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Asif Ali on why Malayalam film industry does not have films like 'RRR', 'KGF' I Exclusive

Updated on: 01 June,2023 08:07 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Athulya Nambiar |

Asif Ali speaks about his recent release 2018, how he looks at cinema, his choices, and the realist cinema trend of the Malayalam film industry

Asif Ali on why Malayalam film industry does not have films like 'RRR', 'KGF' I Exclusive

Asif Ali. Pic/Instagram

Malayalam film actor Asif Ali was recently seen in the film ‘2018’ which has become the film with the highest collections in the Malayalam box office. He played the role of Nixon, a young man from a fisherman family who aspires to become a model. While he despises the life of a fisherman and wants to break free, he heads back home during the devastating floods and joins the community in rescue work. “When Jude expressed his interest in making this film, I told him at first that it was a risk. If it's a story we have heard about we can use our imagination and get creative. But this is an incident we have lived and witnessed and each of us stepped out for rescue in whatever way we could. I gave my nod to the film only when Jude gave me the 4th draft of the film,” says Asif Ali talking to 

“I think this is the first time I have a film without any negative review" says Asif who is well-known for films like ‘Uyare’, ‘Virus’, ‘Kakshi: Amminippilla’, ‘Kuttavum Shikshayum’, among many others.  

Asif is a believer of cinema and its magic. For him, cinema is entertainment and that is one of the foremost things he looks at while choosing a film. “The first thing I think about after listening to the story is whether this is something I would like to watch in a theatre,” he says while admitting that most of them have proved to be a failure.

“My problem is that I am always very excited. I came to the movies after having the desire to be a part of it for a long time. So when I hear basic thoughts of a movie story or the idea of it, I get really excited. In that spirit, I have committed to a lot of movies. Sometimes, I might not be suitable for that character or it might not be as well executed as it was narrated. So for me, it is always like a trial run and I like this process,” he said. 

While Malayalam cinema has been and is being lauded for its innovative cinema, Asif feels that it is time that the industry focuses on the cinematic side of thingss as well. “The so-called realist cinema is the problem that Malayalam cinema is facing today. In the other industries, they make movies with cinematic experience like ‘RRR’,  ‘Baahubali'. If such a film is made in Malayalam, the Malayalee audience will not accept it. Malayalees would not accept a film like ‘KGF’. It's the behaviour of the film. The audience of today will not accept a hero thrashing 200 people. But they are okay with a different industry doing it. Malayalees are doing and thinking of a different kind of cinema. I think with time it is slowly coming to an end because cinema should be cinematic.”

“People are getting to see their real life issues on screen. It worked in the beginning.  At the end of the day, when a person walks into the theatre they seek entertainment and that I feel we were missing out on a little. I did both ‘Virus’ and ‘2018’ and the former was more realistic and the latter a little cinematic. There were a lot of goosebump moments and that factor worked well in the theatres,” he added.  ‘

2018’ directed by Jude Anthany Joseph is the first Malayalam film to gross Rs 150 crore at the box office. The film narrates a tale of hope and humanity that was displayed by the people of Kerala during the 2018 floods. 


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