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Dulquer Salmaan: 'COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of OTT has pushed the Malayalam film industry to make big scale spectacle films'

The 37-year-old actor's upcoming movie King of Kotha is his first major release as an action hero

PTI Mumbai Published 18.08.23, 12:10 PM
Dulquer Salmaan

Dulquer Salmaan

Superstar Dulquer Salmaan on Thursday said the coronavirus pandemic and the OTT (Over-the-top) boom has pushed the Malayalam industry to make big scale spectacle films.

The actor, who stars as an alcoholic gangster in the upcoming period drama "King of Kotha", said the Malayalam film industry is changing.


"Post COVID-19 and the advent of OTT, now if you want to draw people to theatres, you have to offer a theatrical experience. There has to be some kind of spectacle, people need that value for money, they need that entertainment on a larger scale," Dulquer told reporters here at the press conference to promote his new film, directed by debutant filmmaker Abhilash Joshiy.

"The Malayalam industry has always been very budget focused, we are a bit wary of going bigger but in the lockdown when people watched our cinema, it made us familiar across the country. Now, we have a lot more courage to push ourselves,” he added.

"King of Kotha" is the actor's first major release as an action hero. He is also making his series debut with Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK's Hindi show "Guns & Gulaabs" on Netflix.

The 37-year-old actor is producing "King of Kotha" via his banner Wayfarer Films along with Zee Studios. He said the film was the most expensive project of his career.

“With this film, we have pushed as much as we could. In terms of budget and scale, we went all out. It’s my most expensive film to date, it's the biggest film we have produced as a company,” Dulquer said.

Citing the example of Rishab Shetty-starrer “Kantara”, the actor said through such films people are able to discover about different Indian cultures.

“What's beautiful now about India is that we are discovering so much more about each other, our stories and micro culture, like ‘Kantara’ had the beauty of that region which people from the North were not familiar with. I love that we are telling rooted stories,” he said.

According to the actor, the audience is now spoilt for choice with big and small films from different cultures and industries working everywhere.

"So, if you have to penetrate in that manner, you have to come up with something big and make a lot of noise. When we started the film, our goal was to make it as big as possible and it's something with which hopefully we can push those boundaries,” Dulquer said.

Speaking of the comparisons between “King of Kotha” and Allu Arjun-starrer “Pushpa: The Rise”, the Malayalam movie star said both the movies are different and added that he takes this as a compliment.

“There's no influence as such. I do love him (Allu Arjun) as an actor and a performer. But this film (‘King of Kotha’) has been with us since 2019, the character sketch was put in place three years ago. So, basically, we had this film in our mind. I've heard this (comparison with ‘Pushpa’) and in some ways it's a compliment, we are not trying to imitate or copy but I hope it does what ‘Pushpa’ did,” he added.

The actor is happy to have two back-to-back releases – Netflix series “Guns and Gulaabs”, which will be out tomorrow and “King of Kotha”, releasing in theatres on August 24.

Dulquer said he usually doesn’t prefer watching his own work post its official release and added that his aim is only to be honest to his craft in whichever language he acts.

“This is the first time I'm watching this trailer (of ‘King of Kotha’) on the big screen, and I’m like, ‘Am I doing well?' My intent is to keep doing well and convince you guys that I’m this character and perform the role to the best of my ability.

"It’s been 11 years and I’m used to seeing myself on screen. After sometime when you watch your work you think, ‘this scene could have been approached differently, this is what most actors feel... It comes from the passion for our work,” he said.

Dulquer shared that his father Mammootty, a veteran movie star, has been watching some of his old films on YouTube.

"I don't know if you can say that he loves watching himself on screen. Now, I know that he revisits his old films, he is watching a very old film of his on YouTube. I think he is reminiscing those memories of how they made that film... It is important to do that. I think I should revisit my stuff more.”

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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