KOCHI: Anticipating that the theatres in Kerala will be opened by July, the makers of big-budget Malayalam movie ‘Marakkar - Arabikkadalinte Simham’ announced that the film will hit the screens all over the globe on August 21. The national award-winning magnum opus of director Priyadarshan with Mohanlal in the lead was completed shooting in 2020. Though initially planned as a Vishu release last year, the release was postponed three times following the Covid first and second waves.
Taking to Twitter, actor Mohanlal said they sincerely hope the film could be released on August 21. “That is our earnest wish and we hope everyone will pray and support us to make this happen,” he added. The Onam festival begins on August 21 and the film will ideally be a big boost for the theatres which are having a dry spell.
Though theatres were reopened in January, they were allowed to have viewers in only 50%of their seats. Last week, Priyadarshan made it clear that ‘Marakkar’ is a big-budget movie that can be enjoyed only on the big screen. He also said they are ready to wait for another six months to have a theatre release. Meanwhile, another big movie —‘Maalik’ — directed by Mahesh Narayan with actor Fahadh Faasil in the lead will be premiered on OTT. “I think I owe an explanation to my audience. With a heavy heart, the director, producer, all technicians and the rest of the cast including me have opted for an OTT release for our very ambitious project, ‘Maalik’. Every one of us had put in over a year to make this project. The decision has been collective and I request everyone to see it in the best interest of the film,” said Fahadh.
Meanwhile, office-bearers of film bodies said they are expecting that the government will announce a revival package for Malayalam cinema. “We have submitted a request to the government for its consideration. These include waiving of entertainment taxes and relaxation on fixed electricity charges of cinema hall,” said G Sureshkumar, president of Kerala Film Chamber.
Movie scene recap
Total Malayalam movies released in 2021: 61
Direct OTT releases: 33
Theatre releases: 28
Movies completed and waiting for release: 80