Four films, one weekend: Love Action Drama, Ittymani: Made in China, Brothers Day, Finals kick start Onam festivities
It is Onam in Kerala, the biggest festival season in the state, when normally big-ticket films release. However, this year, Onam celebrations are subdued due to the recent floods and land slips in Kerala in which 121 people died, mainly in the Malabar area of the state. In view of the devastation, the Kerala Government has cancelled the traditional cultural events to be held across the state, and diverted the money to chief minister’s distress relief funds.
But for the Malayalam film industry, Onam is the biggest festival, and draws record box office collections and increased footfalls in theatres. This year, originally, six films were scheduled to release, but finally only four will hit the screens. They are Nivin Pauly-Nayanthara-starrer Love Action Drama releasing on Thursday. And on Friday, there is Mohanlal-starrer Ittymaani : Made In China, Prithviraj’s Brothers Day, and the female-led Rajeesha Vijayan-starrer Finals.
A spokesperson of Kerala Theatre Association says, “ Onam is the biggest festival in Kerala, and despite the flood havoc, the show has to go on. In the good old days, as per tradition, a Malayalee will watch a Malayalam film after the sumptuous Sadhya (Onam Lunch). It may have changed as they may have migrated to watching it on TV, but still Onam brings extra footfalls. And this year, we have four films which are all fun family movies, ideal for the festival season.”
The industry is also looking for hits among the four releases to bring back audiences to theatres after the floods. In Malabar area, which used to be a high-collecting area, many theatres, especially in the Malappuram district, the biggest district in Kerala area and population-wise, many theatres were submerged during the floods. The collections across the state plummeted due to the floods, with only one film released in the last two months. Thaneer Mathan Dinangal turned out to be a blockbuster, and was able to keep the industry afloat.
Now will the Onam films, which are known for family entertainment, bring back the audience?
First of the releases, on Thursday, is Nivin Pauly and Nayanthara-starrer comedy Love Action Drama, directed by actor-turned-director Dhyan Sreenivasan, son of legendary writer and actor Sreenivasan, and younger brother of Vineeth Sreenivasan. Nivin Pauly’s recent releases have not worked at the box office, and he needs a big hit to keep going. Nivin and producer and actor Aju Vargheese had advanced the release by a day to get a solo release advantage.
On Friday, the other three Onam releases hits the screens. The biggest of the lot is Mohanlal’s family comedy entertainer Ittymaani : Made in China. The film, directed by debutant duo of Jibu and Joju, promises to be a fun one, which hopes to cash in on Mohanlal’s huge fan base and larger-than-life image. As of now, the film leads the advance booking race, though the trailer has not been that impressive.
Prithviraj is on the lookout for a hit, as all his recent releases as hero crashed, and the only silver lining was as the director of the blockbuster Mohanlal-starrer Lucifer. A lot is riding on Prithviraj’s Onam release Brothers Day for the actor. The trailer of the film shows Prithviraj is doing an action comedy after a long period, and it has potential to be a hit at the festival box office. It is also the debut film of character actor and comedian Shajohn as director.
Despite the biggies in the race, a female-led sports film, Finals, on a cycling champion, played by Rajisha, is also releasing on Onam. The producer of the film and character actor Manian Pillai Raju feels the performance of Rajeesha as a cyclist preparing for Olympics will be talked about, and the film may emerge as the dark horse at the Onam box office.
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Updated Date: Sep 05, 2019 17:57:31 IST