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Would be stuck making similar movies if I succumbed to fan expectations, says Mohanlal

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Mohanlal, one of the nation’s biggest superstars, says there are days when he is overwhelmed with the burden of fan expectations, but the actor says what keeps him from succumbing to the pressure, this are his various movie choices.

The actor, who works primarily in Malayalam cinema, has appeared in nearly 350 films during his career spanning more than four decades.

Although he enjoys a loyal fan base, Mohanlal said his attempt has always been to choose different films that don’t restrict him to a certain genre as his admirers perceive. His latest war epic ‘Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea’ is a complete change from his latest film ‘Drishyam 2’, a thriller released earlier this year.

There are days when the burden is really too heavy. The fans want their actor, their hero within their limits. They want their hero to be theirs. We cannot answer 100 percent to that. Fortunately, I make different types of films. “Otherwise, I would only make films in a league. My films are varied. You cannot compare ‘Marakkar’ with ‘Drishyam’, each film has its soul and its identity. People who want to watch “a Mohanlal movie” should also give me that kind of freedom, “Mohanlal told PTI in a Zoom interview.

“Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea” is written and directed by the actor’s longtime collaborator, filmmaker Priyadarshan. The film, which hit theaters earlier this month, premiered on Amazon Prime Video on December 17.

Mohanlal is featured in Malayalam’s magnum opus – set in the late 15th and early 16th centuries – as Kunjali Marakkar IV, considered one of India’s greatest naval leaders.

The 61-year-old actor said he studied Marakkar in school and how he waged the war against the Portuguese invaders. It was also Priyadarshan’s dream to give the story a big screen treatment.

The duo began to think about editing the film after their acclaimed 1996 drama “Kaalapani”. But at the time, the team had to put the idea on hold due to financial constraints. At that time, it was not easy to make the film because of the cost. After 25 years, we were able to make the film. Back then it wasn’t easy to get the special effects you wanted, but now things have changed, the technology and the people are available – if you have the budget, ”he said, adding that ‘they had spent a whole year doing the special effects.

At the 67th National Film Awards announced this year, ” Marakkar ” won the award for Best Feature Film, Best Special Effects, and Best Costume Design. But Mohanlal said it wasn’t easy to scale a movie up to such a lavish scale.

Getting it all in in 106 days was the biggest challenge. Otherwise, we would have spent a year making this movie, but we didn’t have a lot of money and time. Because if the shooting had lasted six months, the cost factor would have been high. Other than that, putting on a huge set, filming those tough action sequences was also extremely difficult, ”he said.

The film was shot simultaneously in Malayalam and Tamil. For streaming, ” Marakkar ” will also be available on Prime Video in Hindi and Telugu.

After the pan-Indian hit of Malayalam hits like ‘Drishyam’ (2013) and action thriller ‘Lucifer’, Mohanlal said the team found the perfect opportunity to speak to a wider audience in ” Marakkar ”.

What also helped was the gigantic success of Telugu filmmaker SS Rajamouli’s “Baahubali” franchise, considered the biggest pan-Indian blockbuster.

“After films like ‘Lucifer’, ‘Drishyam’, the audience of Malayalam films increased, it reached all over India. So we had the opportunity to make a film that could be dubbed and reach a wider audience. Thus, “Marakkar” is in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. “It’s a costume drama, and after ‘Baahubali’ people started to like watching movies like these. This movie has different action sequences as well, because it’s all about the war at sea which is not common in the movies, ” he added.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)