Mumbai, Mar 19 (PTI) Actor Dulquer Salmaan says he is intrigued by the widespread use of the term ‘pan-India’ for films, as one cannot conceive of a film that works nationally but resonates organically with an audience wider.
SS filmmaker Rajamouli’s two-part action-fantasy series “Baahubali”, released between 2015 and 2017, is often credited with bridging the gap between the Northern and Southern film industries.
Since then, the pan-India word has gained momentum after films by Southern stars like Vijay’s ‘Master’ and Allu Arjun’s ‘Pushpa’ set new box office records in Hindi regions.
“The word pan-India really gets on my nerves. I just don’t like to hear it. I love that there’s so much talent swapping happening in cinema, it’s great, but we we’re one country. I don’t think anyone says pan – America. I don’t understand, even if they say it nicely,” the 35-year-old actor told PTI.
Salmaan, the star of films like ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, ‘Bangalore Days’, ‘Hey Sinamika’ and ‘Kurup’, said the films that traveled across India are those that were basically made for one Marlet.
If we design his project to address everyone, the actor thinks that the film “won’t belong anywhere”.
“You can’t design a pan-Indian film. Those films that have actually traveled across India are the ones that have been rooted and made for a market. If you’re trying to make a ‘pan-Indian’ film, try to appeal to all audiences for different markets, it won’t belong anywhere.
“So you make your movie as grounded as possible, tell the story of this land and make it bigger, do it differently and maybe put in a few familiar faces from different markets. I get all of that but I don’t don’t think you should lose the sensibility or the culture of that particular story.
Salmaan stars in the Malayalam police procedural drama “Salute”, which is currently airing on SonyLIV.
The film is directed by Rosshan Andrews and written by writing duo Bobby and Sanjay.
The film features the actor as a cop for the first time.
Salmaan said he had been in talks with the director and screenwriters for a long time to collaborate on a project but had never been so tied to a script as with “Salute.”
The film cuts between the past and present storyline, where a once-hired sub-inspector, played by Salmaan, seeks a chance to redeem himself after a fall.
“I’m not drawn to typical masala cop movies. Sometimes I feel weird because I don’t do a lot more masala, mainstream stuff like that. But I loved that Aravind character. He is conflicted, he loves his family but also has his own principles. He wants to do the right thing but the system won’t let him.”
Salmaan also backed the film under his Wayfarer Films production banner, which he launched in 2020.
The actor, who is the son of Malayalam superstar Mammootty, said production gives him more control over his films, directly from the budget to ensure they get a good release.
“Before I became an actor, my dad had produced a few films but they didn’t really work out. We were lucky in producing television content but not exactly films. The landscape was also different back then. Now there are so many outlets, satellites, OTT, the markets have grown. Now you can edit a movie and land safely.”
“But I wanted to produce because I saw several times that there were problems with the producers on my films, sometimes there are delays, sometimes the releases are not good, the marketing is not good. So I want to be there for my films, from start to finish,” he added.
‘Salute’ also marks Diana Penty’s Malayalam debut.