Director V.A. Shreekumar Menon, whose movie Odiyan has been facing wrath on social media after it released on Friday, said that a paid gang was trying to pull the film down.
Starring Mohanlal in the lead, Odiyan marked the feature film debut of Menon, an ad filmmaker. Through pre production and production, the film enjoyed considerable publicity, enough to bring Mohanlal fans to theatres despite a strike by political parties. However the film itself didn’t measure up to people’s expectations. And was panned.
Announced in March 2017, Odiyan’s cast and crew comprised of the best artists and technicians of the industry.
Announcing my next project Odiyan. The movie, guaranteed to be a visual treat is produced by Antony Perumbavoor in the…
Posted by Mohanlal on Saturday, March 25, 2017
Produced by Antony Perumbavoor under the banner of Aashirvad Cinemas, the cast included artists like Manju Warrier, Prakash Raj, Siddique and Nandu while the technicians comprised of production designer Sabu Cyril (Baahubali), cinematographer Shaji Kumar (Pulimurugan, Naran), music director Gopi Sundar (Geetha Govindam), stunt director Peter Hein (Anniyan, Pulimurugan) and national award-winning scriptwriter Harikrishnan (Kutty Srank).
Coupled with this was Mohanlal’s weight loss and cosmetic makeover to look the part. While these succeeded in creating excitement during the announcement stage, the director, prior to the movie’s release, had gone ahead and said that the movie had already amassed Rs.100 crores.
Happy to share the news that Odiyan has crossed 100 cr business mark yesterday evening 3 days b4 releaSe. This is the rights and prebooking sale combined figure. 3rd film in south and 11th in Indian cinema history #odiyanrisng @Mohanlal @themanjuwarrier pic.twitter.com/TJEf8mcrl7
— shrikumar menon (@VA_Shrikumar) December 11, 2018
#Odiyan huge cutout at Thrissur Ragam ? Biigest cutout for any actor in Kerala. 130 ft ? Previous biggest was 116 ft cutout for Vijay in Kollam.
Terrific advance booking all over Thrissur. 59 fans shows, Rlsing in 31 theatres & 48 screens ?
Record Breaking Opening Guaranteed. pic.twitter.com/KUjVRczGXg
— Thrissur Theaters (@ThrissurTheatrs) December 13, 2018
As a result of this hoopla, the people even braved a strike called by the BJP and flocked to theatres to watch the movie.
As Scheduled earlier #Odiyan will have all the shows 2mrw starting at 4:30AM#OdiyanRising? pic.twitter.com/javzH1epFq
— Forum Keralam (FK) (@Forumkeralam1) December 13, 2018
Reservation Q at EKM #KavithaTheatre ???#odiyan#OdiyanFromDec14#Ernakulam pic.twitter.com/BoXLYhQHJG
— gOkUL ? (@GOKULBNAIR) December 12, 2018
#Odiyan craze at Pathanamthitta ?? pic.twitter.com/oBcAAN2Oc5
— Rockstar (@Rockztar_1) December 13, 2018
All Time Thookkal On Harthal Day?? 94 Shows across Kottayam District ?? Highest By Any Movie?? Record Opener ! pic.twitter.com/vn3PStcHb9
— Jaseel Muhammed (@JaseelMuhamme12) December 14, 2018
The viewers who were thoroughly underwhelmed by the movie took to social media to express their outrage.
#Odiyan First Half Update:
At halfway point #Odiyan lacks the much needed high moments due to mediocre narration. A superb Mohanlal and terrific bgm scores makes up for the so far average impression. pic.twitter.com/9w77IqPb8h
— Forum Keralam (FK) (@Forumkeralam1) December 14, 2018
Verdict got from my friend, so am backing out of seeing #odiyan. As he is a lalettan fan, just told me this "sreekumar chathichashane". Any one got interested pls call me, a ticket is available @VA_Shrikumar. Now I know why M T Vasudevan Nair didn't trust him doing #randamoozham
— Praveen Kumar P J (@pkpj) December 14, 2018
LOL. Looks like every industry has its own Rajnikanth. Own expensive movies. Own build up. Own disappointment. Own debacles. #Odiyan
— George Vijay Addict (@VijayIsMyLife) December 14, 2018
Odiyan ends up being a big disappointment.Had so much potential @Mohanlal is the only positive aspect of the movie.Manju Warrier,Prakash Raj are completely wasted.Weak Script,poor execution @VA_Shrikumar you have us an explanation,big time. #Odiyan
— Nidin Jacob (@ImNidin) December 14, 2018
Here after no one promote their filim this much. If anybody tells that hype I will show this ?
— Ashiq Rahman (@itzme_ashi) December 14, 2018
#Odiyan – Another instance where teaser is much better than the film. Poor direction & dead slow screenplay spoils d show. Mohanlal’s effort, Manju Warrier’s performace & BGM r on positive side. Prakashraj has been wasted. Action scenes r also not upto d mark. Very lengthy. Avg!
— Christopher Kanagaraj (@Chrissuccess) December 14, 2018
— കംപ്ലീറ്റ് ട്വീപ്പ് (@arunsivadass) December 14, 2018
Menon however speculated a deeper conspiracy. “There is a paid gang that does this. But, Odiyan will prove that such paid targeting will not work and this movie will emerge a success. These are efforts to destroy a dream and an industry. We are trying to open up an industry. Producers are coming up to make big-budget movies in Malayalam, but there is a sadistic tendency to destroy their enthusiasm. It is disappointing to see this group of people. I welcome genuine criticism, but many are targeting us,” said Menon in an India Today report.
Menon, who has been credited with bringing back Manju Warrier in front of the camera through the ads he shot for Kalyan Jewellers, feels that haters of the actress was also a part of this gang. “As she was my client and friend, I have always thought how to position Manju as a brand and to build her brand. A talent like Manju’s happens to an industry once in many decades. We only positioned her as a brand. I knew clearly that there are a group of people who did not want Manju Warrier to ever become successful and they would target me if I helped her. I am also ready to face the ripple effect of that decision or be crucified repeatedly for it.”
Image Courtesy: India Today