On January 01, 2020, the makers of Mohanlal's Drishyam 2 made an unexpected announcement that they are going to release their film on Amazon Prime Video. The decision to release Drishyam 2 literally shocked Mohanlal fans in the state, as they were expecting a theatrical premiere for this movie. Theatre owners also raised their voice against Drishyam 2's OTT release, and they alleged that the move could destroy big-screen business in the state.
Jeethu Joseph makes convincing clarification
As controversies started looming up, director Jeethu Joseph revealed that the decision to release Drishyam 2 is the necessity of the new normal. While interacting with media, Jeethu made it clear that the decision to release a movie on theaters or OTT platform will be taken by the person who bankrolled the film.
"Antony Perumbavoor has bankrolled Drishyam 2. We wanted to release this film in theaters. However, due to the current developments, especially after the detection of a new highly-infectious strain of coronavirus, we do not have any other choice. Moreover, Antony has put Marakkar on hold, and that film was made with a mammoth budget of Rs 100 crore. It will not be fair to compel him to put Drishyam 2 also on hold," said Jeethu Joseph.
However, Liberty Basheer, a popular producer, and owner of several theaters in the state lashed out at Antony Perumbavoor, Mohanlal, and Jeethu Joseph for releasing Drishyam 2 on OTT platforms.
"This is not an acceptable decision. Several movies are being put on hold to get a theatrical release. However, Mohanlal and Antony Perumbavoor have decided to release Drishyam 2 at a time when we consider this movie could give a life-breath to the already falling industry," said Basheer.
Marakkar to release on March 26
In the meantime, makers of Marakkar: Arabikkadalinte Simham, have revealed that the film will hit the theaters on March 26, 2021. The film bankrolled by Anthony Perumbavoor in the banner of Aashirvad Cinemas is directed by national-award-winning director Priyadarshan.
Most of the films directed by Priyadarshan that featured Mohanlal in the lead role were huge hits at the box-office, and Mollywood audiences expect the same to happen with this mega-budget flick too. The film is also loaded with an ensemble star cast that includes Manju Warrier, Suneil Shetty, Prabhu Ganesan, and Arjun Sarja.
Mohanlal: The biggest brand in Mollywood
The recent developments in Mollywood indicate that Mohanlal is the biggest brand in Mollywood. The OTT premiere of Drishyam 2 and the theatrical release of Marakkar: Arabikkadalinte Simham indicates a crucial change in the industry, and interestingly, this transition phase is also initiated by Mohanlal.
Drishyam 2 is a film made with a reasonable budget of Rs 10 crore, while Marakkar is made with a mammoth Rs 100 crore. The recent trend indicates that the future of Malayalam cinema will be a blend of OTT and theatrical releases. Films like Marakkar that demand a theatrical watch will be released on big screens, while there will be a parallel film making sector exclusively dependent on OTT platforms.