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?


  1. Voice modulation, presenting High class characters, Dance, Singing in these aspects Amitabh is better than Mohanlal.

    Even police characters, Amnitabh is better than Mohan lal, Amitabh can also play as common man like 'Khai ke pan banaraz walla'

    Dont compare Amitabh with Mohanlal,
    Mohanlal doesnt have that class which makes Amithabh distinct.

  2. quite intresting. boith are titans in their passion for acting.i

  3. mom you're kinda asking for it now! ha ha! Mahatma Gandhi and the Big B need to get off you're fav. topics to write about! I however enjoy reading them! but others might not appreciate!!

  4. mohan lal is more of an actor, but amitabh a star. and the comparison should be made considering separately the field of acting and the field of stardom. ofcourse any one who can understand what acting is would without any hesitation would give mohanlal his due. about stardom, hindi is more widely spoken than malayalam.

  5. Well suprised that TOI went weak and did not publish the real story.
    I expected that as I believe that Mohanlal will give Amitabh the sweats as he is in a different league.
    Amitabh may have some emotions in his dictionary but Mohanlal is the dictionary of acting.
    No comparisans please, especially if you have not seen at least 10 or more good movies of both.

  6. U people feel that mohanlal doesnt come up to the standards of Amitabh bcos u hvnt seen his best movies... Watch Kireedam, Bharatham, Vaanaprastham, Thoovanathumbikal, dasharatham, sadayam, padamudra, etc if u want to know how good an actor mohanlal is... i agree big b is superb... but mohanlal is better... i mean just check out the expressions he brings out and that too he changes his expressions in a moment to the viewer's surprise... I think Mohanlal, Kamal hassan, Nasseeruddin shah are the best in the country and only after them Amithabh bacchan comes...

  7. u pls think before writting ur comments, who saw both actors films. If u r saw all films of these stars, u can say ur opinion.
    I am one of that person.
    Mohanlal is an actor, born in wrong place.
    Amithabh is a star, born in exact place.

  8. As an actor MohanLal is better than Amitab. He is the most flexible actor in Indian Films , we can only compare him with Kalahasan only.

  9. You guys should grow up from the Media created frenzy...See every artist on his own light and his capabilities and limitataion rather than comparing Lalettan with every actor in India...let's just say he is one of the best international actors in India and not the only one...first it started with comparing him with Mamooty...the Kamal Bachan...tommorow what? De niro and Pacino ?....

  10. plz dont compare lal with big b. dont rate lal without cin his movies. hes the best.

  11. hey guys..stop comparing mohanlal with amitabh...both of them are gr8 actors...n they have proved it no need for arguing abt their talent..bigb is a gr8 actor..he had done many roles in his long career.n mohanlal has also done a variety of characters in his career..but the difference b/w amitabh n mohanlal is that.mohanlal can do comedy better thn amitabh..he is very natural in doing comedy..just imagine if mohanlal was a hindi actor..thn he wud share equal stardom as amitabh..or mayb mre thn him..

  12. Mohan Lal is so genuine and he lives the character and he is the Greates actor India has ever produced. Big B is an entertainer than an actor with a different calliber.
    For Big B, He is the finest actor in the country.For Ram Gopal Varma, He is the Robert De Niro of Indian Screen.For TIME magazine, He is India's answer to Marlon Brando. For Sunil Shetty, He is the God of Cinema.For Kamal Haasan, He is the most flexible actor in India.For Shaji N Karun, He is the most immensely talented actor.For Priyadarshan, He is the best actor India has ever produced.Manirathnam and Dr.Rajkumar are two frontline fans of this great actor.For all of us he is our "Lalettan".

  13. Mohanlal is a world class actor. In Indian cinema, he belongs to the league of great actors like Balraj Sahni, Motilal, Pran, Dilip Kumar, Om Prakash, Om Puri, Nasiruddin Shah, Sanjeev Kumar, etc. We can see only the character, not the actor, on the screen when these men perform. Motilal is one of the most natural actors of yesterday's Indian cinema, whose body language and dialogue are in prefect harmony while acting. No doubt, Amitabh Bachan is a great actor. However, Dilip Kumar has good influence on his acting. We can see a glint of Dilip Kumar on his face, when Amitabh expresses strong emotions. I feel so.

  14. Big B is a superstar.Lal is a superstar in Malayalam. that is about stardom.

    Big B is charming great voice,looks, energetic and an average actor in world standards.

    Mohanlal may not have the former as compared to Big B, but when it comes to actor ...

    here comes the truth.Bachan is nowhere comparable to.. Mohanlal.

    If you want rate Mohanlal with Nazarudheen Shah, May be Amir khan,Kamalhassan. or even Anthonio Banderas.

  15. Please look at some rankings and vote for the person who you think is the best

  16. Dear Mallus, don't make mohanlal such a big GOD, hihihi, Can anyone show me when Time magazine said he is india' answer to Marlon Brando?

  17. amitabh bachchan is not half the actor that mohanlal is. Amitabh bachchan has survived in the industry by doing formula films .
    his range of acting is nowhere near mohan lal.All amitabh bachchan does is chant a few typical dialouges and get appreciation from front benchers in theatres

  18. Hi Guys, I dont think a common man outside malayalam film industry has the capability to rate Mohanlal....If a person can go beyond the langauge bias, yes he can try to rate his talent...I think that may be one of the reason he could gain more national awards....As as an actor mohan lal is superb especially in his movies pre 2000....Big B is Indian Superstar..he is also a good actor + superstar...So he will be more recognized in Inida where hindi is the dominating language.....secondly it is Tamil...thats why Rajini also close to Amitabh...

  19. If you know what is acting you will never take such a decision to compare these two.

    Then dont you ever know that actors(legends)

    Mohanlal, Kamal hassan, Nasseeruddin

    were also born after their mother delivered them

  20. Greatness of mohanlal is ,how he delivers maximum emotion with minimum expression .
    which amitha laks....

  21. mohanlal is an international best actor in indian cinema.AB might be the rockstar but the true art comes from mohanlal or some other malayalam actors like thilakan,Nedumudi Venu,Mammootty etc no one in indian cinema other than kamal hassan is comparable with them.
    Mohanlal-Devasuram,Bharatham,Dasaratham,Vanaprastham,Thalavattam and almost all
    Mammootty-Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha,Mathilukal and almost all
    Nedumudi Venu-all his films
    Thilakan-All his films

  22. @ all
    i think all of you missed the point. I wanted to point out the reluctance of media to hurt the Big B's image.I could never understand why it is so.

  23. Amitab batchan Acts on the screen..

    But Mohan lal lives....

  24. brother..its kamal is the world class one can come close to him..he as acted as charlie chaplin , dwarf character..where no one as acted..he s dancer and even dance western and as well as classical together...his movies like nayagan , indian, mondram pirai, vallanaku vallan, one would have dared to do that role....he aslo directed movies like hey ram, alavanthan ....his actin made madam tussads to make wax doll of kamal in london...18 times film fare ward winner...4 national award winner and 2 times best director award one will come near him....

  25. well!!comparisons wont work out.I definitely think mohanlal is the most wondeful actor in the world.The ease with which he portrays his roles shows how good he is.Nowadays we can say that there isn't good people out there in the industry to fully exploit the actor's talents.Just have a look at some of the most complex emotions that he has portrayed;and that too with so much ease.Thats the greatness of the actor.Just see the way he acted in the climax scene of kireedom.None can do like that;i believe.And also the drunken scene from No. 20 Madras mail.Another important thing is the humility of the man.Lot of people in and outside the industry have said a lot of times of the quality of his behavior and admired the way which he behaves with his co stars, which doesnt happen elsewhere in the world...

  26. Mohanlal is legend no doubt about it, its not his fault that he dont speak good hindi as amitabh do. Even Amitabh ,i grade him as equalent to AlPacino. But He appeared in regular Formula movies.In recent years Big B got challenging roles like Black,Khakee,Family,AKS....etc Its Hindi matters in India Coz very rare occasion we see Southern movies to be screened in North. That too Acclaimed and highly success movies.But we can see even worst bolly movies in south. Only in India i think looks matter, If it happened in Hollywood then Antonio Banderas like actors(?)would become Top rated than Denzel Washington like Men...Meanwhile i am kannadiga from karnataka and i love all language movies. Especially Malayalum and English..



  29. I have seen the movies of all these actors mentioned above, and my ratings for the best actors in Indian Cinema

    1. Mohanlal
    2. Naseeruddin Shah
    3. Bharat Gopi, Nedumudi Venu, Thilakan
    4. Kamal Hassan, Sanjeev Kumar
    5. Amitabh Bachan, Dilip Kumar, Mammootty

  30. @coldfusion
    agree with your rating if you remove Bharat gopi, Kamal hasan and amitabh bachchan.
    of course its only a matter of individual preference

  31. Replay to one Anonymous
    i am agrreing with ur opinion with this correction

    Mohanlal is an actor, born in wrong place between right people
    Amithabh is a star, born in exact place between wrong people

    i am sure that ur never watched a single movie of malayalam or tamil.

  32. both mohanlal and amithab are the legends of acting.........

  33. Bhoomika Chawla revealed that she was fortunate to work with actor Mohanlal and it was a memorable experience working with him. She proudly said that actor Mohanlal’s talent is at par with Amitabh Bachchan’s and Om Puri’s who are one of the gifted actors in the industry. Without a doubt actor Mohanlal deserves this statement and if he is hearing this appreciation he will surely be elated.

    for AB fans heres link>>>>>>

  34. First comes kamal hasan, then mohan lal, then a bunch of malayalam actors like mammootty, thilakan jagathy. amitab comes only after all these actors.

  35. I think mohanlal is d greatest actor india ever mohanlal is mohanlal just bcoz of some xtremely blessd directors lyke padmarajan bharathan etc...Amitab Bachan has a personality look bt his acting is nower near name is Bhagath frm new delhi n my mom is malayalee so i watch malayalam tamil telugu n ofcorz Hindi.....der is no comparison 4 mohanlal...he s simply blessed...!!

  36. dont compare the actors.........mohan lal is a gifted actor while bigb is a star.......mohan lal and bharath gopi are the best actors in indian cinema......they dont imitate others even in their first film....they find new way of acting.... nassirudheen shah, ompuri, sangeev kumar, shivaji ganeshan, kamal hasan ,nedumudi venu, thilakan, jagathi, sathyan(old) are the other greates......even kamal hasan also imitates shivaji in his old films....

  37. Mohanlal is miles ahead of Anitabh when it comes to acting. period.

  38. Well, if u hv ny doubt abt whoz the best actor, just look at the awards tht each of them has recieved..Mohanlal is a 3 time national award winner, but amitabh has only one...Of course, both r talented...I'm not undermining bachchan but i must say dis as u all hv made comparison without ny knowledge abt mohanlal...the only problem he is facing is tht he is confined to malayalam and tamil film industries...If he was given a chance in hollywood he wd hv surely won many oscars, i'm sure of it....

  39. sreekanth P menon10:47 PM, April 09, 2010

    Mohanlal is the most finest actor indian cinema has ever produced..He is a living legend .His versatality and flambouyance is unmatchable.
    He is a born actor and has absolutely no comparison not only in indian cinema but in world panorama too.His passion for work is most reflected in his works like "vanaprastham" for which he learnt "Kathakali" one of the most difficult forms of dance ..Amitabh is more of a super star than an actor.Of course he is a good actor
    but cannot be compared to the genius in mohanlal.His stardom is because of the range bollywood has in comparison to Malayalam movies.
    For Mohan Lal the best suited industry is perhaps malayalam only as the theme covered in Malayalam movies are rarely entertained in bollywood movies..If he had been in bollywood his real talent wouldn't have been unearthed, for bollywood is more about commercial movies rather than real life stories .The talents of actors like Nasharudeen shah,Anupam kher ,Nana patekar still remain under utilized in hindi film industry.
    And talking about comparion between Mohan lal and Big B,both are mass entertainers.While the former charms the audience with his flawless acting skill, the latter does it by his style..

  40. I watch movies of all languages.Both amitab and mohanlal are gr8 actors.However mohanlal has an edge over amitab coz amitab is not good at doing comedy where as mohanlal is a master in it.He is a versatile actor.He does any kind of role with ease.Also hindi is the main language and it is easy to understand,so this makes some people feel that amitab is a gr8 actor.For me mohanlal is the best actor India has ever produced.

  41. Kamal Hasan is the greatest actor India has ever seen.. Look at his films like sagara sangamam,swathi muthyam,nayagan,apoorva sahodarangal,mahanadi,indian,avaishanmukhi,pushpaka vimanam,thevara magan etc to name a few of his films...
    amitab bachan or for that matter any actors skills does not match or even we can not compare with Kamal.
    amithab is a bacchha in acting..kamal is a legend

    He is in the league of his own...
    go and watch his movies...

  42. plz dont insult our "lallettan" by comparing him with amithab......with kamal,its k...but the winner is always....Left col.Dr.Bharath.Padamasree.Mohanlal Vasudevan Nair......
    so guys instead of blogging...use this time to watch a lalletan movie....then you will come to know...."who is who"...k

  43. i saw all these comments...
    mainly the comparison with kamal and lal
    kamal did a to z roles...that agreed
    but u take one role of each of them...
    who go the depth of that character
    that reveals the best actor in front of u..
    it's the great doubt

  44. guys stop comparison
    all are heros in their era and they have a strong background to support this.

  45. i have seen all the comments here but my friends let me remember u one thing that mohanlal is an uncomparable actor in world cinema

  46. I thnink mohanlal s d best..Big B s like rajnikanth a superstar but nt a best native s delhi bt i hav gone kerala many times cochin s a beautiful place guys..i have seen mohanlal movies he s excellent beyond our imaginations guys..kerala state al2geder s nt even 1/1000 area of delhi..bollywood lack a person like him really i bent my knees on his perfomance in "Vanaprastam"...i think even malayalam film industry s small still der r many tallented directors n actors far better than our bollywood masala movies..lots f realistic stories born der in kerala...i fell in love with kerala on 1st site lots f greenary..!!! i think mohanlal can b considerd widin world's top 10 gre8 actors...

  47. Amitabh is nowhere near Mohanlal.
    Mohanlal himself said "kamal hasan is the encyclopedia of acting".
    They should both be at No 1.
    Mohanlal is much more versatile in my opinion but they both have passion and excellence for getting into their roles.
    We should stop comparing them and instead enjoy their movies.

  48. if u have to say a point ,u must have seen atleast 10 films of both

    i have seen it,only because malayalm industry is small,tht mohanlal is less popular than amitab or srk

    amitab now won 3 national awards

    mohanlal is only 49 or 50,bt he has one 3 national2 national award for best actor,one waas almost to get best actor award,bt reduced special jury award
    he has one 6or 7 state awards,8 or 9 filmfare awards(note in malayalam industry filmfare type awards started only recently),also 6or 7 film critics,,
    he has been ruling as the no.1 supestar of malayalam,sharing space with mammoty(bt on fan base,mohanlal still overtake mammoty)for 30yrs.he has one his first state award at age 26,first national award at 30 or 32,he has become the superstar at age of 25 or 26 over taking all of his contemporary actors and newcomers of his young age

    according to directors mani ratnam and priyadarshan he is the best actor India,

    even many superstars like Rajnikanth believes Mohanlal and Kamal Hasan are the most talented actors of India,no dispute over it,many Young or new generation superstars like Surya,Vikram ,Prithwiraj etc frm Tamil and Malayalam take Mohanlal as the final word of acting,

    all those idiots who says to do an super actorial performance u need an extra ordinary character,,,,,,watch a mohanlal film,,,,,,,,,,,,,,if u see how Mohanlal has done romantic roles in young age,u will understand that ,while srk is just a doctorate in acting,mohanlal is einstein of acting

    your perfectionist amir khan choses the perfect script,perfect director,and takes one year for a film,still didnt get a national award

    do u know,here mohnalal,mammoty till their forties they do atleast 7 or 8films year ,in 30s tht was 15 or 20 or also they do 5 or 6 atleast,while mohanala bagged the national and state awards,he used to do atleast 10 films a year,all of them different character,,and most of them were super hits also..he had won awards for many ordinary stories for his extra ordinary "natural" perfomance,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


  49. north indian people never watch south movies. that's the problem. you guys watch south movies with eng sub's then its easy to understand. after that start comparing with ur favourites. when making comment, don't support ur fav. actor, but support good actor. even bachchan sahib told that mohanlal is the finest actor in india. so, that's it. thank you..

  50. big b is big b n mohanlal is mohanlal..we dont have watch many films of mohanlal but allmost all films of big b..big b is superb, an international star..mohanlal is an actor from a small state..recently i have watched some movies of mohanlal..all are crack movies..all b grade movies..but all recent big b movies are excellant..but i have seen one movie of mohanlal mallus i admire your mohanlal, which was amazing..why your mohanlal acting somany crack movies? i was just woundering why mohanlal is acting crack movies instead of acting movies like bramaram !!i heared there are many great movies from him past..

  51. the answer is is just check youtube about mohan lal....interviews with big b,kamalhassan,maniratnam,priyadarshan....what they said about mohanlal???????????????

    if he is their favourite......if they knows cinema...then mohan lal is the best

  52. not mohanlal or amitabh its mithunda who acted commercial as well as art film succesfully.

  53. mithunda world best actor and dancer


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