Karyasthan – Blockbuster
Marykondoru Kunjaadu – Super Hit
China Town – Hit
Mr. Marumakan – Hit
My Boss – Super Hit
Kammath and Kammath – Hit
Sound Thoma – Super Hit
Sringaravelan – Hit
This is how Dileep’s comedy movies fared in last 4 years. Among these , despite the box-office results , only movie which was really funny and enjoyable was My Boss ( and maybe to an extent – Marykundoru Kunjaadu). I mentioned in a recent article that its mystery why Indrajith is not able to deliver solo hits . An even bigger mystery is how Dileep is able to churn out hits after hits when each of those movies are thrashed by both critics and viewers who post their opinion on various forums alike.
In fact the trend nowadays is that the lower a Dileep movie is rated by critics, the bigger its success is. The most recent instance is Sringaravelan which got the worst review among all Onam releases but emerged the box-office winner unanimously.
So whats the secret behind the success of Dileep’s recent slapstick movies ? When such big hits are being inspiration for further such low standard movies to come out, who is to blame here – Dileep who finds it pretty easy to fill his pockets or the audience who despite criticizing these movies still go , watch them and eventually make them huge successes.
I guess there are a number of factors which favor these Dileep movies. Prithviraj, Fahad Fazil and other young actors might have found a big fan-base among the youth but the fact is that ‘Janapriya Nayakan’ Dileep remains the favorite among the elder generation after Mammootty or Mohanlal. I recently saw a post in a forum wherein a young guy persuaded his parents to go for a good Prithviraj movie to which they replied -‘Is there a Dileep movie which is playing nearby , then lets go to that’.
I also read another interesting story wherein a guy was forced to take his kids to Sringaravelan despite knowing how it is because the kids wanted to watch a outright comedy movie. It remains that due to these reasons ,the first preference for most families during a festive season is a comedy movie and Dileep is canny enough to cash on this aspect.
Dileep entered the film industry from mimicry field starting off as an assistant director and did many small parts before the breakthrough role in Manathe Kottaram. Later through hits like Sallapam, Ee Puzhayum Kadannu , Panjabi House, Dileep slowly and steadily found a permenant place in the hearts of Keralites. At a time when big M’s movies badly fared between 2001 to 2003, Dileep had a dream run in boxoffice with almost his every other movie a blockbuster like Ee Parakkum Thalika , Meeshamadhavan and Ishtam.
The difference between the movies now and those times being that those movies used to have really witty one-liners, funny situations and good story-lines Now what you see is just a mishmash of those old hits with script writers struggling to bring anything fresh to the table and Dileep just sleepwalking through his roles which are just slight variations to the characters he had done umpteen times in the past.
Still I feel one cannot make Dileep stop doing such movies because whenever the greatly talented actor has tried his hands on anything different ,despite valiant efforts, Dileep has never got his due . I still believe two of his best works till date was 2002’s Kunjikoonan and 2005’s Chanthupottu . But even after putting his heart into these projects and delivering truly awesome performances, the jury mocked them as mere mimicry and denied him well deserved state awards for the best actor.
In 2011, this jury finally gave him his first state award for a clearly lesser performance and Dileep again had to face the wrath from all people but now for winning an undeserved award. Even his attempt to be part of offbeat movies have gone majorly unnoticed despite being part of good movies like Kathavasheshan and Arike.
So its no wonder that Dileep now majorly focuses on spinning more money lately and the recent history shows that he is able to achieve it pretty easily. Lets just hope that at some point Dileep pause and realize that after years, people will not look back and remember his recent movies like they still adore Meeshamadhavan, Punjabi House or Thenkashipattanam. I also wish that audience slowly adjust their mindset to turn their back to such crass comedies if there are better movies playing in nearby theaters.