Lijo Jose Pellissery is now trying to control the damage caused by the misunderstanding surrounding Malaikottai Vaaliban owing to negative social media reviews.
Filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery seems to be deeply hurt by all the "wrong" discussions surrounding his latest movie, Malaikottai Vaaliban. Starring Malayalam superstar Mohanlal in the lead role, the movie created quite a hype before its theatrical release last week.
While pre-release excitement can contribute to a strong opening , it can also have counterintuitive effects. The case of Malaikottai Vaaliban shows that hype is a double-edged sword, capable of causing more harm than good if not handled with care.
Malaikottai Vaaliban is a misunderstood film
Lijo and the producers of Malaikottai Vaaliban seemed to be conscious of the risk of overhyping the film before its release. This awareness led them to maintain a low profile in terms of promotions.
The first-look posters and teaser trailers were carefully constructed to preserve suspense regarding the film's style, nature, and story. It appeared that the filmmakers aimed to control the narrative surrounding the film by limiting the release of detailed information. However, they seemingly overlooked the potential impact of social media rumours in shaping audience expectations.
"We were trying to say that it's not a regular mass masala film. It has a different terrain, which you don't usually see (in other films). Such things we had communicated through the material that went out," Lijo said in an interview with Galatta Plus.
Lijo also admitted that there were gaps in the promotions in setting the right expectations among the audiences. "You see a king and ancient setting, and you feel like it will look like Baahubali. But, we were not trying to make Baahubali. That definitely in some way has created different ideas about the film among people," he added.
Malaikottai Vaaliban is close to Lijo's heart
Lijo is now trying to control the damage caused by misunderstanding about the film owing to negative social media reviews. He is opening up about the intricacies of Malaikottai Vaaliban and appealing to those audiences, who may be hesitant to go to theatres due to the initial reviews.
He noted that although the film starts with a deliberately slow pace, intended to establish the world of Malaikottai Vaaliban, it progressively accelerates towards an explosive second half. He also highlighted that the entire movie unfolds in a manner akin to chapters in a comic book.
Lijo is not new to criticisms and praises. He has seen both extremes in his long and successful career. However, his focus is now on actively addressing and dispelling any misconceptions surrounding Malaikottai Vaaliban among the audience, a challenge he is tackling with a level of dedication and urgency unlike before.
"Malaikottai Vaaliban is a very special film for a very simple reason (it is a collection) of small things I have experienced in my childhood through films, the stories my grandmother told me, and Amar Chitra Katha comics. I would say that you cannot count the references in this movie. There are that many references," he explained.
Besides Mohanlal, Malaikottai Vaaliban also stars Sonalee Kulkarni, Hareesh Peradi, and Danish Sait.