Movies

Despite delay in release, Dileep-starrer ‘Ramaleela’ proves a money spinner

A still from Dileep-starrer Ramaleela and right Udaharanam Sujatha, in which Manju Warrier has played the lead role.

A still from Dileep-starrer Ramaleela and right Udaharanam Sujatha, in which Manju Warrier has played the lead role.  

When Tomichan Mulakupadam decided to invest ₹14 crore on Ramaleela, he knew it was going to be one of the costlier productions in Malayalam cinema in recent times, though it still was a lot less than what he spent on his previous venture Pulimurugan.

He was, however, confident that he would be able to recover his investment in the Dileep-starrer, which he was planning to release early in July.

Delay due to arrest

That plan went for a toss when Dileep was arrested in the wake of the abduction of a woman actor in Kochi. The producer, who gave Malayalam cinema its first ever ₹100 crore film, knew he had to wait. He decided to postpone the release.

“I was confident about the quality of the film, but had to wait for the right time to release it,” says Mr. Tomichan. “I felt late September — once the rush for the Onam films was over — would be a good time. I was absolutely sure that the film would enjoy success.”

12 shows

His confidence wasn’t misplaced. Ramaleela is turning out to be one of the major hits of the year in Malayalam cinema. “There are 12 shows at our multiplex and every one of them had a full house till now,” says A.P. Hubail, manager, Film City, Kozhikode. “The box office collections have exceeded expectations.”

Despite delay in release, Dileep-starrer ‘Ramaleela’ proves a money spinner

It is a fact that not everyone was excited about the release of Ramaleela and there were even calls to boycott it. But Manju Warrier — Dileep’s former wife whose name has popped up several times in connection with the investigation into the actor abduction case — condemned such calls on her Facebook page. “A film is a collective effort,” she pointed out. Her own film Udaharanam Sujatha was also released on the same date. It was made on a much smaller budget than Ramaleela but it is also reporting steady collections at the box office, besides winning critical acclaim.

“For a relatively small film, it is doing pretty good business,” says Thomas Sebastian, manager, Anto Joseph Film Company, Kozhikode. “The feedback from the audience is extremely positive.”

The success of Ramaleela and Udaharanam Sujatha augurs well for Malayalam cinema, according to director M. Padmakumar.

“If Ramaleela has become a big hit that is because it could entertain the audience,” he says. “While everyone who has watched the film might be aware of the controversies, it was never was going to drive the people away from the theatres.”

He adds the controversy may have even helped it to gain publicity ahead of the release. “But any publicity, negative or positive, alone will not turn a film into hit,” reasons the director of films like Shikar and Jalam.

“All the people who have watched Ramaleela at theatres need not be die-hard fans of Dileep. The audience is mature enough to view a film as it is and not as an extension of life,” says Mr. Padmakumar.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 3:24:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/despite-delay-in-release-dileep-starrer-ramaleela-proves-a-money-spinner/article19822926.ece

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