A rare phenomenon is taking place in Malayalam cinema today. All the three festival releases — Shikar, Pranchiyettan & the Saint and Elsamma Enna Aankutty — are doing excellent business. Such a thing has not happened in Malayalam cinema in recent memory.
“I cannot recall another instance of so many films doing well at the same time; it is indeed a much-needed boost for the Malayalam film industry,” says M. Padmakumar, director of Shikar, the biggest hit of the three. “The fact that people are thronging theatres to watch all the three films is extremely encouraging for directors like me.”
The biggest surprise of the three films though is the steady improvement at the box office of Pranchiyettan & the Saint, directed by Ranjith. The brilliantly-penned satire has indeed been the Malayalam film of the year, but there were doubts if it would get viewers from all classes.
“It is heartening to see that the film has been accepted by all kinds of film-goers, not just those who look at films in a more serious way,” says Ranjith. “When I decided to make the film, I was not bothered about its fate at the box office at all. The film was made at a relatively low budget and it has already made profit,” he says.
Pranchiyettan & the Saint has already collected almost Rs.4 crore, though the film was released only in 60 centres. Shikar, which is playing in over 100 theatres, has made over Rs.8 crore. Elsamma Enna Aankutty has pocketed more than Rs.4 crore.
Besides the trio, a few other films have also done well of late. The success of two films featuring newcomers, Apoorvaragam and Malarvadi Arts Club had given Malayalam cinema the confidence to try fresh talent. The beginning of the year had seen two big hits —Pokkiri Raja and In Ghost House Inn. Mummy & Me and Katha Thudarunnu had also done good business, making 2010 the best year for Malayalam cinema in a long, long time.
Says producer of Elsamma Enna Aaankutty, M. Ranjith: “I have never seen such a good year for Malayalam cinema. Things are definitely looking up.”
Keywords: regional cinema