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Malaikottai Vaaliban - Why did viewers expect a ‘mass’ film when Lijo Jose Pellissery teamed up with Mohanlal?

Malaikottai Vaaliban has impressed audiences who love director Lijo Jose Pellissery’s signature style. However, the viewers who expected a ‘mass’ Mohanlal film, are heavily disappointed.

Malaikottai Vaaliban - Why did viewers expect a ‘mass’ film when Lijo Jose Pellissery teamed up with Mohanlal?
Malaikottai Vaaliban is expected to have a record opening at the box office

Last Updated: 10.27 PM, Jan 25, 2024


Malaikottai Vaaliban, the magnum opus helmed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, hit the theatres today (January 25, 2024). Mohanlal played the titular character in the period fantasy film, which has been receiving mixed reviews from audiences. Especially, the fans, who were expec ting director Lijo to make his first attempt at ‘mass’ cinema with Malaikottai Vaaliban, are highly disappointed with the film which belongs to a different genre altogether.

The film fanatics have been heaping praises on the Lijo Jose Pellissery directorial with its unique and layered storytelling and top-notch technical aspects. However, a group of audiences, who feel that the Mohanlal starrer failed to make use of the veteran actor’s star status, are now expressing their disappointment on social media.

Why viewers expected a ‘mass’ film from Lijo Jose Pellissery?

Well, the Malayalam cinema audiences are quite familiar with Lijo Jose Pellissery and his signature style of filmmaking. The director has carved a niche for himself with back-to-back unique projects, without fearing the outcome. After the release of his 2015 film Double Barrel which ended up as a commercial disaster, LJP took to his Facebook page and famously made a post that read: “No plans to Change, No plans to impress.” With Malaikottai Vaaliban, the talented filmmaker has proven that he still stays true to that statement.

But the Malayalam cinema audiences expected that the director was finally ready to try a hand in the ‘mass’ cinema genre, with his first outing with Mohanlal. Despite both the leading man and director Lijo repeating many times that they are attempting to make an ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ kind of film, a major group of audiences ended up expecting yet another Pulimurugan or Lucifer from the duo.


However, the unnecessary hype and expectations over the film started right from the release of the Malaikottai Vaaliban glimpse video which was released on the occasion of Mohanlal’s birthday, last year. All the initial promotional materials hinted that the actor-director duo is teaming up for a fun action film. Even though the teaser left the viewers a little underwhelmed, the songs and the trailer further raised the expectations for the project. The audiences, who strongly believed that director LJP was trying a new genre, were not prepared for his signature style of making.

Expectations played spoilsport

Most of the audiences who are disappointed with Malaikottai Vaaliban have stated that the film lacked adrenaline-rush-inducing moments. Earlier, Tinu Pappachan, who is the associate director of Lijo Jose Pellissery in the film initially claimed that leading man Mohanlal’s intro scene would cause a jolt in the theatres. However, it was far from the truth. The real treat for action cinema lovers comes much later in the film, but the damage was done by then.

The common audience, who expected a high-octane action film, is disheartened by the slow-paced narrative of Malaikottai Vaaliban. But cinema lovers are now heaping praises on Lijo Jose Pellissery’s attempt to make a fantasy period film with Mohanlal’s fictional character. Now, they are eagerly waiting for the makers to drop the much-awaited update on the film's sequel. Well, now we hope its clear for the viewers to what expect from LJP's film, as the director is clearly not here to impress.