Malaikottai Vaaliban, the period fantasy drama helmed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, stars Mohanlal in the titular role. The movie hit theatres on January 25, 2024.
Mohanlal joined hands with acclaimed filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery for the first time in his career for his latest outing, Malaikottai Vaaliban. The superstar played the role of an uncontested warrior in the period fantasy film, which has been receiving great reviews from the cine-goers, and mixed responses from common audiences. Recently, the makers of Malaikottai Vaaliban, including producer Shibu Baby John and director Lijo Jose Pellissery, reacted to the polarising views on the film and made some interesting comments.
In a recent interview with Reported TV, producer Shibu Baby John opened up about the mixed reviews received for their ambitious project. According to the politician-turned-filmmaker, Malaikottai Vaaliban is an answer to those audiences who always complain that we lost the ‘actor’ Mohanlal. However, the producer feels that at least a major group of the superstar’s fans and cine-goers are still reluctant to accept his experimental films. According to him, viewers unfortunately try to restrict the veteran actor to images created by films like Aaram Thampuran and Lucifer.
Shibu Baby John feels that Mohanlal’s experiments are not received like Mammootty’s, for some reason. The politician-producer pointed out that most of the recent films of the megastar, including Nanpakal Nerathu Mayyakkam helmed by Lijo Jose Pellissery and Puzhu, received excellent responses from the audience. Shibu Baby John feels that Malayalam cinema lovers like to see such attempts from Mammootty, but not from Mohanlal. The producer feels that this attitude has resulted in polarising views on Malaikottai Vaaliban.
Fans were clearly expecting a full-fledged action film set in a period fantasy space when Mohanlal and Lijo Jose Pellissery revealed the initial posters and glimpse video of Malaikottai Vaaliban. Contrary to what the initial promotional materials implied, the movie ended up being completely different. Even though the actor-director duo later revealed that it is an Amar Chitra Katha-like film, cine-goers assumed that they were just trying to control the massive hype. We can easily say that Malaikottai Vaaliban is a classic case of misleading promotions negatively impacting the film.
Notable filmmaker Tinu Pappachan, who worked as an associate director in the film, claimed that theatres are going to witness euphoria in the introduction scene of leading man Mohanlal. However, this claim, which was far from the truth, immediately created a different image of the film. In short, Malayalam audiences were expecting Lijo Jose Pellissery to try something different with his first collaboration with Mohanlal. But it was not to be.