Several Malayalam film organisations, including theatre owners, producers and the Film Chamber have filed a complaint against film critic and Chalachithra Academy member GP Ramachandran after he had called for the boycott of Dileep's upcoming film 'Ramaleela' and the vandalisation of theatres screening the film.
Ramaleela, directed by debutant Arun Gopy and starring Dileep in the lead role, is set to hit the screens across the country on September 28, despite the actor remaining in judicial custody on charges on conspiracy in the Kochi actress attack case.
"The theatres which are planning to screen this obscene film must be destroyed," Ramachandran stated in a Facebook post with the hashtag #BoycottRaamleela.
Ramachandran had also asked an infamous piracy group to leak the film online in a sarcastic Facebook post last week. "Does anyone have the phone number of jailed Tamil Rockers admin? Need him to pull a fast one on his fellow inmate on September 28," the post read.
The fact that such inflammatory comments came from an executive council member of the Kerala Chalachitra Academy was even more shocking. Ramachandran deleted the posts soon after they snowballed into a controversy and Ramaleela's producer Tomichan Mulakuppadam lodged a complaint against him with Kochi Range IG P Vijayan.
The film organisations have requested Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take action against Ramachandran and also to remove him from the academy council. The complaints pointed out that Ramachandran's posts are equal to calling for a riot and promoting piracy.
Both Malayalam film industry and the general public seem divided about Ramaleela, as they have been about Dileep's alleged involvement in the actress attack.
While several influential actors and filmmakers such as Jayaram, KB Ganesh Kumar and Ranjith Balakrishnan visited Dileep at the Aluva sub-jail and spoke for him, several others especially Women in Cinema Collective are against the actor.
However, irrespective of your stand on the actress attack case and how you feel about Dileep, to call for the boycott of a film which is the product of the hard work of hundreds of persons isn't justified. The film was not made to defend Dileep and should be judged on its own worth.
Ultimately Dileep is just one of the severala people associated with Ramaleela. Watching the film doesn't mean you support Dileep in the actress attack case.
While several moviegoers, led by Dileep fans associations, have pledged their support for Ramaleela on social media, plenty of others have taken up the hashtag #BoycottRamaleela to protest against the film's release. It will be interesting to see the events that unfold on September 28.