A Blog on Cinema

Mohanlal’s full-monty scene


Malayali actresses don’t expose in Malayalam movies, but only in Tamil. We wrote in detail about this phenomena few months back. These actresses who dress conservatively in Malayalam movies have no problems exposing in other languages due to which we don’t get to see much skin in mainstream Malayalam movies.

Kerala, always has been different from rest of India in many aspects, and hence why not in this issue too. If actresses are so reluctant to expose in Malayalam movies and express amative feelings onscreen, why can’t the actors do it?. So Mohanlal decided to expose his body in the new movie Thanmatra, which won many awards in the 2005 Kerala State Awards. This is not some half-hearted expose done by Navya Nair or Nayantara, but the full-monty.

As an Alzheimer’s patient, there is a scene in which he makes love with his wife and for a few seconds, he totally forgets what he is doing and gets up and walks away from her! This scene is the first indication to the audience as well as to his wife who realizes that Ramesan has some problem.

Says Mohanlal: “Yes I did the ‘full monty’ scene to establish the seriousness of Alzheimer’s. A man who is engrossed in a sexual fervour with his wife, loses memory and drifts away from what he was doing. I did the scene because I was totally convinced and it was very crucial for the story and I had deep trust in Blessy”. The scene was passed by the censors but was not screened in theatres. It would have led to serious problems as it may not go down well with family audience and his fans.[Mohanlal did the `full monty`!]

Mohanlal had full faith in the director Blessy to use the footage judiciously. Blessy had send the movie with the footage to censors and it got approved, but finally decided not have the nude footage in the movie when it hit the theatres. He might have felt that people could be scarred for life seeing a naked Mohanlal (just kidding). The reason cited was that it would put off the family audience and upset the fans.

This pressure to delete the love making scene is perfectly understandable as Malayalees unlike other human beings do not make love to their spouses. We reproduce by spreading pollen like flowers. Earlier we said that Kerala is unlike any other state in India and even in hypocricy we lead the nation.

For a state which comes up with sex scandals regularly, some even featuring minors, a gritty portrayal of love has become unpalatable. The nude scene in this movie is not explicit like in Y Tu Mama Tambien or like the half nudity done by Malayali actresses in Tamil movies. It is not explicit show of nudity for the purpose of titillation like the numerous semi-porn movies which is another proud Kerala export, but a scene done for emphasising the intensity of the disease. It seems people like realism, but there is a boundary to their realism.

Mohanlal says

According to me, the scene was shot very beautifully, within the parameters of decency. But if we start speaking in support of it, many people may oppose it. Maybe the way we look at morality and they look at morality differs. Anyway, nothing happened to the film after the scene was deleted. In fact, people began coming in large numbers only after that.[‘Films like Thanmatra just happen’]

Now that Blessy has won awards for Mohanlal, the other award aspirant, Dileep has announced that he is ready to work with Blessy, postponing all other commitments. He does not want to know the story, the actors, or even Blessy’s astrological chart. But if there is one question Dileep should ask, it should be, if there is a nude scene in the film or not. Atleast for our sake.


  1. We dont need nudity (read nude scenes) to show love making scenes… it depends upon how smart and creative the director is…

  2. Rajeev, we have been tickled pink by smart and creative picturizations like two flowers moving towards each other and a close up of a clock ticking. For once, we prefer reality here.

  3. “This pressure to delete the love making scene is perfectly understandable as Malayalees unlike other human beings do not make love to their spouses. We reproduce by spreading pollen like flowers.” – That was brilliant!!!

  4. VC, On a serious note, I think even though the censors did not cut the scene, as Blessy rightly said, that scene would not have clicked with our audience. I dont think our people will appreciate the realism behind it. We are not mature enough to accept it.

    We are 101% hypocrites. The entire population from 18-80 (with a “mundu” over the head in some cases), throng to Shakeela movies – but when such a scene as in Thanmaathra were to come on screen, we would saying “ could lal, of people, have done such a scene..couldnt the director restrain himself.”

  5. Why do I have a feel that Blessy had shot the scene with the sole intent of making the movie click with the jury of various award ceremonies, and had it removed to ensure a commercial success?? Is this Hypocricy of Blessy a malayalee director??

  6. VC,

    Your comment – “like two flowers moving towards each other and a close up of a clock ticking”…

    That is exactly what I mean by the director being smart and creative. There are other ways than showing nudity and (showing two flowers…)

    Yes, I too think that we are 101% hypocrites. Not only Malayalees…Indians altogether…. but I think we malayalees are not really ready to see a naked Lalettan or Mammokka… thats for sure…

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  8. Unni: Agree with you on that point. There are movies which you go with a mundu on the head and those you go with mundu around the waist. When the two worlds collide and there is only one mundu, people are confused.
    Unnikrishnan: Could be that, or could be the obsession with realism. I am still surprised that Mohanlal did such a scene, which is risky considering the family friendly image he has. Somehow I thought a person who would be willing to take such bold risks would be Kamal Hassan.

  9. VC – You are absloutely right. Kamal is another actor would have done a full monty too.

    Also regarding Rajeev’s comments, I also agree that Mammotty would never have agreed to do such a scene as he is an extremely image conscious actor. This is not to sully Mammotty the actor. He always adopts a risk-free approach.

    I think it is the dedication of the actor that speaks here. Mohan Lal/Kamal are tow actors in Indian cinema would go to any extent to add that extra touch of realism in their movies.

  10. Unni,

    Mammootty in past has acted in de-glamourised roles
    (for example shaving his head in Yatra, Nirakkoottu,Mathilukal, looked ugly in Mrigaya). But then we agree that doing full monty is a different ball game.

    Kamal Hassan is a different beast altogether in terms of his commitment to the role. He does not have a permanent face and becomes the character in all aspects. All stars like Mammotty, Mohanlal, Dileep, Suresh Gopi, Jayaram etc. play safe and are not even willing to try different features. Yes, we can cite some occasional movie like Udayon, Uncle Bun or Kunjji Koonan to say they are different. But Kamal Hassan is in a different league compared to all Indian actors. In Malayalam, the actors we admire for becoming characters are Nedumudi Venu, and Jagathi.

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  12. Thanks to Blessy, the medical dictionaries in Kerala has been updated with a new disease Ramesan Nair Syndrome!!!

  13. You look like doing a good job over here. Chanced upon this website. You could expand this and make more comprehensive.Sorry if am misusing the site, but I would like to know whetehr the Unnikrishnan Nair is the same one from the Masters in Communication and Journalism 1994-96 batch at Kerala University? I would really like to know.

  14. ritu, what do you mean by “make more comprehensive”? Could you elaborate with specifics.

  15. Ritu, I am not the Unnikrishnan Nair that you know..

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  18. There is a VCD (said to be a studio copy-A good VCD print) of Thanmatra available in several internet sites. This VCD contains the above mentioned scene. There is not much of a nudity(other than low hip of lal & a bare back of meera in a dark blue lit scene) for it to be obscene. But if it was left undeleted in the movie, definitely it would have set of a negative controversy among the ‘family’ audiance ..

    i guess Blessy Had to shoot the scene for AWARD Commete and Had to delete the scene to collect money from theaters.

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