No Onam gala; cinemas go dry

Film buffs and those in the industry recall the golden days of Malayalam film when Onam releases became super hits.

Published: 02nd September 2009 01:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 12:13 AM   |  A+A-

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KOCHI: When the city revels in Onam glorysans superstar flicks, film buffs and those in the industry recall the golden days of Malayalam film when Onam releases became super and mega hits.

“There were times when superstars alone had around 10 Onam releases in their kitty. The 80s and 90s Onam season saw a flush of new releases and many were indeed money-minters”, said Kerala Film Chamber secretary Subramaniam aka Mani. Superstar films always topped in number and collection,” he added.

“For the past two years, few films are released during Onam and superstar films hardly figure in these. This is because of the Ramazan fasting coinciding with Onam resulting in a major chunk of audience keeping away from theatres,” Subramaniam said.

Kilukkam, Chandralekha, Pappayude Swantham Appoose, Valyettan, Rakshasarajavu, Ravanaprabhu and Balettan were some movies that made big during Onam. There were occasions where a superstar film was released simultaneously in two cinemas in the same complex.

Suresh, an ardent film fan recalls the days when large number of new releases marked Onam. “I remember the 1992 Onam season when four major films of Mammootty and Mohanlal were released. Yodha and Adwaitham were the Mohanlal films and Mammootty films were Pappayude Swantham Appoose and Kizhakkan Pathrose. All these films were from big banners like Swargachitra, Gruhalakshmi films, Saga films and Maruthi pictures and all went on to become superhits,” he said.

A late eighties were glorious periods for Malayalam cinema. 1986 Onam saw five Mammootty releases - Poovinu Puthiya Poonthennal, Avanazhi, Nandi Veendum Varika, Sayamsandhya and Nyayavidhi. Mohanlal came close with Sukhamo Devi and Namukku Parkkan munthirithoppukal.

From those rich and colourful days, this Onam the Malayalam cinema is left with just three releases. Jayaram- Padmapriya starrer- Kana Kanmani, Jayasurya-Kalabhavan Mani team’s Black and White Kudumbam and Mukesh’s Shudharil Shudhan.

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