a major spike. Even movie goers, who preferred Odia movies earlier, are showing more interest in south movies these days. 

Considering all these factors, south movie makers are probably initiating steps to release their regional movies dubbed in Odia languages, and the trend will kick off with Kabzaa. 

Kabzaa, slated to release pan-India on December 22, 2022, is an action crime drama period set up in 1947. The story is based on a Gandhi follower and a freedom fighter. Both of them were brutally attacked. Due to unavoidable circumstances, the freedom fighter’s son gets trapped in the mafia world and the story revolves between 1942- 1986, who goes on to become a gangster.

Following the teaser release a month back, Kabzaa hogged the headlines. Many went on to compare the movie with KGF. However, the stellar presentation certainly has elevated the anticipation among many. The movie will simultaneously release in Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Odia, and Marathi. This certainly describes that after the back-to-back roaring success of south movies in the Hindi belt, the makers are planning to come up with more such pan-India projects. 

The recent Odia movie DAMaN, starring Babushaan and Dipanwit Dashmohapatra and helmed by Devi Prasad Lenka, Vishal Mourya, is roaring in theatres across Odisha. While several questions were raised by movie lovers on the survival of Ollywood and Odia movies, DAMaN has ignited hope among many and also has scored a 9.8 IMDb rating. Meanwhile, several others have also expressed concerns as the dominance of south movies continues and the anticipation for upcoming releases remains high among movie lovers in Odisha.

Well, time will say if Kabzaa captures Odia audience amid the absence of Odia movies and if south movies will begin their journey of taking over Ollywood or not.