Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mohanlal versus Amitab Bachchan - TOI Dared!!

The teaser above the main headlines of Sunday Times (January 14, 2007) caught my attention. There was a picture of Malayalam actor Mohanlal with a comment about how he made Amitabh Bachchan sweat. Surprised that the TOI had mustered enough courage to even hint that there is someone more talented than the Big B, I went to the inside page which carried the full story. The subheading also hinted something to the same effect- watching the two of them together during the shooting of Sholay, one of them was at a disadvantage, it read. That was as far as TOI would go.No further! Though it was obvious, the story did not state in so many words that it is Bachchan who paled in comparison. The article was about Mohanlal, who, I think is the most talented, versatile natural actor in India, and stands head and shoulders above not just Amitabh Bachchan, but better actors too.

The article attempted no comparison of the two. It was all about how good an actor Mohanlal was. What beats me is why this comparison was made at all, why the subheading of article chose to hint at the superiority of one over the other without pursuing the issue in the story.

I then realized that some heavy editing was done after the writer submitted the article. Anything that would explode the myth that Bachchan is the greatest and the best thing that ever happened to Indian cinema, was nipped- but not in the bud. A poor bit of editing which reveals that the mighty paper gets weak kneed when dealing with the Big B.

Now why would that be?

What is TOI’s agenda in deifying this very average actor?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Kerala's obsession with Mohanlal and Mammootty

Am in Kerala at the moment. The place is full of huge posters of Mohanlal and Mamootty. True, Mohanlal is the finest actor in the country at the moment. and Mamootty, really really talented. But why are we holding on to them? Isn't it time we let go? And the other he- man Suresh Gopi also appears to be making a comeback.

And where are all those talented female power actors? Why isn't the enlightened Kerala with its proud track record of empowering women providing a space for them in cinema?

The answer could be one of these.

Either the film makers have no feel of the mood of the audience


they have their fingers on the pulse on the audience, and know that the Keralites are incurable traditionalists who foolishly believe that the new order can be eternally postponed if the old is propped up by clumsy scaffolding.

What do you think?