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Exclusive! Amid Omicron threat, B Unnikrishnan to take a call on release of Mohanlal’s Aaraattu by January mid

The ‘mass’ entertainer is currently scheduled to hit theatres on February 10

Sanjith Sidhardhan
Jan 05, 2022
cover image
Mohanlal in a still from Aaraattu

Movies across industries have been postponing their release dates due to the restrictions imposed in various states. Mollywood, which has about 15 movies scheduled to hit theatres in January and February, too could follow suit, amid the rising cases due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In January, Dulquer Salmaan’s Salute, Vineeth Sreenivasan’s Hridayam and Tovino Thomas’ Naaradhan are the big releases slotted, while February has Mohanlal’s Aaraattu, Mammootty’s Bheeshma Parvam and Fahadh Faasil’s Malayankunju.

As of now, there has been no official announcements regarding movies shifting the release dates. B Unnikrishnan, Aaraattu’s director and co-producer, tells us, “We are still aiming to release the movie on February 10. But with theatres in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi, which are revenue centres for Malayalam cinema, being adversely affected due to the latest lockdowns, there could be changes. I will be taking a call on the release of Aaraattu only January 15.”

OTTplay has also learnt from a source close to the production team of Dulquer’s Salute that the makers too are contemplating postponing the release date. The investigative thriller, which is directed by Rosshan Andrrews and scripted by Bobby-Sanjay duo, is currently scheduled to hit theatres worldwide on January 14.

Meanwhile, Anto Joseph, a senior official from Kerala Film Producers Association, tells us, “The government has now announced that only 75% occupancy will be allowed in indoor premises. There’s still no clarity on whether theatres are included in this. Producers and distributors will take a call on the upcoming releases by next week. Right now, the people have not panicked and they are still coming to theatres, so that’s a healthy sign.”

With Mollywood already having a packed line-up of releases, a delay in the schedule could also impact most movies with the majority of these having completed production six months ago. Since theatres reopened by October end, Mollywood has seen a deluge of releases with movies such as Dulquer’s Kurup, Mohanlal’s Marakkar, Basil Joseph’s Jan-E-Man and Antony Varghese’s Ajagajantharam making profits.

Meanwhile, if lockdowns come into force in Kerala, several movies including Mohanlal’s Alone and Monster will also go the OTT route. Currently, Bro Daddy and Manju Warrier’s Lalitham Sundaram are heading for direct-to-OTT releases. It’s also rumoured that Mammootty’s Puzhu could be heading for a direct OTT release.

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