Hits and misses: Mixed year for Malayalam film industry

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 27 (IANS) The year 2012 proved to be favourable for the Malayalam film industry, which saw as many as 140 films hitting the screens. While some went on to earn big bucks, others failed to rake in the moolah at the box-office. The year also saw an actor like Dileep leaving behind veterans like Mammootty and Mohanlal to be on the top.

The maximum number of films were released this year since 1982 -- garnering a business worth Rs.600 crore.

Dileep outshone senior actors Mammootty and Mohanlal. He stole the show with films "Mayamohini", "My Boss", "Mr Marumakan" and "Spanish Masala" that did good business. He also bagged the state's best actor award for the year 2011.

Mammootty had as many as seven releases in 2012, of which six went off the mark. However, Mohanlal's five releases managed to do good business.

Though actor Suresh Gopi did not have any release this year, he remained popular among his fans through his spectacular performance as the anchor of game show "Ningelukum Akam Kodieshweran" ("You Too Can Be A Crorepati").

Actress Samvritha Sunil topped in the heroine category. She had a total of eight releases, including films like "Diamond Necklace" and "Asuravithu", all of which did well.

While industry saw some happy moments, there were some sad moments too, when actors Thilakan, Jose Prakash, producer Navodaya Appachen, veteran writer T. Damodaran, young writer T.A. Shahid and music director Bombay Ravi passed away.

The industry was shocked when ace comedian Jagathy Sreekumar met with a near fatal road accident near Kozhikode in February. At present, he is convalescing at the Vellore Medical College in Tamil Nadu, but he is yet to start speaking again.

The year saw numerous tiffs too. Last month 350 of the 500 film theatres closed down for a week following a dispute with the state government. The strike was called off only after Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and state Cinema Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar assured that the state government was working out a complete package for the industry.

Another issue that hogged the limelight was when actress Swetha Menon's giving birth was filmed by director Blessy for yet-to-be released film "Kalimannu".

The Mahila Morcha, the women's wing of the BJP raised objections and asked that it should not be shown in the film. The Kerala State Women's Commission has requested that a member of their team be present when the film goes for censor approval.

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