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“.