A Blog on Cinema

Why blame Mohanlal?



Rum is the most popular Indian Made Foreign Liquor in Kerala and it accounted for 65% of the sales in 2001. Rum became the most popular drink by edging out brandy and whiskey. To celebrate the arrival of 2007, Malayalees drank a record Rs. 213 million rupees worth of liquor with Chalakkudy being the topper and Tirur in Malappuram occupying the second place. Kerala has the highest per capita alcohol consumption rate in the nation followed by Punjab.All this did not require Mohanlal. Recently the actor was criticized by the Mahatma Gandhi National Foundation after he was recently seen asking “What’s up this evening?”, the catch line for a liquor brand. We know many families who have been devastated by liquor drinking habits of men and admire the work being done by the Foundation. In this case though, the Foundation is barking up the wrong tree. 

We know there are many people who love Mohanlal more than their own parents and there are some who think they are clones of the actor and walk/talk like him. Even without Mohanlal’s cryptic line and influence, Kerala is the top drunk state. If Kerala State had extremely low numbers of drunkards and if Mohanlal’s statement caused a sudden surge in alcohol consumption, we would have agreed with the Foundation. In this case, even without Mohanlal’s intervention, the State walks on all fours and talks to lamp posts while going back home.

Instead the Foundation should ask why is the State Government in the business of selling liquor to public? The Kerala State Beverages Corporation was established to provide genuine liquor to consumers at reasonable prices. The reason cited is that if the Government does not sell liquor then spurious liquor will be sold and it will affect the health of the drunkards and as a moral obligation the Government is doing this yeoman service. The truth is that the sales of liquor is beneficial to the state as it is bankrupt and this is a major source of revenue. Criticize an actor and you get free publicity, but we wish some more attention be given to the root cause of the problem.

PS: Yes, this is still a blog about Malayalam Cinema and news which mentions anything related to Cinema.


  1. VS,
    I agree with thy views… Even if the mohanlal doesnt came for the ad campaign this product would have smoothly sail through.. And yes as he said earlier… he is not the first film actress to promote an ad like this..

    I remmber an english movie this time (Sorry for including hollywood in malluwood) That was head of the states by crisRock.
    he says “If you want to prevent drug abuse you cant do with the law beat your child to hell if he is using drugs”

  2. I don’t think anyone buys gold from Malabar Jewellery just because Mohanlal promotes it. Similarly, no teetotaler is going to become a drunkard if Mohanlal sells liquour. He may just influence people in shifting to the brand he endorses.

    If Sachin Tendulkar was promoting liquor, he could’ve used the tagline “Booze-t is the secret of my energy!”

  3. Attn. Admin:

    If you look at the Google ads in the site, you can see some promoting malayalam blue films (not strange considering Google always had double standards in ad policies). You can however remove particular ads/sites from appearing on your site through your Adsense control panel. I’m sure this will make the site more ‘family friendly’. Ok, that term was copied from your site itself! 🙂

  4. Ramesh, Thanks for bringing it to our attention, we were not aware of it. Will take care of it.

  5. I think the idea of Mahatma Gandhi National Foundation harping on Mohanlal is to draw attention to this alcohol epidemic. It is a very good tactic drawing celebrities into a debate; it kind of worked in Hollywood where these type of foundations take notice and complain if an actor was not wearing seat belt or smoke on screen.

    On a wishful thinking if these actors have some social responsibility (they don’t have to) but if they do have they shouldn’t be promoting anything that glorifies this habit, they could do better if they say “hey guys don’t booze and beat your wife that is totally uncool”

  6. Sree, Malayalees are supposed to be very educated and what not. I think they own responsibility for their own actions. On another thought, if Mohanlal asks people to stop drinking, do you think it will have any effect at all?

  7. Jibs,
    I believe it will have an impact, Mohanlal is a role model for lot of people, as VC had mentioned in the beginning of this article, they “love him sometimes more than their parents” (interesting!).

    In my view messages have a great social impact, eventhough sceptic in us would say “what the heck”, remember people like Gandhiji, Sri Narayana Guru and V.S. Bhattathiripad reformed our society through simple messages.

  8. With concentrated effort celebrities can change the perception of the society, particularly the youth. Today movies promote alcoholism as a stylish recreation and is associated with power and might.

    Mohanlal is the most saleable Brand in Kerala and its better used not promoting alcoholism. The brand value of Malabar Jewellery has definitely improved by its association with many celebrities.

  9. Mohan Lal has high influence on youngsters in Kerala. His promotion of alcoholism can impact these youngsters (school and college students) and make them think drinking is a ‘cool’ thing and thus give it a start.

    So this is going to affect the youngsters who are yet to start with liquor. And for the smart a**es, am not saying that they will go straight into the bar after seeing the ad. 😛 Its got something to do with the sub-cautious mind which will come into the action when the situation comes.

    On another note, a friend of mine, a die-hard Mohan Lal fan, who tasted Original Choice after seeing the ads said he would never taste it again. He even said, Mohan Lal should have tasted it before being the brand ambassador of it. 🙂

    PS: If you think there is nothing wrong in Mohan Lal selling a ‘particular brand of bottled liquor’, I think you don’t have to worry about taking off “blue film ads”. Those who watch mallu porn will keep watching even without it and since there is no pictures of scenes from mallu porn movies, this is not going to effect the “family friendliness” as well.

  10. Well Jo,
    Should Mohanlal be brand Ambassador for liquor companies? It’s an opinion.
    Should there be porn film ads on VC? No – it’s an editorial decision.

  11. I agree with Sree. Mohanlal being a role model for majority of the Keralites, it certainly has an impact. I do not buy the argument that just because Kerala has the highest capita alcohol consumption rate in the nation after Punjab, the ad by Mohanlal may not make a big impact. My question is why add fuel to the fire? Or is this an effort to bring Kerala ahead of Punjab to take up the number one position in terms of per capita alcohol consumption?

    I find it amazing the stance of Mohanlal on appearing on the ad. He says that he has done ads in the past for better causes. We do appreciate his efforts on that. Perhaps Mohanlal should think again on whether his latest ad can make him unpopular amongst his female fan base.

    Although the liquor in question is a prodcut from Karnataka, it is owned by a Kerala businessman. Has Mohanlal done this ad out of friendship with the businessman is another matter.

    Think about Rajnikant promoting liquor in Tamilnadu. I leave it to your imagination the extent of damage it could create in Tamilnadu.

  12. In an interview given by Suresh Gopi I read the actor refused to become the brand ambassador of a chewing gum since it proved it would create addiction on kids after he send the particular product to a lab test. That time he had no films at all and was going through a rough stage. The company offered him 15 lakhs to do it. Still he refused to play brand ambassador. That was really nice of him. It underlines the fact that a celebrity has got some obligations towards the society as a whole. Kudos to him.

    Mohanlal himself had resolved earlier he will not smoke in the screen. I think he made that resolution in a function convened at an old age home or cancer centre. After that resolution came “Raavanaprabhu” in which he places the unlighted cigarette between his lips and spits it on the villain before beginning the row. He has the strange habbits like committing to “Vratham” of 90+ days during such period he consumes milk only. Such a guy acted in a booze ad!Incredulous.

    Mohanlal is absolutely a millionaire. He could had skipped that booze ad. Well if it is for money you are making a lot of it. Then for what? As an actor you spend millions on a film like “Vaanaprastham” which did not collected. But film lovers applauds on your effort to enrich films. It proved you had some commitments and obligations towards the society as an actor. But before acting in a booze ad you had to think twice about your social commitments. Yes you definitely have some commitments towards the society as a whole. The matter is serious. It cannot be shoved aside with a grin.

    Years back eminent writer sukumar azheekkode publicly stated the mass should avoid seeing Lal movies since he has the habbit of hitting the bottle. Well the society is far advanced. Lal is a human being and he has freedom to live his life according to his personal whims .

    But here the matter is different. I am not saying thousands would consume that particular stuff since he promotes it. A gifted actor who got national awards and hence a national figure and a person who is loved by many and lastly a Keralite he should not had done that. He should had followed the path of suresh gopi.

  13. I was bit surprised to see the the nature of this article. As the most popular actor, he should have understood aftermaths of this. Millions of youngsters are looking up to him as a role model.In such situation he should also have some social commitment.
    I know several friends who are crazy to have liquor with karikku(devasuram), toddy in a nostalgic environment such as pond(chandrolsavam), or trying to imitate those expensive foreign cigarettes which he never smokes on screen (ravanaprabhu).

    As a person he may have all his freedom to do such things. But what is surprising is that, why there are many people try to support him. According to nature of this article “why blame mohanlal?”, since malayalees are born drunkards, mohanlal’s ad may not make any significance in the number of drunkards. Then in the first place why he was selected for the ad, if he is not going to boost the sales?

    If Mohanlal is not socially committed, at least you can be committed VC..


  14. Maymon,

    Each person has something called judgement and he should use it to decide what is good or bad for him. If he listens to a film actor and does something bad, then he has suspended judgement and allowed himself to be influenced. Films and Film Actors do lot of things on screen and off screen and if people are following it blindly, then we would blame the person and not the film or actor. Yes, Children are susceptible to influence and it is the responsibility of parents to teach them the right values, not us.

  15. Mohanlal is the most popular Malayalam actor and he is extremely popular among youngsters.I think this ad will have a negative impact atleast on his die hard fans.It is not like acting in Malabar gold ad.Anyway Mohanlal is a pakka business man and he may not care about the product while acting in an ad.He is probably the richest and famous Malayalee and could have avoided that.I think except Suresh Gopi all other Malayalam heroes doesn’t care much about our society or values.

  16. These all campaigns against Mohanlal is just for Public & Media attention and as my friends said above, We Mallus who r famous for drinking habits (as per a study a low waged worker spends more on Alcohol than his household needs) will continue to drink. I don’t think since Mohanlal Appear on this Ad, anyone will start drinking..
    This campaign will only help the Alcohol company who put up the Ad. I suspect this MG National Foundation is a binami of this Alcohol company and due to their protest…the Ad become more and more popular..

    Also, we cannot never ever compare Mallus to Tamilians..the fan following habits are entirely different in this two states. So, as Rajesh said-Think about Rajnikant promoting liquor in Tamilnadu and Mohanlal in Alcohol Ad campaign will have entirely different Impact. We can say it will be like 65:02. ie, if Rajni’s ad has 65 % impact, Lals ad will have an impact of just 2% or even less.

  17. Hi,

    Why don`t you get your blog published here?

  18. Pingback: Mohan Lal & his Original Choice « The Great Indian Mutiny

  19. Vykittenthaa parupaadi ennu choodhikkunnathu kondu maathram I don’t think ANYONE will start drinking ORIGINAL CHOICE. In devasuram Lalettan (actually the writer/director) showed a good way of drinking VODKA. There isn’t anything better to drink Vodka than to mix it up with KARIKKU. I don’t think anyone started drinking after watching devasuram but they may have changed the style of drinking. Lalettan Janikkunnathinu munpeey lookathiley eettavum valiya kallu kudiyanmaar keralathil aayirunnirikkanam. So whats wrong with making some money off alcohol.

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