Puzhu actor Mammootty: Malayalam cinema ahead of other industries in terms of content

Puzhu is the first film of Malayalam superstar Mammootty to release directly on an OTT platform. And Mammootty has no regrets about it as he sees it as an opportunity to further cultivate the audience for cinema.

“I was told people in Kashmir saw Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam and appreciated it. We hadn’t dreamed of these things before. Aren’t we seeing Korean movies now? I think that’s an advantage of OTT,” Mammootty said during an interview with The Cue.

“There was a section of the audience who were not able to go to watch movies in theatres due to lack of time. It was a loss for us. The OTT platforms have now brought this silent audience into the cinema fold. This is a very, very positive thing to happen to cinema. Films are running in theatres and when they release on OTT platforms, there is a new set of audiences for them,” he added.

Mammootty believes that OTT has democratised the process of distribution of cinema and it has put more freedom of choice into the hands of the audience. “We ask the audience to spare anywhere between 3 to 5 hours of their lives to come to theatres and watch movies. OTT platforms allow the audience to enjoy the movie at a time and place that is convenient and comfortable for them. Now there is freedom of choice. You can also watch it on the big screen or watch it on television. OTT also allows films to reach viewers in other states. Puzhu is coming out in five languages. Our films are now being watched by people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari,” he said.

Mammootty, however, has no interest in jumping on the bandwagon of “pan-India” movies as he’s quite thrilled about the track on which Malayalam cinema is travelling.

“The Hindi film industry pays a lot of attention to Malayalam cinema,” he said. “We are ahead of other industries in terms of content. Even major actors in our industry are willing to experiment. Major actors in other languages have certain limitations. Even our young actors are also ready for experiments. Our industry has crossed that threshold. The audience is also open to experimental films. We can do any experiment we want and there is a community of audience that is ready to accept if our work is good,” he added.

Mammootty is garnering glowing reviews for his performance in Puzhu. The film also stars Parvathy in the lead role.

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