Mammootty's Turbo failed to do well at the Box Office
Mammootty’s Turbo failed to do well at the Box Office ( Photo Credit – Instagram )

From a purely financial standpoint, Turbo did not live up to the hype that it had created. The film’s worldwide gross collection stands at INR 72.55 crore against a budget of INR 70 crore. It’s important to understand that the 72.55 crore figure represents gross earnings, not net profit, indicating the film incurred a loss during its theatrical run.

As of now, the figures for streaming rights have not been publicly disclosed, but SonyLIV has purchased the streaming rights. It’s possible the investment might be recovered through this sale.

It was also dubbed into Arabic, possibly making it the first Malayalam movie to do so. It’s unclear if the film was theatrically released in Arabic, but Mammootty himself went to Dubai for the trailer release ceremony and gave interviews to UAE-based YouTubers to promote the movie. SonyLIV has confirmed that they will release the film in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi in addition to its original language, Malayalam.

So, why did it not live up to the hype?

Casting Choices

The first issue behind the film not doing well is the casting choices, starting with the main villain, Raj B. Shetty. Although he is a good actor, he doesn’t have significant market value in Kerala, and most Malayalis are not familiar with his previous works. Additionally, his physical presence is not a match for Mammootty’s. When you compare them, there is a noticeable difference.

This disparity wouldn’t have been a problem if Raj B. Shetty’s character was a mastermind who avoided physical confrontations with Mammootty’s character, Turbo Jose. However, in the film, Raj B. Shetty’s character fights Mammootty directly, which naturally does not work. They should have cast someone else for this role.

A good example of a well-cast villain is Napoleon in Devaasuram opposite Mohanlal. They are physically equivalent, and although Napoleon has only a few scenes, he is a menacing villain because he matches Mohanlal physically.

The next issue is the casting of the female lead; Anjana Jayaprakash is not well-suited for this role, as she fails to convey the existential dread and severity of her character’s situation. Her character is on the brink of death, with powerful people trying to kill her and her ex-boyfriend already murdered; however, her acting does not make us feel the dread, fear, anticipation of the unknown, or the emotions that she is going through.

In contrast, Niranjana Anoop’s character, Sithara, who appears in only a few scenes, is far more convincing, emotional, and expressive. They should have cast Niranjana Anoop as the female lead instead.

Cringe Elements

The film is filled with cringe-worthy moments. For example, Sunil’s character, Auto Billa, is introduced as a spoof of Don Vito Corleone from Hollywood’s Godfather franchise. Additionally, Bindu Panikkar’s character, Rosakutty, makes a reference to the MCU in the middle of running for her life. These attempts at comic relief during serious scenes fall flat and detract from the overall tone of the film.

Budget Overshoots for a Malayalam Movie

The Malayalam film industry, or Mollywood, is relatively small. While Turbo performed well for a Malayalam film, its budget was excessively high. For comparison, Abraham Ozler, featuring Mammootty as the villain, had a budget of approximately INR 10 crore and collected a worldwide gross of INR 40 crore, according to Sacnilk, making it a super hit. Another example is Bramayugam, also starring Mammootty as the villain, which had a budget of around INR 30 crore and managed a worldwide gross of INR 58.2 crore, according to Sacnilk, classifying it as a hit. One of the main issues with Turbo is its disproportionate budget. Despite performing better than these other films, the enormous budget prevented it from being truly successful.

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