Prithviraj skips AMMA meeting as Mohanlal reinstates Dileep; Women in Cinema Collective lash out against decision
Malayalam news channels went into an overdrive when Prithviraj skipped the general body meeting of AMMA in Kochi last Sunday (24 June). Buzz was that Prithviraj—who had disassociated from AMMA ever since Dileep's arrest for his role in the actress abduction conspiracy—knew something was cooking. Mohanlal, the new president of AMMA, agreed to take Dileep back into its fold at the general body meeting and created a furor.
The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), led by a group of top female stars like Parvathy, Reema Kalingal, Ramya Nambeesan and others, lashed out against AMMA’s decision to reinstate Dileep. Prithviraj was always close to WCC and its members, and had also supported the actress in the abduction case. Right from the beginning, Prithviraj took a stance and insisted that Dileep should be suspended from AMMA till the courts clear him. But other senior actors, including the superstars, went out of their way to support and reinstate Dileep.
A few months back, actor and MLA Ganesh Kumar had come in support of Dileep after he got conditional bail. At that time, Ganesh Kumar had said: “It was Prithviraj a friend of the survivor who went out of his way to fix Dileep and other actors in AMMA under pressure was forced to suspend him. Prithviraj and few of his friends have a personal score to settle with Dileep. It is pure vendetta.”
Since then, Prithviraj had fallen foul of Malayalam cinema industry establishment and his last two releases, Adam Joan and Vimaanam, were lukewarm at the box-office. And with half the year gone, the star is yet to have a release this year. Two of his films are said to be complete, but are yet to hit the screens. My Story, directed by Roshni Dinaker and starring Parvathy, has been long in the making. Latest trade news is that the film, which was earlier slotted for Ramzan release, is now likely to hit the screens on 6 July. Prithviraj's Ranam, a crossover film with an English version titled Detroit Crossing, has also been long in the making.
Around the same time, Prithviraj parted with his long-time associates Shaji Natesan and cinematographer Santosh Sivan, and the production house August Cinema that they had set up. Later, Prithviraj and his wife Supriya Menon set up their own production house, Prithviraj Productions, and began their new sci-fi horror thriller 9 with Jenuse Mohammad directing. 9 is being made in association with Sony Pictures, their first co-production in Malayalam.
Meanwhile, Prithviraj openly supporting WCC has created a few heart-burns among stars who call the shots. AMMA is on good terms with Technician association, Distributor Federation, and, most importantly, Theatre associations. Prithviraj understands that to sustain you need the support of these key organisations; at least at the time of your film’s release. For his films to get released and have a decent run, the various associations should be given their due. Dileep had a golden run at the Kerala box-office for years as he not only controlled AMMA with an iron hand, but also was an active member of all other organisations. He also had a very strong distribution set-up and ran a multiplex in Chalakudy near Kochi.
Now, Prithviraj has decided to temporarily put his acting commitments on hold and direct a film titled Lucifer. The film will have Mohanlal, the new AMMA president, in the title role and will be produced by Antony Perumbavoor under his Aashirwad Cinemas banner. Antony Perumbavoor is Mohanlal’s right-hand man, and has produced maximum hits with the actor. This has upset a few other actors in AMMA as now it will be impossible for Mohanlal to take any kind of action against Prithviraj, their bête-noire.
Lucifer will start rolling from 18 July, and Prithviraj will have the last laugh getting one up on Dileep.
Updated Date: Jun 27, 2018 09:58 AM