My Insta post was against the negative review system: Abhilash Joshiy clarifies as Kamal and Vijay fans get offended

The Malayalam director posted pictures of Kamal Haasan from 'Vikram' and Arjun Sarja from 'Leo' and captioned them: "Lollipop???".

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published Sep 19, 2023 | 5:14 PMUpdatedSep 20, 2023 | 11:56 AM

Abhilash Joshiy clarifies about his instagram post

Abhilash Joshiy, son of veteran director Joshiy made his debut with Dulquer Salmaan’s most-hyped movie King of Kotha (2023) which received mixed reviews.

The movie had an ensemble cast of Aishwarya Lekshmi, Shabeer Kallarakkal, Nyla Usha, Chemban Vinod Jose, Gokul Suresh, and Shammy Thilakan.

It will be premiered on Disney+ Hotstar on 22 September.

Lollipop jibe

Soon after its release, the makers said the film faced a targeted negative campaign as people who didn’t watch it posted negative reviews.

A YouTuber, in his review, made objectionable comments about King of Kotha. He said Dulquer Salmaan’s smoking style in the movie was more like “licking a lollipop”.

Amid this backdrop, on 18 September, Abhilash Joshiy posted pictures of Kamal Haasan from his blockbuster movie Vikram (2022) and Arjun Sarja from his upcoming movie Leo where the two are seen smoking. The director captioned his post with the question: “Lollipop???”.

This post was apparently aimed at the YouTuber who tried to present King of Kotha in a bad light. Soon, Abhilash Joshiy’s post received support and criticism on social media.

While a few netizens supported the director saying that the reviewer didn’t think about the whole crew who were part of the filmmaking process, others criticised him for his “immature behaviour”.

Some even advised him to be like director Nelson whose Beast (2022) received heavy criticism while he gave a super hit with his new movie Jailer (2023).

Meanwhile, as the debate heated up, the fans of Vijay and Kamal Haasan took objection to the filmmaker’s Instagram post which they felt mocked their respective star actors.

Related: ‘King of Kotha’ team speaks out against targeted negative campaign

Abhilash Joshiy’s response

Abhilash Joshiy told South First that he has been following the news reports about his Instagram post. “My post was aimed at the negative review system in Mollywood. But sadly, it’s gone off target to Vjay and Kamal Haasan’s fans. I don’t know why they have an issue with my post,” he said.

He also wondered why Vijay’s fans were getting agitated when he didn’t post any picture of the Tamil actor. “I am a big fan of Lokesh Kanagaraj and I grew up watching Kamal sir’s films. So, I won’t make fun of him or his work”, he clarified.

As regards purposeful negative reviews and personal attacks on individuals by reviewers, Abhilash Joshiy said, “Attacking a person behind a film is wrong. Further, name-calling is not something a professional reviewer must resort to. A reviewer may not like a film which is his choice. But s/he should not personally attack the makers in the guise of a review.”

In an exclusive interview with South First recently, the filmmaker spoke about the negative campaign against his movie.

He said he was sad that the negativity was coming from within the industry. “I don’t degrade others’ work. An industry can grow only if all films do well at the box office,” the director asserted.

“Sadly, we have opposition from within the industry. Paid reviews by so-called ‘top reviewers’ are taken at face value by the audience. The purposeful degrading of movies should stop. If not, we are only hindering the growth of our industry,” he observed.

Abhilash Joshiy also felt that the audience should hold the right to judge a film.

Related: The curious case of negative campaigns against Malayalam films