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Reelz Retrospective - Issue 1 - 2015 Year End Special

Discussion in 'Archives' started by nryn, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. nryn

    nryn Star

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    Reelz Retrospective is a monthly retrospective from Forum Reelz. A compilation of facts, figures, and opinions over the month. This is the inaugural issue that analyses the year gone by and what to look forward in 2016.

    The facts and figures in the report are sourced from the industry as well as from reputed news outlets. Any inadvertent error is regretted.

    2015 - Roaring Comeback of Malayalam Cinema


    An amazing year for commercial Malayalam Cinema. The audience was discerning and wholeheartedly backed projects that had meat. Gone are the days of vapid masala entertainers topping the charts in the box office. The major complaint that film makers had regarding the audience was the lack of appreciation to good cinema. Ennu Ninte Moideen and Premam became the top grossers in the industry on the back of good making, interesting setting, and strong performances. They continued in the trail that Drishyam blazed. 2015 also saw the advent of new generation super stars.

    The most important trend that we saw in 2015 was the increase in collection for Malayalam cinema in general. The movies that managed to capture some kind of mind share in the audience did really well. People were willing to spend money on cinema and that reflects on the box office chart. Every year we see a sea of articles lamenting about the losses in the industry. If you closely look at the year end articles across decades, you will see the same pattern. A minority of the films released in an year are profitable. Others are not. The issue here is that we are looking at a high risk-high reward investment and equating it with a regular industry. There are reports from the heydays of Malayalam Cinema (the late 80s) that lament on the lack of business. Its business as usual in an usual year.

    But this year is slightly different. Three movies that released this year has managed to get into the top five grossers of all time. Malayalam movies have been well received outside Kerala and non-resident keralites have actually spent money to view the movies in theatres. As a culture with a large diaspora, this shift opens up new avenues for our film makers.

    Forum Reelz reviews the year that went by with our analysis on the critical level as well as the box office results. We will go through the top movies of the year and how different stars fared in the year. We will also take a look at the emerging trends and the hopes for 2016.
     
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  2. nryn

    nryn Star

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    Without further ado, lets go over the top grossers of 2015.

    10. Kunjiramayanam
    A dream debut for Basil Joseph. Backed by a young cast, this fun film ended up in the 10th position of 2015 box office.
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    9. Loham

    Loham holds the record for the highest first day opening for a Malayalam film thanks to the massive hype behind Mohanlal-Ranjith combination. The movie was able to withstand the opening day collection of 2.14 crores by a very narrow margin. The movie ended up as a Hit despite mixed reports. Now that the hype is gone, the movie is receiving positive reviews in the home video market.
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    8. Anarkali

    A romantic outing from Prithviraj, helmed by long-time script writer and first-time director Sachi, ended up as a super hit in the box office.
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    6. Bhaskar The Rascal

    A grand comeback for director Siddique after the debacle, Ladies and Gentleman. Mammootty-Nayantara pair got the box office ringing and ended up as a vacation blockbuster.
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    6. Charlie

    Charlie narrowly missed the highest opening day record by a whisker by collecting 2.06 crores. Charlie threatened to break the opening day record and came a close second in an incredible photo-finish Kerala box office never witnessed before. Charlie ended up as the top grosser for the first weekend and the first movie to hit 5 crores in the first weekend. The movie has left a strong impression on the youth. Dulquer-Parvathy starrer should end up just shy of the 20 crore mark to grab the 6th spot.
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  3. nryn

    nryn Star

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    And the top 5 of 2015 are...

    5. Oru Vadakkan Selfie
    Directed by debutant Prejith, the movie set the momentum for Nivin Pauly in 2015. Vadakkan Selfie was well received by all sections of the audience for its brand of humour and chemistry among the cast.
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    4. 2 Countries
    2 Countries turned it around for Dileep. This Christmas release has got an iron grip over the family audience and is sure to run in packed houses in 2016. According to our estimates, the movie should collect around 24 crores, storming into the Top 5 of 2015.
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    3. Amar Akbar Antony


    The debut project by Nadirsha, long time mimicry/cine artist, became a rage among the audience backed by strong humour and a fantastic ensemble cast. Amar Akbar Antony has attained an All Time Blockbuster status thanks to strong show in the box office.
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    2. Premam

    Premam was the rage in 2015. The movie captured the imagination of youth across the country. Alphonse Puthren and Nivin Pauly became house-hold names. The movie attracted a lot of attention thanks to the way colleges reacted to it. Both negative and positive. Not to say the least about Malar, the character portrayed by Sai Pallavi, who enraptured the youth and played a significant role in the success. It wouldn't be wrong to say that the stock of teachers across the state shot up after Malar!

    Premam holds the record for highest gross in opening weekend as well as opening week along with the fastest 10 crore movie in Malayalam. Premam was trumped by our number one in Kerala box office, but Premam reigns as the most collected Malayalam movie in 2015 and second behind Drishyam in the all-time list when you consider the worldwide box office figures
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    1. Ennu Ninte Moidheen

    Ennu Ninte Moideen captured the imagination of Malayalees and reigns supreme in the Kerala box office in 2015. The eternal love story of Moidheen and Kanchana was taken to heart by Malayalees. One of those occasions where a movie meets a deserved success. Directed by debutant RS Vimal, this is perhaps the strongest debut by a director in a very long time.
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  4. nryn

    nryn Star

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    Apart from the top ten movies, there were many others that were hit or managed to break even.

    Major Hits


    Pathemaari , Ennum Eppozhum , Fireman , Oru Second Class Yathra , Su Sudhi Vathmeekam , Jamnapyari

    Average Grossers

    Picket 43 , Mili , Life Of Josutty , Chandrettan Evideya , Madhuranaranga , 100 Days Of Love

    Disasters
    2015 also had its fair share of major disasters from the top stars. Double Barrel was perhaps the biggest disappointment followed by Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi. Other major disasters that incurred massive losses to the producer were Kanal, Acha Din, Ivan Maryadaraman, Utopiayile Rajavu, Laila O Laila, Love 24x7, Ivide, Rani Padmini, Samrajyam II, and Rudrasimhasanam. Ivide and Rani Padmini got a lot of critical acclaim, but the lacklustre reception from the audience and high production cost ensured their demise in the box office.

    Let us now go through the fortunes of the major stars in 2015.
     
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  5. nryn

    nryn Star

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    Mohanlal
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    An actor with a couple of hits in the year usually ends up as one of the winners of the year. Unfortunately for the superstar, it is not so. Drishyam showed the power that Mohanlal holds over the audience and more importantly, their expectation from their favourite superstar. The choice of films in the year has been painful to say the least. Laila O Laila and Kanal dragged Mohanlal into the deep pits of hatred from the audience. Both of them were massive bombs in the box office and garnered terrible opinion from the audience. Excruciatingly outdated writing and direction that makes one wonder about the choices that this gifted actor makes. Another dud for the actor was the guest appearance in the movie Rasam.

    Loham notched up yet another box office record for the box office king with the highest first day gross of all time. But the movie failed to meet the fan expectations of a Mohan Lal - Renjith "mass" film and winded up getting negative feedback despite ending up as a hit. Ennum Eppozhum gave Mohanlal the chance to revisit the simple, humorous man role. His performance was one of his best in recent years. Despite the chemistry with Manju Warrier, the movie ended up pretty generic. The family audience backed the movie just enough to get a hit status.

    2016 looks optimistic with some interesting projects. Puli Murukan with Vysakh is scheduled to release on April and has a lot of hype surrounding it. Oppam, a thriller with Priyadarshan is on the off and a movie with Vellimoonga director Jibu Jacob is also on the plate. Another interesting project is Benz Vasu by Prejith who made a splash with Oru Vadakkan Selfie. He is also set to act in a Telugu movie directed by Chandra Sekhar Yeleti. There are also rumours of a Telugu film with Jr.NTR and Fahad Fazil. Here is hoping that Lal has a grand 2016.
     
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  6. nryn

    nryn Star

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    Mammootty
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    A good year for maestro despite two box office bombs in Utopia le Rajavu and Ache Din. He continued his acting form and had a memorable outing with Pathemari. The resurgence of Malayalam cinema made sure that Pathemari did really well in the box office for a movie that lacks a lot of mainstream tropes. The portrayal of Pallikkal Narayanan is sure to bring in the veteran well deserved accolades in 2016.

    Bhaskar The Rascal got the box office registers ringing and gave Mammootty a much needed blockbuster. The movie silenced the critics who had written him out as unfit for commercial entertainers. Disaster movies are quite alien to Malayalam cinema and the success of Fireman should bode well for the future. Deepu Karunakaran - Mammootty film had moderate success and ended up as hit despite mixed reactions from the audience.

    Mammootty starts of 2016 with A.K.Sajan's Puthiya Niyamam. The movie has some pre-release buzz going around as a taut thriller. Another movie to look forward is White, directed by Uday Ananthan. White is said to be a romantic entertainer set in England.

    However, the most promising projects for 2016 are from two debutants. Nithin Ranji Panicker film where Mammootty is rumoured to play a cop and the movie directed by Akhil Paul, the writer of Seventh Day, where the thespian is set to come in a stylish avatar. Another project by Johny Antony is also in the pipeline.
     
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  7. nryn

    nryn Star

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    Dileep
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    Dileep had a mixed year until he managed to turn around the fortune with the grand success of Two Countries. Dileep did not have a good time in the box office ever since the fall in popularity of his formulaic comedy entertainers. He was having a pretty good time with movies running to packed houses despite being panned heavily on the critical side. His divorce from Manju Warrier garnered more headlines than his movies.

    In 2015, the much-hyped Ivan Maryadaraman (remake of Maryada Rammana) fell flat on its face. A character and film that suited Dileep to the T, let down by incompetent direction. Chandrettan Evideya saw Dileep teaming up with the talented Sidharth Bharathan. The movie got critical appreciation along with Dileep's performance. But it ended up as an average grosser. Love 24x7 sank without a trace in the box office. The big ticket for Dileep in 2015 was Life of Josutty. The movie had tremendous hype thanks to Jithu Joseph who was helming a film after the inimitable Drishyam. The movie ended up as an average grosser in the box office.

    Two Countries was a test for Dileep to show that he still has the charm and the wit that made him the darling of the masses. His combination with Mamta after My Boss worked yet again. He handled the role deftly and the movie is doing brisk business in the box office. In 2016, Dileep is set to do King Liar helmed by Lal and written by Siddique followed by Kammara Sambhavam from Rathish Ambat and Welcome to Central Jail from Sundar Das.
     
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  8. nryn

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    Prithviraj
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    2015 saw this wonderful actor elevated and cemented as a Super Star. The journey of Prithviraj has been fascinating. Shot into the limelight with a great debut and quickly established himself as the heir apparent to the Big Ms. Things went on a downturn and he was a perennial would be superstar for several years. Criticism from all around the man was sharp and not without merit. There came a stage when there was a section of audience completely turned away from his movies. Though he was blessed with several hits, many films underperformed based on the merit.

    The comeback from such a situation has been inspirational. The dogged pursuit of good roles. Actively participating in good cinema finally paid of in 2015. Picket 43 saw Prithviraj team up with Major Ravi. Prithvi's performance as lauded and the movie did decent business. He followed it up with another stellar performance as Varun Blake in Shyamaprasad's Ivide. Things seemingly took a wrong turn when the much hyped Double Barrell ended up as a dud and a box office disaster. What followed has been nothing short of phenomenal.

    Ennu Ninte Moideen became an all time block-buster with universal praise for Prithviraj. The movie captured the imagination of millions and crossed Premam in box office collection. No mean feat for a period romance. Prithviraj followed it up with Amar Akbar Antony. Comedy has not been the forte of this intense actor. But he pulled it off with elan and the movie became a huge hit. Anarkali followed Amar Akbar Antony and Prithviraj showed the world how good he could be with urban romance as well. Despite getting mixed reactions from the critics, Anarkali ended up as a super hit; cementing Prithviraj as a super star and true successor to the Big Ms.

    2016 looks really promising with a flurry of projects. January will see Pavada by Marthandan in which he plays a raging alcoholic. Darvinte Parinamam will follow. 2016 will also see Prithviraj in James & Alice, the debut film of the ace cinematographer Sujith Vasudev. Another project is The Beautiful Game, a movie set in the Malappuram football premise, produced by the actor Asif Ali. Projects from Jeethu Joseph and the much awaited Aadujeevitham by Blessy is also in the pipeline. Another project in the pre-production stage is a movie from R.S.Vimal, which is rumoured to be an epic film based on Mahabharata.
     
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    nryn Star

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    Nivin Pauly
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    If someone told you Nivin Pauly would not be the star of the year before the last quarter of this year, you would think he is crazy. It was that kind of an year for Nivin Pauly. Nivin followed up a fantastic 2014 with an even better 2015. He started of with an extended cameo in Mili that garnered some praise. Oru Vadakkan Selfie followed and the movie got a fantastic reception from the young crowd. The chemistry between Nivin, Vineeth Sreenivasan, and Aju Varghese propelled the movie to a different level. The result was a blockbuster. A solo blockbuster that all actors crave. What followed was pretty much unprecedented.

    Premam. Premam was a rage would be an understatement. Premam dominated every outlet ever since the release day. Nivin Pauly gave a career best performance as George and captivated the hearts of millions of viewers. Not just in Kerala, but across India. The success of the movie is tantamount to the fact that it ran for 200 days in Chennai. Premam did so well that it came close to breaking the record of Drishyam world-wide. More importantly, Premam became the cultural influence that no movie has been in a long time.

    Ivide affirmed Nivin's interest towards good cinema and his performance was deemed satisfactory by critics. 2016 holds great hope for the actor. Action Hero Biju comes out in January and hopefully cements Nivin Pauly as a super star. Another movie coming out would be Jacobinte Swargarajyam by his friend and mentor Vineeth Sreenivasan.
     
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    Dulquer Salmaan
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    Dulquer Salmaan had only three release in 2015. But his choice of films have been good and we saw the growth of the charismatic scion from a star kid to a bankable actor. The best part about Dulquer Salmaan has been that he never tries to imitate his illustrious father. A trope that many star kids fall into. It's exceedingly easy to fall into that trap since you pretty much inherit a large fan base and want to please them. Then again, when the father in question is Mammootty, you are pretty much set for a failure trying to imitate him.

    Dulquer started of the year with Jenus Mohammed's 100 Days of Love. A sweet, sugary love story that saw him opposite Nithya Menen. Though the movie saw a good opening, it ended up as a moderate success in the box office. Dulquer's performance as Balan.K.Nair was thoroughly lauded. Up next was Mani Rathnam's tamil movie, OK Kanmani. Dulquer was once again joined by Nithya Menen. The movie captured the imagination film lovers and ended up as a hit among critics and audience alike.

    Dulquer ended the year with Charlie by Martin Prakatt. The pre-release stills and trailers garnered huge hype among youngsters and resulted in a massive opening. The opening day collection was just shy of Loham and the opening week collection was just shy of Premam. Charlie would eventually settle as the biggest hit for Dulquer as a solo hero.

    2016 bodes well for the young actor. Kali with Sameer Thahir is a project to look forward. He also teams up with the talented Rajiv Ravi for a movie rumoured to be centred around the underworld.
     
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