A Blog on Cinema

Prithviraj, the superstar?


To understand which star is high and which star is low, we have to understand how Malayalam cinema is financed. There are producers of course. But a lot of movies are produced by theater owners also. The producers then regain their money from distributors and also from various TV channels. Thus if TV Channels are willing to pay humongous amounts of money for a particular stars movie, then it means that there is something to it. Something no one wants to acknowledge. Especially if that star is Prithviraj.

So it is interesting to see that Prithviraj’s unreleased movie B. Unnikrishnan’s Thriller has been sold for Rs. 1.45 crore. Mammotty and Mohanlal movies are sold for Rs 1.5 crore – Rs. 2 crore range. So in the pecking order, Prithviraj has gone way up. We don’t know where that leaves Dileep, may be we increase the number of super stars to 4.

Puthiya Mukham proved the Prithviraj can shoulder a movie by himself. Pokkiri Raja’s stupendous success, has the senior superstars scrambling, they all want him to do the brother role. If Anwar recoups money, then it’s a different ball game altogether. Couple this with his big budget home production Urumi.

On the other hand, Prithvi seems to be taking shortcut to superstardom. He’s going to act in a large number of remakes – most of them classics from yesteryears. Commissioner’s sequel, Naduvazhikal’s sequel, Thrishna, Season etc are some of the movies being remade with Prithvi in the lead. To the current superstar’s credit, they didn’t reach wherever they are by acting in remakes and sequels to classics of past.

Prithviraj becoming a super star is scary. Now he will start lecturing not just on cinema, but even on the mating habits of polar bears and under currents of anger in 16th century Victorian poetry.

PS: Even IndiaGlitz agrees with us.  Glad to be of help.


  1. Whats your problem with Prithviraj??You pseudo intellectuals cant stand one intelligent actor can you?He s breaking the typical “mallu young actor whos funny and does mimicry mould” and its for good.Prithviraj is leading the new generation of malayalam cinema who think independently and can make intelligent cinema.So put up or shut up.He s done a lot of crappy cinema,faced a lot of criticism and has still emerged with good acting and the right movies.Lets give him some credit…

  2. Prithviraj is the Marlon Brando of malayalam cinema – Period

  3. @Crusader – I also think Prithviraj is the only hope for future (intelligent) Malayalam cinema, but there’s something about him that stops me and some others from supporting him all the way. Unfortunately he comes across as superior and sometimes, arrogant, in all his interviews and personal appearances. His infamous “lecturing” puts off a lot of the audience too. What helped the “superstars” in the early days were their humility and the ability to connect with the audience. I agree with VC’s assessment that he has a long way to go before he will find the acceptance of the M&Ms.

    • he is inteligent only in his can you call his movies intelligent.i have an opinion that every superstar of malayalam cinema is just like that.they always hang on to the masala formula.of course there are exceptions.
      but prithvi who started well in his career didn’t keep up the pace. his worst movies are being the bigger hits.2011 marks the emergence of a ne pritviraj.but dont think he will continue like this.the big Ms started as nothing but they grew up after each movie.(now they also seem to bbe retarding).but they are the still the of god which was one of the greatest movies in pritviraj’s career is his worst box office performance.but puthiya mukam which was a good for nothing movie converted him to a can we justify that?

  4. Prithviraj becoming a super star is scary. Now he will start lecturing not just on cinema, but even on the mating habits of polar bears and under currents of anger in 16th century Victorian poetry.

    I enjoyed this. Absolutely delectable.

  5. Funny? I doubt. People like you really deserve the 10th failed, raw, stupid mimicry stars with no personality or opinion. We really deserve nothing better than Dilips and Jayasuryas. Malayaless are really funny people, the most backward thinking community on earth. A community that is afraid of the word change.

    Due, grow up a little and start rating someone with merit. The world is bigger than the hole you are living in.

    • hi hi …do u think prtwrj is edducated..?he is juz 12 th std and wen it comes to intelligence just watch the intrvw with britas and just see hw well he get fooled by britas….he is one of the most idiotic person industry has ever seen

  6. I would actually say Dileep is the biggest superstar in Malayalam after Mohanlal and Mammootty….his films almost always open well and he his a pretty good success rate…also he’s had Comedy, Action, and Romance hits …he’s also proved himself as an adept performer (his performance in Chandapottu is one of the best in Malayalam cinema)…he has his limitations (he can never successfully play a powerful character…his films will be expected to always have at least some comedy)…but he’s been a consistent force since the late ’90s/early ’00s….

    Pritviraj is just OK…hasn’t delivered a great performance yet (though he has been solid in a number of movies….he was very good in Raavanan…the main problem with Pritiviraj is that he is quite bland…he can’t really make you connect with/sympathize with his character nor does he have great screen presence…also, he’s not very good at making his characters seem different from one another….i actually think his brother Indrajith is a much better actor…

  7. “he can’t really make you connect with/sympathize with his character”;You are absolutely right here Filmbuff;i have felt it many times.Prithviraj is charming,has good voice,looks ,and has good personality ;but in when we compare him with M & Ms or even other actors like Jayaram etc when we see him in an emotional scene it doesn’t touch our hearts.But having said all these comparing him with other actors of the current generation he is good.

  8. Dileep and success rate? Filmbuff are you really serious? We all know how every Dileep film that comes hyped like its the best thing to happen to Malayalam cinema after Chemmeen, sinks without a trace. Last year he had a success with Ranjith Shankar’s Passenger that hardly depended on him for the joyrun that it had at the box office. If you could count duds like Bodyguard and Swa Le as part of this ‘consistent run’, then I rest my case.

    Opening wise, Prithviraj demands a much better opening these days than Dileep. You just need to compare the initial collections of Karyasthan and Anwar to see whats happening around.

    I can understand that you haven’t seen great performances from Prithvi. Probably you haven’t seen films like Thalappavu. But when you rate that Dileep performance in Chandupottu as one of the best performances in Malayalam cinema, I think you have a problem there. Because on a closer analysis, you would see that its no better than seevral of the mimicry shows that he has been doing for a long time. Kottayam Naseer or Tini Tom might do a better job of the role as well, even with their physical limitations.

    Dileep has a better screen presence than Prithvi? Unbelievable. Prithvi is bland while Dileep has been a great performer? Speechless.

    Its okay if you like someone better than someone else, but when you make a comparison, it would be better if you could use some logic in it as well.

    And to VC, what is Indiaglitz doing? Don’t they have an Editor for God’s sake?

  9. @Filmbuff: what a relief to find someone who thinks on similar lines. Agree with you on all points except on the screen presence. I feel that Prithviraj does have a great screen presence.
    And yes, Indrajith is one of the most talented yet underrated actors of our time.

  10. Why everybody is after prithvi???? Only a few were noticing him when he did class movies like Vargam, Vaasthavam, Akale, Violence.. so he turned the path and tried to move along the taste of malayalee aduiences who were cheering for Dileep & co (dileep in the centre and 5+ comedians all around him)…. I agree Prithvi too is doing a lot of masala stuff now, but in between he is also doing some realistic ones too. We can excuse him because he is young, but what about the Big M’s they are mostly acting in ridiculous films. if our industry is in trouble then it’s coz of our legendary actors who is running around the trees with heroines of their grandchild’s age. They should have followed examples of AAmir Khan (3 idiots), SRK (My name is khan), Kamal (dashavatharam) or Rajanikanth (endhiran).. who r doing only one or 2 projects in a year and also making films like Taare Zameen par, Peepli Live etc. what’s the contribution of Big M’s other than acting.
    And mr. Madhu if you want to know about Polar bear mating you try mating with one. what a ridiculous statement, he is simply answering what media asks him, he is not announcing it. Every body thinks that he is egoistic when he answers confidently. Malayalees like shy guys who humbly answers by licking the feet of the host and the viewers and reminding them that he is humble by proclaiming “it is with your grace sir and all the viewers watching this programme that i made it here, without you i am zero….”

  11. I agree that Prithviraj is a bit bland sometimes. I have watched his more performance oriented movies, and while his performances may be commendable, I never was able to connect to him. On the other hand, let alone M & M Ive found even Dileep and Jayaram to be more connectable. For example, in Dileep’s Ee Puzhayum Kadannu…I can imagine Prithviraj in such a movie, and i would have never able to connect to him in that movie as i can do with Dileep, or any of our top stars for that matter.

  12. On the other hand, Vincent, can you imagine Dileep doing Puthiya Mukham? Or for that matter anything serious convincingly.

  13. Srini,

    Who WANTS a Puthiya Mukham? (i never understood why Malayalee directors don’t imbibe the best of Tamil cinema (Kannathil Muthamittal, Pasanga, Tamizh Padam, Anbe Sivam, etc.) but instead mimic its worst films! (anything w/ Vijay or Ajith…lol))….and about serious films…what about the dramatic scenes in masala films like Lion or Runway or Chandapottu…Dileep pulled them off fine….

  14. filmbuff…. it’s cos everybody watches other stars movies without looking at its flaws.. but when it comes to prithvi movies all people are like jury members as if to judge his acting… dileep completed 100 movies but honestly nobody considers him as great actor.. just some on screen buffooneries with his pal harishree what is there other than that, more than half of his movie will be with harishree (watch again lion, ee puzhayum, punjabi house, etc.).. he needs a sidekick.. and there will be a huge collection of comedy stars in his movies to attract family audiences… there is no need to convince you, it’s ok to have an opinion, i respect that.. only time can tell.. if prithvi is talented he will be there for a long time.. should give some more time.. cos an actors ability increases by age.. hope he will come good… let him act in movies of renowned writers and directors .. then we will judge what kind of an actor he is.. but for dileep i think people want to see him only in comedy roles with his comedy cousins.. that’s a fact.. also we need actors like mammooty and mohan lal who impresses not only keralites but the whole nation.. we need actors having national appeal… prithvi proved to be good in tamil so he is atleast showing that.. we need more youngsters.. a=not only in acting but writers, directors etc.. otherwise glory of malayalam will come to an abrupt end after the era of big m’s.. and there is a request not to post mortem his character again and again most of them are doing that.. everything has its limit….

  15. Prithviraj is a decent actor. Instead of blaming the actors, blame the scriptwriters and directors for churning out crap. The problem with Malayalam cinema, and also Indian cinema, is that its too star oriented. Every one looks at it as Mohanlal film or Mammootty film or Prithviraj film, no one tries to look at the whole film, the movie.

  16. Its really good to have a discussion like this. Thank you Filmbuff and Vinod for the amazing Q&A session too. I’m not a regular viewer of Varnachitram, but from now on I’ll make sure that I visit often.

    @Filmbuff: I agree with what you said on Dileep. People like him because he does things in an effortless manner, maybe simply because he is a mimicry artist. Though others have been saying that he can do only comedy with his cousins, though its true to a part, he can also do a movie like Ee Puzhayum Kadannu, Chandhupottu, and a few more, which means he is able to handle both a tragic situation quite naturally too. But the truth is that he makes serious situation quite funny and so people are expected to watch a Dileep’s movie only that way. I was greatly let to confusion after watching Calcutta News. God! What made Blessy cast him for that character? I’ve been pondering over that for weeks after watching it. Thats where I truly came to know about casting. The way he (tries to) speaks like a journalist could make me laugh all the time though it was a serious movie. That finally makes it true that he is 80% comic-oriented.

    Appreciate you for saying Pritviraj is not able to connect. I unanimously agree and I’m sure many others would agree too. He’s trying to act better day after day, but anyone watching the movie is only lookign for Pritviraj and not his character. People watch him for his charm, who walks and talks in style. After watching the movie, you rarely feel an impact. I’m not blaming him. The Mammootys and Lals of yestryears left a mark in the minds of every viewer in each of their movies which is why they still enjoy stardom though they produce some crap. Even if Mammootty or Lal gives a bad movie, though we blame, we sincerely know that the script was bad and the director was not good at handling it. But when it comes to a Pritvi movie, you can’t relate to such an incident where he has done something striking. He mostly talks of setting benchmarks in malayalam cinema…like stunts in Pudhiya Mugham, songs in another, camera techniques in another, and so on. He might be embarrassed by the techniques used in Malayalam cinema when compared to its neighbors, which is making him want to set benchmarks for everything except acting. He keeps talking of records, collections on first day, and he even compared his movie to the opening collections of Endhiran, which really made me look at him with a pity face. His talking of his confidence is not wrong at all, but Man, hes light years below the movie or the star he just mentioned. I’ll be happy if you think I’m really talking neutrally and not against the actor. He is intelligent, true. Are the others not intelligent? Is Mammooty deaf and dumb then? People praising Pritvi for his intelligence, remember, because he showcases it. While the other actors are just answering to the point, Pritvi takes opportunity to bring out his speech talents too, which makes anyone think hes intelligent. Finally I think he needs to improve a lot lot more in terms of acting. But simply, hes got lot of time to improve his skills. Why blame him except for his talking.

    Filbuff, its great that you mentioned the Tamil movies which not many malayalees would have noticed. When somone talks of Tamil, they only talk of the Vijay and Dhanush movies and call it crap. Even if you dont take the best, even the average hit movies are good ones in Tamil and none talks of that.

    Acting and age don’t ever come together, at leats I dont’ think so. Theres no problem running around trees with their grandchildren, provided they are seen pleasingly fit for it. It actually goes to their credit that they r still dancing at this age. Above all, we know the seniors have the talent, have delivered, and now its their leisure time to just give the people a laugh at this age. But its also true that they are not giving movies like Aamir, Rajini, or Kamal. I think it may be becos of their pay compared to the others. But still, when Tamil and Hindi actors are talented to the level that they are whole-heartedly involved in cinema in every aspect, I think Malayalam cinema lacks it. They make money from Cinema and invest in restaurants, hotels, and houseboats. Not many really have the courage to put money into the same field which gave them life. This is totally in reverse in Tamil. I know this is totally a different topic to discuss here.

    Thanks for sharing stuff and thanks for letting me share too.
    Sorry if I was negative, but truth is that I watch movies of all these actors mentioned above.

  17. The one and only superstar of malayalam cinema-Jagathy Sreekumar..this man has done almost any kind of role and has carried it off wonderfully do..when are we gonna honor such a stupendously talented person????

  18. @Claptin-Prithviraj leads the pack bold new generation actors…we Malayalis are the most arrogant asses and yet we cant stand it when somebody displays it in the open..Mr.Mammootty irritating behavior in an interview on the sets of the Branchiettan movie,where he heckled the anchor totally unnecessarily is overlooked just because he s a star…arrogance is the malayali stars birthright:D

  19. Malayalam cinema needs a serious makeover..we are all still living in the memory of the classic movies that was once the malayalam movie industry’s identity
    Dilip is a good actor..but now he s making these totally outdated movies like Karyasthan trying to imitate his earlier successes
    Prithviraj is also a good actor..but again he s getting stuck in movies like puthiya mugam
    The veterans,the big Ms should in my opinion stick to movies like Loudspeaker,Ividam Swargamannu etc and not do crap like Daddy cool etc.They must do roles that do them justice..we don’t want to be left with comic images of these fantastic actors
    The industry has no dearth of talent..what we need is new stories,novel film making…not run of the mill masala stuff..occasional potboilers are ok but the industry shouldn’t concentrate on just potboilers..the USP of the malayalam industry is its intelligent,thought provoking films(and hey comedies with a little sense too not mindless stuff)..not item numbers and superstars…

  20. @claptin,
    while i agree with most of yutr points about the intelligence, i have a rather different opinion. i do agree that prithvi has a high opinion about himself,both m s are intelligent too..but the same can’t be said abt some of prithvi’s contemporaries,the younger lot…some of their interviews are a justification..but making statements like the ones which later end up as blunders (ambassador one,the stardom one)is not intelligence from prithvi i guess…he has to choose good scripts …
    btw he s a decent actor, far better wen compared to jayasurya et al.

    //involved in cinema in every aspect, I think Malayalam cinema lacks it. They make money from Cinema and invest in restaurants, hotels, and houseboats. Not many really have the courage to put mone//

    thats not true, mammootty and mohanlal have their own production-distribution houses…dileep and prithvi also have…jayasurya and anoop menon are planning to start one…sureshgopi had a tv production house f my memory s rite.

  21. Claptin,

    I applaud you for your well-reasoned and level-headed post!…pretty much agree with you on all points!

  22. FYI. Both thriller and Anwar which so called ‘stupendous opening’ sang without a trace in Box office. no doubt prithvi can pull in audience by himself. but for a bare minimum most of his films have box office duds. Dileep on the other hand might not be doing great, but he still has a far better hit ratio than prithvi .

    Prithvi is 8 year old in the industry and can you compare how did lal, mammootty, dileep and jayaram perforom in box office a this period ?
    the gave back to back super hits like chithram, cbi dairy kurip, rajavinte makan, nadodikkattu etc: even dileep and jayaram had meesha madhavan, kalyanaraman, tenkasipattanam, meleparambil aanveedu , aniyanbava chettan bava, adyathe kanmani etc:

    Prithvi has just a puthiya mukham and choclate under his kitty for which he can be proud of (classmates cannot be called a Prithvi movie ofcourse… ). People who are giving him undue credit and calling him the biggest success story after lal and mam are infact spoiling him. let him realise the true state of his films, put more effort and intelligence in script selection , do hard work and prove himself worth to be a super star .

    let us not be over enthusiastic in honouring the crown prince.

  23. I think I can sort of understand those people who call Prithviraj a weak actor now after seeing the film Raavan and its Tamil version Raavanan.

    Vikram did a better job than Prithviraj on that Police character.

    Hindi version with Vikram. start at 5:25

    Tamil version with Prithviraj. start at 5:20

  24. i like dileep more than prithviraj .i agree prithviraj has gr8 talent but somehow dileeps acting is more conveincing n entertaining after MOHANLAL&MAMMOOTY

  25. RAJU chetan is a superman.. Dileep uncle is a lutapi

  26. the real crisis of malayalam film is the lack of good scripts. the actors are only a secondary consideration. we still applaud the big M’s.because they had acted in good movies of veterans like satyan anthikkad,priyadarsan,sibi malayil,padmarajan,kamal,fazil,joshy etc. also they have acting caliber. dileep and jayaram also pretty good. they came from mimicry field. is that a mistake? they are good actors. prithvi got a good debut with renjith’s nandanam, but nw his selection of scripts is bad, seems he is running behind superstardom and acts in movies which centres around his charecter only and are not at all realistic. here comes the success of young asif ali who desires to be the part of good movies and not at all bothered about his image

  27. @Crusader

    Did Raayappan bribed you to support him and post all over the internet? People who hailed raajappan for his works also have the right to criticize him if he acts like shit… he is nothing but crap, if he is not ready to give up his attitude… people with that kind of attitude can afford him and will support him, but never mind, not all 95% of people are likewise..
    [Edited to conform to family friendly standards- vc]

    • vc,y do yu allow comments like this vc?

      this s nothing but personal abuse or character asssassination..
      see what this guy’s user name is?
      I firmLy believe there s nothing wrong in being frank and straight forward AND Prithviraj Sukumaran is just doing so.
      THEN no one is perfect,so is pritviraj,he might have his share of flaws.but that doesn’t make him worthy of shit comments frm shit ppl like the one above.obviously praj has acted in crap like teja bhai and he shud be criticised for doing so.but criticism shud be constructive.(btw haven’t we had shit like CHINA TOWN,ULAKAM CHUTTUM VALIBHAN,SANDWICH FROM other actors too?)in pritvi’s case what is happening is an intentional attempt to malign him,his wife and his family.this HAS TO BE CONDEMNED.

      @ above..
      dnt get wrong impressions dear friend,95 % of ppl are nt lyk the ones whom yu think…

  28. or is it lyk,vc has also started supporting the so called PRITVIRAJ haters?

    t’s astonishing that vs has nt posted anything abt INDIAN Rupee,one of the gud mvies in recent tyms..ofcourse,it’s no where near ranjith’s other brilliant works,yet Indian Rupee has ts merits.the mst important ones being the perfo of thilakan,jagathy,mamookkoya and pritvi.

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