Can Mohanlal bring the warring factions within Malayalam film industry together after Dileep-AMMA row?

Sreedhar Pillai

Jul,16 2018 12:47:54 IST

Mohanlal, the president of AMMA, is feeling the heat. After his return from England where he was shooting for Suriya’s untitled new film, he addressed the local press. At the meet, he made it clear that there was no dissenting voice in AMMA from any actor at the general body when the decision to take back Dileep was made.

Mohanlal said : “Dileep is out of the AMMA fold both technically and legally since he himself had stated that he no longer wishes to be a part of it, and now we would like to move on.” This irked WCC, who criticised Mohanlal’s statements. It was clear that Mohanlal realised which way the wind is blowing. With channels having discussions on the topic almost every day, tempers had to cool down.

Mohanlal starts shooting for Lucifer from Wednesday (18 July), directed by actor Prithviraj, a one-time critic of AMMA.

Mohanlal starts shooting for Lucifer from Monday (16 July), directed by actor Prithviraj, a one-time critic of AMMA.

The WCC says that it clearly shows with whom (the victim or the accused) the association was standing with. One of their spokespersons said:  “Any organisation has to follow certain ethics, truthfulness and propriety. On this issue, an attempt was being made by Mohanlal and AMMA to portray the entire matter as just technical.”

Meanwhile, Mohanlal’s much-awaited Neeraliwhich opened last Friday, got a cold reception at the box-office. It got mixed reviews and did not get the kind of opening that one would associate with a Mohanlal film. At the same time, Anjali Menon’s Koode, which opened a day later, got better reviews and has taken a good opening especially in multiplexes.

But Mohanlal has an ace up his sleeve, as he starts shooting for Lucifer from Monday (16 July), directed by actor Prithviraj, a one-time  critic of AMMA. Prithvi had been taking a strong stance against AMMA and was instrumental in the organisation suspending Dileep after the shocking actor assault case. The young actor had thrown in his hat along with WCC and had come out strongly in their favour through social media postings.

However, Prithviraj’s career as a saleable star at the box-office took a beating when a couple of his films in the last few months failed. And when his My Story with actress Parvathy — one of the moving spirits of WCC — released on 6 July, it turned out to be a complete washout. In fact My Story director Roshini Dinakar had alleged that “there was vicious campaign unleashed against the film by certain vested interests maligning the actors starring in the film who had spoken out initially against powerful people in the industry.” It affected the opening and, for some strange reason, Parvathy and  Prithviraj did not promote the film as they had distanced from the film. Remember Parvathy and Manju Warrier, two shining stars who spearheaded WCC initially, are now very quiet and have not even resigned from AMMA.

Meanwhile, for Mohanlal, the next three months is going to be very crucial as he has a slew of releases lined up. He has three new films coming up for release this year. His next big release is the Nivin Pauly’s Rosshan Andrrews directed big budget Kayamkulam Kochunni, where he has a special cameo. In the period action drama due for Onam, Nivin plays the popular Robin Hood character, while Mohanlal is Ithikara Pakki, a friend who saves him in a difficult situation. It will be followed by the September release, Ranjith’s Drama, a very interesting film shot in London. And on 11 October, Mohanlal’s big budget VA Srikumar-directed fantasy Odiyan is due for release. For Manju Warrier, a lot is riding on Mohanlal’s forthcoming Odiyan, it is a make-or-break film for her.

And the big buzz in Kerala is that Mohanlal will finally do a film for the first time with a lady director! Yes, the grapevine is abuzz that Mohanlal will be playing a family man in Anjali Menon’s next film and he has given priority dates. If this materialises, it is a win-win situation for Mohanlal as the Koode director is currently rated by the trade as somebody who understands the mind of the lady audiences. Mohanlal, the actor and president of AMMA, is doing his best to bring the warring factions within the Malayalam film industry under one umbrella. And so far, he has made the right moves.

Updated Date: Jul 16, 2018 12:47 PM