Onam 2016: The Box office battle is on!

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By. Sreejith Kamalanayanan

Onam is around the corner and Kerala is all set to welcome the state’s biggest festival. Festival markets are ready with ‘Onam Specials’ to attract the common man. The film industry is no different as a slew of films are waiting in line for providing the much needed entertainment to the people amid the festivities.

As per industry sources, four major Malayalam releases can be expected this season. Mohan lal, Dileep, Prithviiraj and Kunchacko Boban has one film each for this Onam. Apart from this, Dhanush and Vikram will release their Tamil films during Onam which might offer tight competition for the Malayalam films.

Mohanlal will lead the battle with the crime thriller Oppam. The superstar is on cloud nine as his recent Telugu releases have garnered decent response from both the industries. Yet, Oppam will be an acid test for the star in his home turf as his last hit was the 2013 thriller Drishyam which was a blockbuster. The films he did post Drishyam were mostly disasters.

Lal reunites with his longtime friend Priyadarshan after the 2014 disaster Geethanjali. The duo needs a big hit this time and that makes Oppam a crucial release for Priyan and Lal. Lal dons the role of a blind man who is wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit. Anusree and Vimala Raman are the female leads.

Oozham brings together the hit duo of Prithviraj and Jeethu Joseph after the 2013 crime thriller ‘Memories’ which was a surprise hit at the box office. Director Jeethu Joseph has already made it clear that Oozham will not be a suspense thriller like Drishyam and Memories. Oozham is expected to be a revenge drama.

Dileep is the unofficial king of every festival season as he holds the power to lure family audience to the theatre. Though his previous outing ‘Pinneyum’ received mixed reviews, it would not affect his prospects as it was an art house movie.

Dileep’s Onam offering is ‘Welcome to Central Jail’ which is likely to be a masala entertainer containing all of his usual crowd pleasing tricks. Sundar Das who gave Dileep his first hit with ‘Sallapam’ in 1996 is in back in the director’s chair.

‘Kochavva Paulo Ayyappa Coelho’ marks the return of the legendary production house Udaya after a huge gap of 30 years. Kunchacko Boban, the current heir of Udaya, will produce the movie. He will also don the role of the protagonist. It will be the 87th production of Udaya and 75th film of Kunchacko Boban as an actor.

The line-up seems to be impressive on paper as it has the names of all the major super powers of Malayalam film industry. Yet, one major name is missing from the list: ‘Mammotty’. Fans who were expecting another Mammotty-Mohanlal battle at the box office will be disappointed.

Vikram’s Iru Mugan and Dhanush’s Thodari will compete with the Malayalam films this Onam season. As both the stars have fairly good fan base in Kerala things are likely to heat up this festival season.

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