Prithviraj's most anticipated film of the year 'Ranam' hit the theaters all around India on September 6. The film racked up negative reviews upon its release, and most of the audiences panned director Nirmal Sahadev for making a movie rich in style but less in substance. Now, a Facebook group named 'Afx Movie Club' has alleged that their account has been deactivated after users posted negative reviews about the movie.
Mohammed Nizar, the group admin, alleged that their group has been targeted for posting genuine reviews about 'Ranam'. As per Nizar, some people with vested interests reported the negative reviews to Facebook, and it finally resulted in the closure of the group. The group admins also added that the recent developments are pointing fingers on the pathetic state which Malayalam film industry is facing now.
It should be noted that Afx Movie Club is one of the largest film groups in Malayalam, and it has more than 1,00,000 members in its user base.
This is not the first time that negative reviews about a Malayalam movie are getting removed from Facebook due to mass reporting. Earlier, negative reviews of movies like 'Mohanlal' and 'My Story' were also removed in a similar manner.
After hours of deactivation, the group is now back on Facebook and members are now blaming the crew members of 'Ranam' for this heinous act against the freedom of expression. Noted film critic Manav Sidharth posted a write up about the current developments on his Facebook page and extended his support to Afx Movie Club.
"Just like movies, a group like Afx Movie Club has grown and developed as a result of the hard work and dedication. The group has always tried to promote good movies. It should be noted that during the bad days of Prithviraj, it was groups like Afx Movie Club which tried to promote good movies like Mumbai Police. It is undoubtedly pathetic to kill a group just because it posted negative reviews about a movie," said Sidharth alias The New Film Critic.
After all these incidents, Afx Movie Club uploaded a new cover photo which carried the words 'Stand Against Cinematic Fascism'. The users of this Facebook group are using the hashtags 'stand with Afx', 'stand with good cinema' and 'stand against fascism'.