A Blog on Cinema

What’s that sound?


Recently the people of Kerala were surprised to hear fireworks many days before Onam. Surprised, they looked up to find that it was the sound of Ali Bhai exploding.

In this Shaji Kailas movie, one of India’s best actors, Mohanlal plays a goonda who talks to the camera. The movie had a saturation release, a technique which means that in all places except Silent Valley and Attapadi, the movie was released. Movies are now released in as many centers are possible so that before the first SMS goes out about how pathetic the movie is, a lot more people would have donated their money to the theaters. Thus in a single day, the distributor is able to collect as much money as possible.

Looks like this technique is also not working. Ali Bhai flopped on the second day.

The word-of-mouth on Ali Bhai was so bad, that by the third day, 32 additional screens discontinued the film! In Thiruvananthapuram, Mohanlal’s home town where the film released in four screens, by Friday it was reduced to a single screen. In Ernakulam, a Mohanlal citadel where it released in two huge screens, it became a single screen by Sunday! [`Ali Bhai` bombs ]

What could have possibly gone wrong in this movie where Mohanlal is introduced twenty times with loud theme music? Maybe he did not talk to the camera enough or maybe he did not have a vel-murukan song. Maybe Antony Perumbavoor should have been given a lengthier role, maybe something like Mohanlal’s father or maybe the age of the two heroines were too high. Maybe the story was not inane enough or the lack of subtlety was not sufficient.

All that is left for serious film reviewers and historians to analyze. If Ananthan Nambiar, the insecure smuggler in Nadodikaatu had watched Ali Bhai, he would have said, “Enthoru Bahalamayirunnu. Meesha Piriyal, Slow motion nadatham. Avasanam Ali Bhai angine shavamayi“.


  1. Hahaha… I almost fell off my chair reading this article and the inset review… Shaji Kailash should have stopped movie making long before, when Renjith and Renji Panicker left him and started making movies on their own with their scripts… But Shaji never seems to learn from mistakes and Mohan Lal also doesn’t seem to learn… I doubt if his stardom has made him blind against such movies and their outcomes… After the Photographer debacle, I read an interview by Lal where he had mentioned that henceforth he will scrutinize scripts before accepting movies… I doubt he had even glanced on Alibhai’s script!!!

  2. I have one more question. two days after after Alibhai, I get to see Mohanlal in a friend’s marriage in Trivandrum. Breaking news – he is not fat. He is not that fat in “Hallo”. Why is Mohanlal so fat in Shaji’s movies. Lal fans need to take this up 🙂

  3. Even though the film bombs in the 20th floor, producers and distributors will still make some decent returns (Refer to M.Raju’s interview on this site).
    I think for any serious movie goer that is sign of good times coming back to Malayalam cinema.


    I am just shell shocked at Simran’s reaction. I can understand her anguish at having been taken for a ride. But to suggest that her image has been tarnished coz she was portrayed as HIV positive is akin to delivering a slap across scores of patients across the country.

    I wish VC would have something to say about this.

  5. Pingback: varnachitram » Blog Archive » Ramzan 2007 Preview: Nasrani

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