|Directed by||Shaji Kailas|
|Produced by||Antony Perumbavoor|
|Written by||T. A. Shahid|
|Music by||Alex Paul
Gireesh Puthenchery (Lyrics)
|Edited by||Don Max|
|Distributed by||Central Pictures
Pyramid Saimira Theatres Ltd. (Outside Kerala)
Ali Bhai (English: Ali Brother) is a 2007 Malayalam Indian action-drama film, directed by Shaji Kailas and written by T.A. Shahid. It stars Mohanlal as Anwar Ali aka Ali Bhai, an undisputed leader of Kozhikode Palayam market and savior of the poor. Gopika plays the female lead. The film has a large supporting cast including, Innocent, Cochin Haneefa, Sai Kumar, Rajan P Dev, Suraj Venjaramood, Siddique, Jagadish and Shammi Thilakan. The film briefly tells the history of Kozhikode market and the people living there, also the culture and lifestyle of traditional "Baramis" Muslim settlers in Kozhikode, migrated from Yemen to India centuries ago for trading in Kerala, who are still active in making Urus.
In childhood, Anwar Ali the member of a Baramy family has to flee from home when he was wrongly accused of a theft. He settled in Kozhikode angadi and grew up there as Ali Bhai, the protector of Kozhikode market. The film is also about how he influences so many lives. The story is based on a real life character named Ali Bappu who lived a life like Ali Bhai in Kondotty a decade ago. The film was a festival release during Onam and released in Independence day.
The film completed its post-production in Chennai. Pyramid Saimira Group, the Chennai based multinational company distributed the film outside Kerala. It was released over a record number of 80 screens worldwide, which was the highest release for a Malayalam film at that time.
Alibhai tells the story of Anwar Ali (Mohanlal) known as Alibhai a King "Dadha" of Palayam market, Kozhikode. He is the unquestionable hero in that area and savior of the poor and downtrodden. The movie opens with the flashback sequences which establish young Ali, a member of a barami family famous for making Urus, who leaves his home in his childhood when his own father Ahmed Sahib (Innocent) mistakes him for an unexpected thief and beats him black and blue in front of people. Ali's friends Sundaran Thampi (Siddique), tells the mob he saw the theft which was actually done by himself for avenging his fathers rivalry with Ahmad Sahib. Ali knowing he was cheated by his friend grab the butcher sword and chops off his hand and flees from his home to the Palayam market. He never backs out from a fight where he grows up as Alibhai, an undisputed leader of the proletarian class, one who stands up to speak for them and even to clench his fists and fight for them and their rights. The son grows up to be a good-hearted toughie. There are many whose lives revolve around Alibhai. There is Kunjikannan, known popularly as Market Kunji, who is Alibhai's mentor and sort of guardian. There are a bunch of friends and well-wishers who form his gang, including Hameed, Salim Babu, Ramu, Podipaatti Kunjaattu, Sameer Das, Vijayan, Dasappan and a little boy Ganapathy. There is the flower girl Chenthamara who loves him deeply, and there is young Kingini, who is brought up by Alibhai just as a father brings up his daughter. Then comes another girl Ganga, who is given refuge by Alibhai under some special circumstances. He also looks after Abraham, who earlier used to rule over the Palayam market as a goonda, and who was defeated in a fight by Alibhai, following which he was so badly injured that he has been bedridden ever since. All these and many others constitute the near and dear ones of Alibhai. Once in a while Alibhai goes to his own house to meet his mother and to secretly leave behind a gift for his father, whom he loves dearly. But all this is destined to change when Sundaran, who was actually the one who had plotted against Ali in his childhood resurfaces after a long time and with a remorseful heart, begs of Ali to forgive him and to return home. At almost the same time someone else appears - Danny Abraham, the son of Abraham, who has certain motives of his own. From here Alibhai's life is destined to change dramatically. They wanted to drive out Alibhai from the market and build a shopping mall with the help of local politicians. They are hand in glove with the city corporation and the state administration and are having the aid of big investors from foreign countries. They are into anything, to settle their old scores and change the Kozhikode city into an international tourist centre which provides fun, wine and women. How Alibhai resists their attempts to save the market and the city. At one stage, they planted a bomb and killed many of his friends and neighbours. Ali bhai kills every one behind it single-handedly and become the godfather of that area.
- Mohanlal as Anwar Ali aka Ali Bhai
- Innocent as Ahmad Sahib, Anwar's father
- Gopika as Ganga
- Navya Nair as Chenthamara
- Cochin Haneefa as Market Kunji
- Shammi Thilakan
- KPAC Lalitha as Canteen Ammayi
- Siddique as Sundaran Thampi
- Arun Kumar as Young Ali Bhai
- Rohith Menon as Dan abraham
- Suraj Venjaramoodu as Podipatti
- Shamna Kasim as Kingini
- Chithra Shenoy
- Saikumar as Ambu bhai
- Rajan P Dev as Sundaran thampy's father
The film pooja ceremony was held at Vismayas Max Studio in Thiruvananthapuram on May 21st, 2007 coinciding with Mohanlal's birthday. It was a rare pooja function in Mollywood, around 3000 of his fans attended the function for the birthday celebration.
The film was shot in Kozhikode and Pollachi. The art director of the film Bobban has erected a huge set for the film depicting Valiyangadi market, which resembles the original to the core. "As it is very hard for Lal sir to shoot amidst his great fans in Kozhikode market, we were forced to recreate the market here", says the producer Antony Perumbavoor. The climax fight was shot in Binny mills, Chennai. Mohanlal was slightly injured with an air gun during the climax shoot.
The film was censored on Monday August 13, with a clean “U” certificate. Ali Bhai was released in August 15, 2007 on Indian Independence day. Central Pictures distributed the film in Kerala. It made a new record in Malayalam releasing over 80 screens in Kerala. No Malayalam film has ever released in so many screens at that time. Pyramid Saimira Theatres Ltd. (PSTL) the distribution division of Chennai based multinational entertainment company Pyramid Saimira one of the World’s fastest growing entertainment group distributed the film outside Kerala. The film was released simultaneously in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore.
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- "‘Ali Bhai’ censored!". bharatwaves.info. 14 August 2007.
- Indiaglitz (May 21, 2015). "Colorful pooja for Alibhai". Indiaglitz.com.
- "Mohanlal birthday". Sify.com.
- "Alibhai - The one man army to Conquer". indiaglitz.com. 6 August 2007.
- "Big sets for Alibhai.". kerals.com. 8 June 2007.
- "Ali Bhai". sify.com. Retrieved 26 Oct 2014.
- "`Ali Bhai` censored!". sify.com. 14 August 2007.
- "Alibhai getting ready to win". indiaglitz.com. 31 July 2007.
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