Mohanlal’s ‘Malaikottai Vaaliban’ becomes a fresh target for trolls, makers unhappy 

The film collected ₹5 crore on the opening day and ₹9.75 crore in three days due to the targeted negative campaign.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published Jan 29, 2024 | 11:25 AMUpdatedJan 30, 2024 | 5:31 PM

Malaikottai Vaaliban becomes a fresh target for trolls

Mohanlal’s previous film Neru (2023) collected ₹100 crore globally. The film’s success was a great relief for the actor, who did not see a theatrical hit after the COVID-19  outbreak.

His previous releases — Aarattu (2022), Monster (2022), and Alone (2023) — were all box-office duds, following which he faced negative comments on social media.

Fan fights were in full swing on social media, and trolls alleged that his films had the same pattern.

The box-office collections of these films were also underwhelming due to the poor response from audiences.

And now, Mohanlal’s latest outing, Malaikottai Vaaliban, has become a fresh target for trolls.

Also Read: ‘Neru’ enters the elite ₹100-crore club, remake talks on 

Mohanlal-starrer targeted for slow pace

Mohanlal's Malaikottai Vaaliban

Mohanlal’s ‘Malaikottai Vaaliban’ is being targeted for its slow pace and lack of mass elements. (Supplied)

Malaikottai Vaaliban was released in theatres worldwide on 25 January.

Soon after the first day of the first show in Kerala ended, social media and YouTube were flooded with negative comments about the film.

The posts and comments targeted the movie for its slow pace and lack of mass elements, as assured by the makers.

Malaikottai Vaaliban is Lijo Jose Pellissery’s 10th directorial venture. The critically acclaimed filmmaker’s collaboration with veteran actor Mohanlal became the talk of the town.

Several fan theories cropped up after the release of the title posters and teasers of the film. Upon its release, the Mohanlal-starrer received mixed reviews.

Meanwhile, the targeted attack by trolls took a toll on the collections of Malaikottai Vaaliban.

While the film collected ₹5 crore on the opening day, most theatres saw minimum footfalls due to the negative comments. The flick earned ₹9.75 crore in three days.

Interestingly, all this is happening at a time when the courts in Kerala are hearing cases regarding review bombing and targeted negative campaigns against films.

Related: Negative comments about ‘Malaikottai Vaaliban’ shocked me: Lijo Jose

Negative comments shocking: Lijo Jose Pellissery

While interacting with the media in Kochi on Friday, 26 January, director Lijo Jose Pellissery said there was a small window period of 28 days for people to watch Malaikottai Vaaliban in theatres, and the movie was made for big screens.

Malaikottai Vaaliban is not a film fitted with a Ferrari engine to have a fast pace. I have a difference of opinion in the pace of the movie,” he noted.

Lijo Jose felt that the opinions received for the 6.30 am shows could not be true. Those who watched the morning shows expressed mixed responses to the film, while those who watched the evening shows seemed to have been influenced by the negative comments on social media, the director observed.

“Unfortunately, social media has become a platform to influence people. It has turned into a war ground where cinema is often attacked. I don’t understand why this is happening. Why is there this much hate? What good will this do to our industry,” Lijo Jose questioned.

He was visibly upset with the hatred being spread about the movie on a larger scale.

Similarly, Shibu Baby John, one of the producers of Malaikottai Vaaliban, told a news channel that Mammootty’s fans accept him if he does an experimental film. Nevertheless, it was not the case with Mohanlal fans.

This statement irked netizens, who pointed out that the producer made an excuse for delivering a bad film.

Loved it: Anurag Kashyap

Malaikottai Vaaliban got a good response after the first show.

A Delhi-based journalist told this correspondent that he did not understand why there was so much negativity about the movie.

“I watched the Mohanlal-starrer here in Delhi, and I liked it. The frames and visuals were extraordinary; children may not like its presentation,” he told South First.

Anurag Kashyap, who was in Kochi, noted that he had not watched a movie like Malaikottai Vaaliban before. He said he was not expecting another Angamaly Diaries (2017) or Jallikattu (2019) while watching Malaikottai Vaaliban.

Anurag Kashyap dubbed the lines for Mohanlal in the Hindi version of the film.

Related: Malaikottai Vaaliban‘ earns ₹3.16 crore in pre-sales

Previous cases of trolling

Mohanlal's Odiyan did not do well at the box office after trolls targeted it

‘Odiyan’ did not do well at the box office after trolls targeted it. (Supplied)

Mohanlal’s Odiyan (2018) and Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham (2021) did not do well at the box office due to the negative comments received by trolls on the opening day.

Odiyan director Sreekumar Menon is still trolled for the project.

Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham, which had good technical perfection, lacked a good script. Its director Priyadarshan blamed social media for the bad comments about the movie.

In 2023, Dulquer Salmaan’s King of Kotha also had a similar experience. The film suffered due to a targeted negative campaign by trolls on social media.

King of Kotha director Abhilash Joshiy told South First that his debut movie was not a “bad” venture to be degraded.

On the negative campaign, Abhilash said he felt sad because the negative comments came from within the industry.

Related: The curious case of negative campaigns against Malayalam films