The legendary Mohanlal is one of the biggest and most celebrated names in Malayalam cinema. Fondly referred to as the 'Complete Actor', the actor enjoys a strong fan following thanks to his impressive range as a performer, humble nature and charismatic personality. During his illustrious career, 'Lalettan' has starred in several timeless classics and this has established him as the heart and soul of M-town. At present, he is gearing up for the release of Neerali which hits the screens on July 12, 2018.
While the film has created a buzz amongst his die-hard fans, there is a perception that the outrage against Mohanlal because of Dileep's return to AMMA might take a toll on Neerali. As such, some trade experts have even described it as a 'litmus test' for the veteran. However, this perception is hardly justified. Neerali can't be used as the yardstick for determining whether Mohanlal remains the choice of the masses despite the recent controversies.
Neerali Is Not A Typical Mollywood Film
Unlike the magnum opus Odiyan, Neerali has been shot against a relatively modest budget of Rs 11-15 Crore. As such, the buzz around is not as great as expected. Similarly, the film is being directed by Ajoy Varma and is the first Mollywood movie of his career. As such, the fans too don't have sky-high expectations from it.
Neerali Is Not A Performance-oriented Film
Neerali is a thriller and features some solid visual effects. Generally speaking, a compelling/ riveting screenplay and not dramatic brilliance is the USP of films belonging to the thriller genre. As such, Neerali is might not really do full justice to Mohanlal's abilities as a performer. This again indicates the it is unlikely to be a 'litmus test' for Lalettan.
Dileep's Ramleela Was Not Affected By Public Outrage
Last year, Dileep was arrested in connection with the actress assault case and this left his fans in a state of shock. Shortly thereafter, several stars spoke against the actor and this had an adverse impact on his public image. However, this outrage did not take a toll on the box office performance of Ramleela which hit the screens a few months after his arrest and proved to be a big hit. The fans did not boycott Ramleela even though Dileep was involved in an ugly controversy. As such, it is unlikely that they will turn against Mohanlal because of the AMMA issue.
Neerali Is An Important Release For Mohanlal
While Neerali is not a 'make or break' affair for Mohanlal, it is an important release nonetheless. The star's last two films(Villain and Velipadinte Pusthakam) did not do exceptionally well at the BO and he will be hoping to bounce back with Neerali.
While Neerali is unlikely to be affected by the recent controversies, the fact remains that Dileep's return to AMMA has taken a toll on the organisation's reputation. The Kannada Film Industry too has condemned the decision to take back the Love 24X7 actor and this indicates that the matter is no longer restricted to Mollywood alone. Enough said!