Malayalam actor Dileep was in jail for 85 days in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a Malayalam actress. He was finally granted conditional bail on the fifth try by his lawyers on October 3 and is now home. But what is happening with the actor since his release?

Big welcome home
Dileep reportedly couldn’t believe that he was granted bail on October 3 but was said to be ecstatic when the judge gave the verdict. Meanwhile, his fans outside the court and jail rejoiced at the news and started to distribute sweets to everyone. The ‘Janapriyanayakan’ was given a rousing welcome by his loyal fans when he stepped out of jail and got into his SUV to head home. The actor went directly to his brother Anoop’s house at Paravoor Kavala, where his Kavya Madhavan and daughter Meenakshi were waiting for him. His best friend Nadhirshah, who was also questioned in the case, was also present. Dileep then left to his home in Aluva where he wants to be away from the limelight for the next few days and just be with his family.

Ramaleela success and other films

As soon as Dileep was sent to jail, the big worry for his producers was when he would be released to complete his films. As much as Rs 100 crores was said to be at stake with his arrest and this caused a big blow to the Malayalam film industry also.
While he was languishing in jail, his big budget film ‘Ramaleela’ was finally released on September 28 and has gone on to become a hit. The movie was made on a budget of Rs 16 crores and has gone on to collect Rs 16 crores just at the Kerala box office alone so far. The fact that this movie is a hit has given a big boost to other producers who have films with Dileep.
Currently, the actor also has other projects on hand. Dileep has ‘Kammarasambhavam,’ directed by debutant Ratheesh Ambatt and ‘Professor Dinkan,’ to be helmed by cinematographer Ramachandrababu. He is also supposed to be doing Nadirshah’s untitled movie and a project with ‘Speed Track’ director Jayasurya.

Bounces back in the industry

As soon as he was let out on bail, he was reinstated as the President of the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK), a union of 64 theatre owners which he launched in January this year.
There is also talk that he will be taken back as a member of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA). AMMA expelled Dileep post his arrest in support of the actress who was assaulted. However, Pathanapuram MLA and AMMA Vice President KB Ganesh Kumar now claims that this decision was taken to please Prithviraj who is a friend of the assaulted actress. It remains to be seen what AMMA does next and whether Dileep chooses to return to their fold.

Tainted yet powerful

While Dileep may be the 11th accused in the case and have spent 85 days in jail, he is still a popular actor to reckon with. The actor wields considerable amount of power in the organisations he is part of and also with his numerous business interests. Dileep doesn’t just own D Cinemas in Chalakkudy but he set up the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala with 64 theatre owners under its wings. Thus, he is a key player in the film business.

Though AMMA expelled him, many in the Malayalam film industry still proclaimed he was innocent as no charges had been filed against him. Their continued support and the widespread support of his fans ensured that Dileep was not made the ‘villain’ of the kidnap and assault. In fact, there was even a strong social media campaign stating his innocence and how he had become an innocent victim in this case. Fans wrote hundreds of letters and tried to visit him in jail as well as they wanted to support their ‘innocent hero’. This was also aided by the fact that the police didn’t have concrete evidence to nail him. Given these circumstances, it’s not surprising that Dileep’s popularity didn’t wane but soared and eventually drove his fans to theatres to make his latest release ‘Ramaleela’, a hit.

Currently, Dileep is riding high on the success of his latest film and the fact that he’s out on bail. He has also been assured that fans and many people in the film industry are on his side seeing the welcome he received on screen and off screen. In this scenario, it looks like Dileep is back as the popular hero of Malayalam cinema or ‘Janapriyanayakan’ while the case drags on in court.

First Published | 5 October 2017 11:43 AM
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