Has the time arrived for Malayalam superstars to let go of mass motion pictures?

Superstardom and mass motion pictures have been a necessary a part of all movie industries for years now. If Bollywood has Salman Khan, Tollywood has Pawan Kalyan, Kollywood has Rajinikanth, Vijay, Ajith amongst others to do bigger than life roles. When this phenomenon involves the Malayalam movie trade, we don’t have many names apart from the large M’s – Mohanlal and Mammootty. These superstars and their ‘mass’ motion pictures, riddled with predictability and clichés, increase the funds of the trade. Prithviraj, who made Lucifer with Mohanlal within the lead position in 2019, has even admitted that if motion pictures like Lucifer are marketed and branded nicely, it could enhance the financial mileage of small industries like Mollywood. Mohanlal and Prithviraj have their very own manufacturing corporations, if not of their title, and have each proper to view cinema as a enterprise. They spend cash to make more cash, however will their enterprise mannequin survive with their age-old components of mass masala motion pictures? Let’s see if these mass motion pictures nonetheless have the facility to attract individuals into theatres, or has their time come to step away as we are able to see motion pictures with grounded scripts and relatable characters gaining extra recognition among the many viewers.

To know the shortage of high quality in content material and narration of celebrity motion pictures, we are going to take Mohanlal’s cinematic journey since 2000 as a reference. Malayalam movie trade is accomplished by Mohanalal, or Mohanlal completes this comparatively small south Indian movie trade. Such is the affect this veteran actor has on the hearts of viewers, due to some memorable roles he portrayed in the course of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Mohanlal has played a plethora of characters during this golden era of Malayalam cinema thanks to some brilliant filmmakers and writers like Padmarajan, IV Sasi, Venu Nagavalli, Lohithadas, Faasil, G Aravindan, MT Vasudevan Nair among others who created some relatable, versatile and intense characters for the actor to portray on screen. It’s no shock that he turned the icon or poster boy of Malayalam cinema by 2000’s together with one other celebrity Mammootty. Mohanlal went one step forward to turn into a model in himself. There have been tv reveals made about Mohanlal, reveals hosted by Mohanlal and plenty of business motion pictures used ‘Lalettan’ reference to generate frenzy in theatres. Thus, Mohanlal has turn into such an enormous determine within the Malayalam movie trade however the motion pictures he acted in since 2000 lacked conviction and character. Since 2000, with the arrival of superstardom, most Mohanlal motion pictures lacked human components and relatable characters, and as a substitute began to focus solely on the actor’s celebrity picture the place the lead character is that this bigger than life persona.

Mohanlal in Varavelpu. (Picture: Twitter / PrimeVideoIN)


The actor has starred in round 95 motion pictures since 2000. Of those 95 odd motion pictures, solely six to eight motion pictures garnered a constructive response from viewers and critics.

For a better examination of this development, let’s analyze what occurred to the final ten motion pictures of Mohanlal earlier than the discharge of the a lot hyped Marakkar Arabikkadalinte Simham. Not the film’s field workplace income however how they have been obtained by film lovers. Mohanlal’s final 10 movies as a lead actor embrace 1971: Past Borders, Velipadinte Pusthakam, Villain, Neerali, Drama, Odiyan, Lucifer, Ittymani: Made in China, Large Brother and Drishyam 2. He additionally appeared in cameo roles in Kayamkulam Kochunni and Aadhi throughout this era. Of those ten motion pictures through which he performed the lead character, apart from Lucifer and Drishyam, not one of the motion pictures made any affect on the field workplace nor did it achieve important appreciation. Furthermore, motion pictures like 1971: Past Borders, Villain, Ittymani Made in China and Large Brother turned meme materials resulting from their beginner screenplay and cringe-inducing clichés. It’s not the primary time Mohanlal has struggled to ship memorable characters and films with substance. For the reason that begin of 2000, although there are at the very least 5 motion pictures of Mohanlal launched yearly, the variety of critically acclaimed or memorable motion pictures have been scarce. We are able to at all times argue that this occurs as a result of not many screenwriters and administrators are eager to create a film out of an authentic thought or have an thrilling script in hand. However, in actuality, most of them wish to exploit model Mohanlal for simple returns, particularly with tv and satellite tv for pc rights fetching good cash for producers.

However now with a number of the most hyped motion pictures like Marakkar Arabikkadalinte Simham, Odiyan, Large Brother amongst others failing to make an impression among the many viewers, it’s really time for a number of the enterprise ways to vary. One of the best get up name for a number of the producers, filmmakers and actors will probably be to sit down and watch a number of the small however efficient motion pictures which have launched just lately in theatres and OTT platforms. One of many motion pictures that launched this 12 months that shocked everybody and impressed critics and viewers alike is Jaan e Man. Written and helmed by debutant director Chidambaram, Jaan e Mann gained the hearts of viewers with its clever craft, attention-grabbing story line and relatable characters. The film, which was launched with out a lot hype and advertising and marketing, turned an enormous success with phrase of mouth. Equally, motion pictures like Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, House, Kunjeldho, Sara’s , Nayattu, The Nice Indian Kitchen have been motion pictures that didn’t have huge stars, advertising and marketing methods or hype, as a substitute they got here silently with none huge claims and gained hearts with plots and characters which can be relatable to frequent viewers.

A very totally different instance is the success of Minnal Murali. The film had lots of strain to ship a cinematic expertise that might match the hype it created. However director Basil Joseph, actor Tovino Thomas and a few glorious technicians with the assistance of a well-grounded script have managed to inform a superhero story convincingly inside a relatable premise of a small Kerala village. The hero and the villain had a previous that emotionally linked with the viewers.


In distinction to such profitable tales of small motion pictures, the response from viewers after the discharge of Marakkar Arabikkadalinte Simham reveals that even the diehard followers of Mohanlal are disillusioned with the film. The viewers appeared to be important concerning the film’s predictable storyline and beginner script relatively than being awestruck by its visible grandeur. Malayalam cine-goers have been uncovered to international motion pictures and worldwide filmmakers lengthy earlier than the arrival of Netflix, Disney Plus Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video. Kerala’s movie societies, movie festivals and pirated CD outlets in Bheemapalli and Kochi has helped in making a mature viewers. They’ve embraced the change in Malayalam cinema additionally which was evident when motion pictures like Thondimuthalum Drisakshiyum and Kumbalangi Nights turned profitable due to the scripts and characters that have been rooted. Cine-goers in Kerala now not hassle about superstars or mass motion pictures.

Now it has come to some extent the place these superstars themselves are pleading to the general public to cease the criticism which they time period as ‘degrading’. Mohanlal even went to the extent of claiming that those that criticize his Marakkar Arabikkadalinte Simham is definitely attempting to destroy the Malayalam movie trade and even nation’s picture, as a result of the film has been awarded greatest function movie in final 12 months’s Nationwide Movie Awards. Suresh Gopi additionally got here out overtly towards critics who panned his just lately launched film Kaaval. These superstars need the viewers to not watch their motion pictures anticipating mass scenes. If that’s probably the most infantile factor to listen to from a number of the greatest stars of this trade, their choice of motion pictures appears to be much more infantile. Mohanlal has Barroz, Ram, Bro Daddy and Aaraattu set to hit the screens subsequent 12 months. It stays to be seen if the celebrity can generate real constructive response from viewers and critics for his upcoming ventures, contemplating his success fee within the final twenty years is nicely under the requirements he has set for himself.



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