Popular Mollywood actor Dileep was granted anticipatory bail by the High Court two days back, in a case under conspiracy charges to murder police officers who probed the actress assault case. Even though Dileep fans are excited about the development, industry experts believe that the actor will never regain his Janapriyanayakan image again, as family audiences are staying away from movies of Dileep.
Dileep, as an actor, has been bestowed with both acting skills and luck. The actor who once made the Malayalee audiences laugh was not born on one morning. Dileep's initial foray into Malayali hearts occurred when he imitated actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi.
Dileep started his career by performing mimicry and comedy in various stage shows. He made his debut in the Malayalam film industry through the movie "Ennodishtam Koodamo".
Dileep became popular among directors for his performance in Manathe Kottaram. Later, he got lead roles in many films and conquered the heights one by one. He was hailed as the comedy king by the audiences. Dileep then reached the heights of stardom with the superstars of Malayalam cinema in a short span of time. Dileep was the sole reason to bring back the family audiences to theatres and revived the Malayalam film industry when it was doomed with continuous failures.
Dileep's career: A cinematic journey
Following a whirlwind romance, Manju Warrier married Dileep in 1998. Following her marriage to Dileep, Manju stopped acting in films. Kavya is the reason he got his stardom back through the movies Meesa Madhavan and Thilakam. Dileep and Kavya have worked together in twenty-one films since Chandranudhikkuna Dhikhil, making them the most popular and gossiped-about couple in Malayalam cinema.
Kavya's short-lived marriage with her former husband and divorce provided more rumour fuel for the paparazzi and fans. Dileep and Manju also ended their fifteen-year-old relationship in 2014 following her comeback in public life. What else is needed for a paparazzi media?!!! News spread across the media that Kavya was presumed to be the deal-breaker. After battling the relationship questions from the media, Dileep and Kavya married in a private function.
Alleged abduction and sexual assault of a prominent film actress
Dileep was later linked to an alleged co-actress abduction case in 2017. He was arrested by the Kerala Police and spent 84 days behind the bars. But there was no loss of fame for his image. He was in jail during the release of his movie Ramleelaa, but it didn't prevent family audiences from flocking into theatres. The film grossed Rs. 55 crores, demonstrating Dileep's clout among his following.
Struggling with controversies since 2017, actor Dileep was able to establish a counter-narrative to his famous hero image before and after his incarceration. The actors involved, and the accused's relationship with powerful members of the film industry created an environment in which Dileep's public image remained unchanged in the minds of Kerala middle-class family audiences who backed and applauded his films even while he was incarcerated.
The collapse of Dileep?
Things have changed for Dileep since the matter took on a new dimension as a result of director Balachandrakumar's allegations.
Younger performers have taken over roles previously held by him, and he has had no public support inside the industry. Dileep is also being investigated for allegedly plotting to kill an investigating officer, according to Kerala police.
Things are not the same for Dileep as an actor. Dileep doesn't have any upcoming films to promote, his wife Kavya Madhavan's stores have been searched, and he hasn't reacted to the new claims levelled against him.
We'll have to wait and see how Dileep will overcome this biggest challenge in his life.