When Dileep was appearing in various TV programs promoting Karyasthan the standard question was this. What can you expect from the movie. Dileep’s answer was this. It has everything a viewer expects from my movies. So what do we expect from a Dileep movie? Comedy, some sentiments, nice songs. You know, the typical Sathyan Anthikkad aviyal. Now for his next movie, Marykudoru Kunjadu also he said the same thing. Maybe he said this for Paapi Apacha also.
All those movies have done very well commercially. People really like seeing the some of these things again and again and Dileep is minting money on it. This is really important and the film industry depends on such hits.
Now think of it from an actor’s long term career perspective. The problem with this ‘what you can expect from me’ mentality is this. Someone else can take over this from you. Mohanlal was doing comedy in his early days, then he moved to action, classy movies and all that. In that gap Jayaram grew. He did comedy for a while and then tried different things. In that gap Dileep got in. Now Jayaram was not successful in ‘other roles’ and so he is now coming back to comedy. But that space is crowded now and he has no where to go. Now what will happen to Dileep, if there is a rising comedy star? Can he move to other serious roles? He probably cannot as an actor with serious limitations. He is diversified and is now wisely producing movies and minting money. The other problem with this mentality is if no one likes the package you are selling, example – Suresh Gopi.
Even singers have this problem. No one calls Rimy Tomy to sing a classical song (yes, Ara Pavan in Vasthavam is an exception) and no one calls M G Sreekumar to sing Pramadavanam or Venugopal to sing Velmuruka. Moving from singers, if you look at directors, they too have this mentality. You know what to expect when you go for a Sathyan Anthikkad, Rajasenan or Shafi movie. At the same time, you did not know what you were into when you went for a Padmarajan movie or I V Sasi movie or Lal Jose movie. They have tackled so many ideas and made those movies successful as well. This is why we admire film makers and actors who have range, compared to those who don’t.