Malayalam cinema has become the monopoly of two superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal, who have more hits than others in 2004!
There were 59 releases and the top grosser was “4 The People” a trendsetter from director Jayaraj with an all new star cast. This vigilante film was packaged to suit the taste of youth with music by Jassie Gift, a debutant music director. The film made on a shoe string budget of Rs 40 Lakhs went on to make Rs 3 Crore.
It was the year of Mammootty and he had six releases with “Sethurama Iyer CBI”, “Kazhcha”, “Black” and his Christmas release, “Vesham” had the cash registers ringing.
Mohanlal also had two hits, a mass entertainer “Natturajavu” and family drama “Mambazhakalam”. Dileep had only one hit, Runway in which he played a typical action hero in a story set against a family backdrop. However the actor managed to get critical acclaim through Kathavaseshan and Perumazhakalam. His Vettam and Rasikan were lukewarm at the box-office.
Jayaram had three releases Salperu Ramankutty, Mayilattam and P\Amtritham and among them only Mayilattam was an average hit while the others bombed! Pritviraj had three releases Vellinakshatram a hit, and two duds Satyam and Akale
In a way Jayasurya had a wonderful year as his Chathikatha Chanthu was a super hit. But his Greetings was a flop. The youngsters in Malayalam films still remains on the periphery as the audience are not willing to accept them as replacements to the big M’s.
So heroes like Kunchakko Boban, Siddharth, Jishnu, Vineeth Kumar, Indrajeet and many others continue to be fringe players as they work only when they combine with big stars and not as solo heroes. Vineeth Kumar got noticed only in “Sethurama Iyer CBI” and “Aparichithan where he shared the lime light with Mammootty. Similarly Indrajeet got a big lift as younger brother to Dileep in “Runway” and Mammootty in “Vesham”.
Audience apathy towards upcoming young stars continued as all films with lesser lights and newcomers failed miserably at the box-office. All leading ladies of Malayalam like Meera Jasmine, Navya Nair, Gopika and Nayantara migrated to Tamil and Telugu.
Malayalam cinema which used to make off-beat female oriented subjects found that there are few takers for it. Kamal, a pioneer in such films found that his “Manjupole Oru Penkutty” and “Perumazhakalam” both critically acclaimed failed to impress at the box-office. The plethora of Bollywood dominated satellite channels beaming song and dance programmes have completely eroded the taste of the Malayalee audience, who wanted similar fares in their films!
The top ten box-office hits of the year are -
4 The People