There I’ve said it! Throw stones at my window for saying it out loud but Mohanlal and Mammootty has to retire and I have valid reasons to support my argument.
I wouldn’t say that I am a die-hard fan of Malayalam movies, but every time I look forward to watching one, I expect to see the new-generation actors killin’ it on-screen. While Mohanlal and Mammootty may have a whole different ball game to bring to the table, it’s time they move on. They’re like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan of Bollywood, who still churn out movies that make no sense yet it’s hyped because of the fandom and duh, the age-old I-am-the-best-actor prize tag – no offence, it’s the truth.
When Mammootty and Mohanlal are on-screen, close to 30-60 minutes of the entire movie will be either filled with slow-motion shots of them twirling their thick moustache and walking like a king or pulling off a never-before-seen action sequence. Why even, right? Sure, new-age Malayalam movies do have similar scenes, but the epic storyline outdoes the minor shortcomings. When either of the two M’s is in a film, the direction mainly aims at glorifying them, for God alone knows what. The movie Lucifer is a prime example. All my Malayali friends asked me to watch the movie for Mohanlal – which goes to show how run-of-the-mill the storyline was. Yes, they have managed to garner a tremendous amount of beautifully built-up awards and pride, but that doesn’t mean that they use it to the very last breath.
Here’s a little confession. See, growing up, I absolutely loved watching Mohanlal and Mammootty charm us with their beloved characters. At that point in time, it’s felt right; it felt perfect. Keralites responded with joy and even created ‘no joke’ fan clubs. But now, it’s time they let go because there’s a bundle of other talents that needs listening and exploring. Malayalam movies thrive because of these new actors. And we need to learn to embrace new talent because that’s how an industry can grow and that’s exactly how upcoming talent can come on-board. Impeccable movies such as Njan Prakashan, Angamaly Diaries, Kumbalangi Nights, Premam etc. are proof that the Malayalam industry can do without Mohanlal and Mammootty. And why not? We’ve seen the raw emotions played out by each character way, way better than the two megastars. Sometimes, it’s not all about showing who has a better screen presence; it’s about creating a lump-in-throat experience that will leave audiences dumbstruck and is worth every single penny of our movie ticket.
Mohanlal and Mammootty are losing their golden charm in Malayalam cinema. Many would chastise me for this statement. The only reason people still like to see them on-screen is because of that powerful macho aura they bring that make people go mad as a hatter. They are like the mightiest heroes who were set to entertain us, but it’s high time they retire as Captain America did. We know it’s not easy to let go off the Iron Throne, but one way or the other, you are going to get dethroned.
So Mohanlal and Mammootty, are you ready for a new (retired) adventure? We can totally hear your botoxed wrinkles and fake hair rooting for it.