A still of Mohanlal in the Malayalam movie Marakkar-Arabikkadalinte Simham.
A still of Mohanlal in the Malayalam movie Marakkar-Arabikkadalinte Simham.

Award-winning Mohanlal movie set for OTT release after talks with theatres fail

Thiruvananthapuram, November 5, 2021

The 2020 National Award-winning Malayalam movie, "Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham (Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea)", starring superstar Mohanlal and directed by the much-acclaimed Priyadarshan, will be released on an OTT platform, its producer Antony Perumbavur announced here on Friday.

The Kerala Film Chamber and Producers Association had been conducting a series of discussions with the producer for a theatrical release of the movie. The discussions, however, did not result in any forward movement.

Speaking to media persons, Perumbavur said, "I have tried my best and conducted several rounds of negotiations. Nothing has resulted from them and I have no choice other than to release the movie on an OTT platform." The film bagged three National Awards for 2020 -- Best Feature Film, Best Special Effects and Best Costume.

The movie, it is reliably learnt, will premiere on Prime Video around Christmas. Perumbavur added that Mohanlal's five coming movies produced by him will also be released on OTT platforms.

The Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) office-bearers, however, had a different version to offer. FEOUK President Anchal Vijayakumar said: "We had guaranteed 500 screens and Rs 15 crore as the minimum guarantee. When the producer still backs out, it means he has entered into some sort of a deal with certain OTT platforms."

Perumbavur countered this version of the story by pointing out that only 89 theatres had agreed to the demands put forth by him. He also denied that he had taken Rs 40 crore as advance from theatre owners.

The Rs 100 crore movie, the most expensive Malayalam film ever produced, features Mohanlal in the title role and its star cast includes Suniel Shetty, Arjun Serja, Manju Warrier, Keerthi Suresh, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Pranav Mohanlal, Innocent, Siddique, the late Nedumudi Venu, and several other prominent names of the South Indian film industry.

The historical film is set in the 16th century and recounts the adventures of Kunjali Marakkar IV, naval commander of the then ruler of Kozhikode (Calicut), known to the world as the Zamorin. Marakkar and his men defended the Malabar coast against Portuguese forces who had followed in the wake of Vasco da Gama.

Shooting for the film started in December 2018 and was completed in March 2019. It was mostly shot in the Ramoji Film Studios, Hyderabad.

Marakkar -- Arabikkadalinte Simham had won the award for the Best Feature Film at the 67th National Film Awards announced in March this year and presented in Delhi last month.


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