K.G. George, renowned filmmaker and chairman of the Kerala State Film Development Corporation, alleged on Thursday that over-celebrated stardom enjoyed by the superstars is the main cause of degradation in the Malayalam film industry today. He was talking in a debate held in Thiruvananthapuram by 'Janapadham', a publication of the state Information and Public Relations Department.
K.G. George also criticized superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal for dictating the kind of films being made, thereby diluting the aesthetic value of Malayalam films. He said the superstars have an iron grip on the industry and which is not promising.
"There is nothing wrong with them, but for the last 25 years they have ruled the roost and this trend is not good. There are times when films are made according to the whims and fancies of these superstars. Over the years the aesthetic value of Malayalam films has been lost out to pure commercialization," a news agency quoted the director as saying.
Producer Suresh Kumar, another participant in the debate, said that the huge remuneration charged by superstars is the main reason why the cost of a film shoots up. Mammootty and Mohanlal charge around Rs. 6 million each, which is simply unaffordable. 60% of the total film cost goes to remuneration alone.
In a bid to reduce the cost of filmmaking, a group of fifteen Malayalam film producers and theatre owners has decided not to cast any superstars in their movies. The plan is to produce films within a budget of 1.5 crores by excluding superstars. The theatre owners also have agreed to screen these films for a minimum period of two weeks, Suresh Kumar added.