The Zoya Factor Box Office: From Mammootty to Dulquer Salmaan, the Curse of Malayalam Superstars Not Clicking in Bollywood Continues
The Zoya Factor Box Office: From Mammootty to Dulquer Salmaan, the Curse of Malayalam Superstars Not Clicking in Bollywood Continues (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Dulquer Salmaan is quite the charmer, whose charisma transcends boundaries. He is an extremely popular Malayalam star, who is also quite in demand in Tamil industry too, after the success of the Mani Ratnam romantic drama, OK Kanmani. The success of OK Kanmani also brought him some attention in the Bollywood industry as well, and before you know it, Dulquer had his female fanbase increased tenfold in the country. We knew that his Bollywood debut was soon forthcoming, and that happened last year with KarwaanThe Zoya Factor Movie Review: Dulquer Salmaan Is the Lucky Charm in This Sporadically Enjoyable Romcom With Sonam Kapoor.

Dulquer's popularity with his female fans, however, didn't bring much footfalls for Karwaan in theatres in the beginning. The slice-of-life road trip movie, also starring Irrfan Khan and Mithila Palkar, did some business on a word-of-mouth basis, but most of the trade experts may not call it a success.

Dulquer's second film, The Zoya Factor, generated more pre-release buzz than his first. Mostly because it had Sonam Kapoor has the female lead, and it was poised as the this quirky romcom that blended cricket and Bollywood romance. The movie received fairly decent reviews, with Dulquer's performances getting lion's share of the praise, but The Zoya Factor. The failure of the film begs us to ask this - is Bollywood still reluctant to accept Malayalam superstars as the lead of a movie? Or is there a jinx factor surrounding the casting of Malayali male superstars as the lead in a Bollywood film?

Mammootty

Mammootty in Dhartiputra poster

Dulquer's father, Malayalam superstar Mammootty had first acted in a Hindi film in this little-known 1990 film, Triyathri, where he had a cameo. His proper Bollywood debut as a lead came in the 1993 film Dhartiputra. The movie, so-starring Nagma, Rishi Kapoor and Jaya Pradha, was released with much fanfare but flopped at the box office.

Mammootty was also a part of the indie suspense thriller Sau Jhooth Ek Sach - The Uninvited, but it didn't get noticed. A movie with Raveena Tandon, Ek Din Anjane Mein, where he played a lawyer never got released. And Mammootty never bothered to return as a lead in Bollywood.

Mohanlal

Mohanlal in Ram Gopal Varma KI Aag

Mammootty's biggest box office rival, Mohanlal, fared a little better in his Bollywood outing. His debut Hindi film, Company, that came out in 2002, was considered as one of the best gangster movies ever made. Mohanlal's performance as the wry Malayali Police Commissioner won him a lot of appreciation as well as several awards and nominations.

But that was the only shining spot in Mohanlal's career. He did two more movies in Bollywood, each turning out to be a huge misfire. His dear friend, Priyadarshan gave him a small (miscast) role as a UK police officer in Tezzz, that was a disaster. And he played the finger-less Thakur in Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, that is considered as one of the worst films ever made in Hindi Cinema.

Prithviraj Sukumaran

Prithviraj Sukumaran and Rani Mukerji in Aiyyaa

The handsome star got an attention worthy debut in Rani Mukerji's Aiyyaa, where he was the object of her lustful affection. The movie had a couple of hit songs, but got burdened by a barrage of poor reviews, even though Prithviraj got some good feedback for his performance. Aiyyaa gave him his second film - YRF's Aurangzeb - where he had a parallel lead role in the Arjun Kapoor starrer. The movie was quite underrated, the cast gave great performances, especially Rishi Kapoor, Arjun and Prithviraj - but it failed to work at the box office.

Prithviraj lated played the antagonist in the Baby spinoff, Naam Shabana, that stars Taapsee Pannu and Akshay Kumar. The movie was average, and Prithviraj's performance went overlooked in this spy thriller. Prithviraj's elder brother, Indrajith Sukumaran, a popular Malayalam star himself, also acted in a Hindi film, The Waiting Room. But if you haven't heard about it, we don't blame you for it!