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Alone OTT release: Why Mohanlal-starrer’s delayed gamble backfired?

Mohanlal and Shaji Kailas’ Alone will be available to stream on release on Disney+ Hotstar

Last Updated: 01.12 PM, Mar 01, 2023


Like 2022, Malayalam superstar Mohanlal began this year too with a dud. His first release of the year Alone, which is helmed by Shaji Kailas, came with absolutely no hype – a first for a Mohanlal movie in recent years. Many thought that it was just the makers taking a pre-emptive step as the superstar’s previous films such as Aaraattu, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham and even Monster, had faced flak for setting lofty expectations through the promotions and never really matching them.

As Alone gears up for its OTT release on Disney+ Hotstar on March 3, here’s a look at some of the reasons the movie didn’t work.

Even a galaxy of ‘stars’ can’t save a poor script

A poster of Alone
A poster of Alone

The first and the most obvious one is that Shaji Kailas’ Alone had a flat script that wouldn’t have appealed even to the most die-hard fan of the superstar. In fact, Mohanlal too might have been aware of this “risk”. In an earlier interview with OTTplay, he told us, “When I heard the story of Alone, I found it very interesting. It doesn’t have too many actors. It’s just me and so, we thought we could take the risk ourselves and produce the film.”

The team tried to pad up the script by having a bevy of stars such as Prithviraj Sukumaran and Manju Warrier lend their voice to pivotal characters in the film. In any other film, this would have been a promising prospect. But in this case, these hardly mattered – because the film was a meandering mess due to its plot.

Failing to cash in on the hype

Antony Perumbavoor, Mohanlal, Shaji Kailas and Rajesh Jayram
Antony Perumbavoor, Mohanlal, Shaji Kailas and Rajesh Jayram

When the makers of Alone first announced the movie, there was a hype that the duo, who had previously teamed-up for superhits such as Narasimham and Aaraam Thampuran, were coming together after a dozen years. The film had completed shooting within a month but never saw light of the day for almost a year and a half.

Also read: Worst of 2022: Mohanlal’s Monster to Nivin Pauly’s Saturday Night, Malayalam films that were epic disappointments

This also defeated the purpose of its producers, which was to bring together Mohanlal and directors – Prithviraj Sukumaran, Jeethu Joseph, Vysakh and Shaji Kailas – in movies such as Bro Daddy, 12th Man, Monster and Alone with the idea of cashing in on the hype that would have also appealed to the OTT platforms. Unfortunately for the producers, by the time, Alone had wrapped up shooting, they got in a tussle with the film exhibitors of Kerala for promoting direct-to-OTT releases with movies such as Bro Daddy and Drishyam 2. This forced Mohanlal to step in and claim that his movies – Monster and Alone – will release in theatres first, against their initial plan.

By this time, OTT platforms’ interest for Malayalam cinema too had died down and the makers had to wait for a considerable time before they got a release date.

Audience tired of chamber thrillers


While chamber thrillers and single-actor movies did find takers initially during the pandemic, with a plethora of films following the same format, the audience too soon began to grow weary of these. Alone, which is mostly set inside an apartment, released almost two years after the trend had passed and it’s no wonder that the audience was never quite intrigued by any of the “interesting” elements that Mohanlal had talked about.

A ‘Monster’ hangover

Mohanlal in a still from Alone
Mohanlal in a still from Alone

Alone is also one of those films that suffered due to the damage caused by the previous releases of the star. While it’s unfair to judge a movie based on what the actor has starred in before, Alone, which was bankrolled by the same production house as Vysakh’s Monster and Jeethu Joseph’s 12th Man, followed a format that is packed with familiar twists and felt like a bad hangover, almost an extension of Mohanlal’s Aaraattu. The movie’s aesthetics and dizzying camera angles too didn’t help the cause.

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