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Malayalam films come to a standstill

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Friday, June 22, 2007
A few years ago, the entire Malayalam film industry came to a grinding halt when the Film Producers Association clashed head-on with Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes over various issues including the controversies over star-nites. Prithviraj will have his own reasons for remembering the strike because all of a sudden, he found himself on the receiving end of AMMA's wrath.

It looked as if history was all set to repeat itself when MACTA announced that it was going to launch a strike against the Kerala Film Producers' Association for various reasons. Most of these reasons revolved around hiking the rates of workers.

MACTA had initially announced that it would launch its strike on the 15th of June. But, for a few days, everything seemed normal. This led many to believe that the strike might have been dropped. That however wasn't the case. The entire industry came to a grinding halt on Tuesday, the 19th of June.

This one is going to be an indefinite strike too. While the entire association has its excuses, Vinayan, the president of MACTA has his own long-time battle against the superstars. He wants them to restrict the number of films that they star in a year. He is convinced that the superstars are the biggest hindrance in the progress of the film industry.

No estimation yet has been made about the loss that the strike would cause to the Malayalam film industry. All the films that were meant to be released on Onam are now clouded in uncertainty. Vinayan continues his war against the superstars, but not many are supporting him in it. But the biggest casualties of the strike are going to be the theatre owners, producers and distributors.

Almost all the films that were lined up for release this Onam now stand postponed. Some of the units that went outside Kerala are now on their way back home. Blessy's 'Kolkotta News' is one such film. Major Ravi probably was aware of a huge strike on its way and therefore was able to complete his 'Mission 90 Days' on time.

Actress Kavya Madhavan walked out of Nasrani. But now that the strike has commenced, there are talks that the film just might be dropped forever. The film's fate now depends on the strike. Mohanlal's Alibhai has lot of production works to be completed. The elaborate vegetable-market set that was constructed for the shooting will soon be dismantled. The producer is very unhappy about this. Simran's comeback film Heartbeats too is one of the films that have stopped.

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