Is It Time For Mohanlal And Mammootty To Retire Yet?

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.

Aishwarya Gopinath
A foodie at heart, an aspiring novelist, and an enthusiastic writer by nature, I love to dig deep into culture and lifestyle of the place and people around me. I hope to make people cry, laugh, smile, angry, and satisfied with my writing.


  1. I think they’re slowly becoming prudent enough to understand the right mix of films they ought to be doing. Just look at Mammootty’s recent filmography. Peranbu and Unda are quality films that demand the actor in him, while Madhuraraja demands the star in him. Its not “wrong” per se to do commercial movies like Lucifer because such films end up expanding the markets globally, paving the way for better industry prospects. So yeah, I dont think they’re to be written off yet. 🙂

  2. The basic concept on which this article was written is flawed.
    1. Nobody is encroaching upon the opportunities of new gen stars. They will continue to amaze us irrespective of whether the older guys make movies or not.
    2. Why should anyone complain if the directors want them to act in their movies?

    As a movie-watcher, you can choose to watch or not watch a particular movie. Also you have the all the rights to praise or criticise a movie or individual performances.

    But you have no rights to interfere in someone else’s life decisions. To ask someone to retire is not your business.

  3. I don’t think that Mohanlal and Mammooty should retire just because younger generation actors are doing tremendous work. I feel that they should rather become choosy with their scripts and do just one or two films a year. They could still grace the screens by playing their age just like Amitabh Bachchan. Having said that I thoroughly enjoyed Lucifer as it was a quality product with the right amount of commercial elements.

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