Dulquer Salmaan on ‘earning’ massy film like King of Kotha and choosing ‘best’ movies: ‘Sometimes people have tried to snatch films from me’ | Malayalam News

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Dulquer Salmaan on ‘earning’ massy film like King of Kotha and choosing ‘best’ movies: ‘Sometimes people have tried to snatch films from me’ | Malayalam News

Dulquer Salmaan talks about King of Kotha, how people have tried to “snatch” films that he has liked and answers how many scripts featuring him and his actor father Mammootty he has turned down.

Dulquer Salmaan, King of KothaActor Dulquer Salmaan will be next seen in King of Kotha. (Photo: Dulquer Salmaan/Instagram)

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Actor Dulquer Salmaan laughs when you inform him that the word that is being associated with him currently is something that was never attached with him previously: Mass. His latest action thriller King of Kotha has Dulquer step into the big-scale event film world for the first time since his impressive screen debut in 2012.

Though King of Kotha, which is backed by Dulquer’s production house, is his costliest film yet and has a visual grammar of what a ‘massy’ actioner looks like, the actor informs Indianexpress.com that the film’s biggest strength is still its impressive writing.

Ahead of the film’s release on August 24, Dulquer opens up about King of Kotha, why he took a decade to explore the genre, how people have tried to “snatch” some films that he has liked and answers how many scripts featuring him and his actor father Mammootty he has turned down.

Edited excerpts:

Perhaps for the first time the term ‘mass’ has been associated with you, your film. How do you look at that, especially because your films are not known for this?

My definition of mass has always been all of our superstars and their swag, their epic dialogue delivery. I think this has some of those massy elements. But as you said all of us are known for great writing and content, and layered characters. This is that film where there is a right mix of both. It is very story driven, the essence of it is gangster drama but at the same time I thought how to make this commercially very viable, fun theatrical experience, with big dance numbers, fight sequences, punchy and edgy dialogues. It is as massy as I can get.

King of Kotha is your first full-on action film in a career spanning over 10 years. This is unlike your peers in the Malayalam industry, who ventured into such films early on. What kept you from exploring this genre for an extended period?

Initially when my films started to work and I started to get a bit of bankability, I got offers to do these very commercial, action, ‘masala’ cinema. But I have always felt that films are the heroes. I didn’t think I could drive those movies forward, maybe because I was starting out and wasn’t feeling that confident. But I didn’t find great writing. It had all these elements, but always seemed very put together, kind of cooked up for the sake of a project. I didn’t like that. Initially for the first four-five years I didn’t give interviews because I needed a body of work to talk about. Similarly, I wanted to earn this place to be able to greenlight or headline a film like King of Kotha.

How do you mute the noise, all those advice from people around you, who constantly tell you what to do next? 

I am not saying it’s easy, but I have never listened to anybody. Nobody truly knows what works, especially in the film business. I stand by a few beliefs of mine, that great writing can override bad direction, bad performances, bad production design. People can always see through the intent of a film, so that’s all that I have been seeking. I don’t know what language it is, which direction my career is going, but I love the journey. People keep telling me I can’t be everywhere because then I’d be nowhere, but I have no precedence, no reference point.

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I only pick the best, what I want to do. When you filter in such a way, people don’t bring me lazy writing, shoddy scripts. To the point that if I have liked something, there is a little buzz around that film. Sometimes people have tried to snatch that film from me! So that is interesting as well. It is very difficult to find another character that great, another film that great immediately. I had a good year last year but it was messing with my head. I thought now I can’t take two steps backwards, it has to be epic, great stuff.

Do you know the number of scripts that you turned down which had you and your father in it?

Actually, you know what, because it is such a strict no from my father’s side, people aren’t even getting to the writing stage! They kind of pitch an idea, ‘What if we… come up with something like this?’ But it’s an instant ‘Naah!’ He doesn’t waste anybody’s time like that then.

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First published on: 22-08-2023 at 06:50 IST

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