A Blog on Cinema

What’s the word for five consecutive flops?


If a bowler gets three wickets in a row, we know it is called a hat trick. What we don’t know is the right word when an actor delivers five flops in a row. We are not talking about ordinary actors like Jayasurya or Manikuttan but the redoubtable Mohanlal.

Mohanlal’s Flash occupied the same position among the Christmas releases that plankton occupies in the food chain .Audience showed unprecedented unanimity in disproving the ‘Mohanlal initial’ and Flash became flashback within the first week of it’s release. Flash right now is battling  Of the People for the last position, and we foresee an enthralling three way competetion with Novel joining the group. Flash was preceded by four  mega flops – Alibhai, RGV ‘s Aag, Paradesi, and Rock n Roll which all fell like the Berlin wall. For an actor who is in complete control of his career, failure of this magnitude is atypical.

The naive might ask: Did Mohanlal write or direct those movies? Shouldn’t you be blaming the writers, directors and producers.? Well, Mohanlal gets to pick the director of his choice and no one is beyond his influence — new directors who have delivered hits with Mammotty, as well as veteran hit makers. If no producers are available, the omni present Antony Perumbavoor and his “Aashirwad” films serves as the cat’s-paw for his schemes.

The ‘shock and awe’ strategy of carpet bombing the state with an inane Mohanlal movie with the hope that the initial would pull them through is not working any more. Such rackets don’t work in the SMS era. With  competition from Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi movies actors like Mohanlal need to learn something from the other pillar of Malayalam film industry Mammotty, who has adapted to the times, works with new comers, selects good scripts, and is still giving hits.

Mohanlal’s biggest mistake is in trusting  directors and paying scant attention to the script and the story. The common theme across Alibhai, RGV’s Aag, Rock n Roll and Flash is amateurish script writing. After completing almost three decades in this industry, he should realize that a change is on. Even the die hard fans are expecting something of a story and are fed up seeing Mohanlal-Jagathi juvenile acts and Narasimham clones. In fact the lesson is simple and his old friend Srinivasan explained it best in a recent interview.

The early line up in 2008 does not look good with College Kumaran and Akasha Gopuram.  His next possible hit could be Lal Jose’s Cousins in which Mohanlal co-stars with Prithviraj.


  1. Dear “VC” please stop commenting about a film even before it’s release.
    Don’t try to create negative publicity,try that after film’s release.

    Don’t you people have any other actor in malayalam industry or tamil industry to comment about.
    Did “VC team” produced and directed college kumaran that it dosen’t “look good”, in that way only adult movies look gud because before release public know what they are going to see and really “Look damm good”.

    As commented by legendary actor Kamal hasan at recently held IFFK (International Film Festival of Kerala) in Thiruvananthapuram “Not only is he an excellent actor, he also has a very good sense of filmmaking. I request him to continue producing more films in Malayalam and Tamil,” .

    Katha parayambol is not mamooty’s solo hit.
    Remove sreenivasan from that film and see the differance. And i believe that you people know that sreenivasan is not a new commer in any ways.

    As you mentioned mohanlal has been there for three decades, then he dose’nt need any such really such free intelligent advice,Like we see in one of the popular add’s on TV – “india main free kee advice miltee hee rahtee hain”.
    Take a break and come back with some relevant articles.

  2. VC

    Didnt u know that its unthinkable for a Mallu film website to play critic to an actor who has been sitting on a heap of flops for a few years now, and coming up with one atrocity after another?

    The moment u think of doing something like that, think again. Coz aggrieved fans like Niju above will take it upon themselves as a personal attack and start crying foul over ur misdeed. It wudnt ofcourse make any difference to them that College Kumaran looks like a jerky campus flick of the mid 80’s and how dare u expect it to be a disaster when it is helmed by none other than the multi-talented director Thulasidas, who gave us the Century Classic, Mr. Brahmachari?

    How could u be so irresponsible VC? How could u even suggest that Mammootty acts sensibly? Do not, I repeat, do not dare to be blasphemous ever again. I hope u noticed that Niju hasnt taken to it too kindly. And has prescribed a break for u, and advised u to come back wih relevant Lalettan articles.

    Pay heed, VC, pay heed!

  3. Dear VC,

    While criticizing Mohanlal for the mistake “in trusting directors and paying scant attention to the script and the story”, you forget that the actor had the guts to do a Paradesi.

    That too in a time when PT and Mohanlal have to face questions like “is this film funded by ISI” at press conferences.

    Seeing the sentence “The common theme across Alibhai, RGV’s Aag, Rock n Roll and Flash is amateurish script writing..”, one wishes the author at least made a passing comment at the one film that did not make to this list.


  4. Sudeep, I saw Paradesi. While the theme is nice, it is basically a torture movie.That style of movie making is at least 30 years old. VC is right on the money when he says it is time Mohanlal took a look at his pipeline and sorted out his priorities. Going with Lal Jose and pairing up with Prithviraj is a good step.

  5. Pardesi was a real drag of a movie, admit it. Neither the niche audience that was xpected for the movie nor the ordinary filmgoers were impressed by it. And as VC pointed out Akasha Gopuram is most likely to turn out as another Pardesi. An adaptation of Ibsen’s play sounds promising, but in the hands of a director as KP Kumaran, I am not so sure, since he belongs to a group of directors who simply refuse to let go and move on with the times.

  6. finally it needs somebody like prithvi to save the great mohan lal

  7. VC, Was it a deliberate move to start an argument session by publishing this article… Espescially the last line “His next possible hit could be Lal Jose’s Cousins in which Mohanlal co-stars with Prithviraj.” sounds cliched enough to start a Mallu world war, that too when nothing is known about that movie!!! 😉

  8. vinay, you said, “finally it needs somebody like prithvi to save the great mohan lal”. I don’t think Prithviraj has reached a place where he can save other people. Both those actors need to be save by Lal Jose or we have to see if both the actors bring down Lal Jose to their level.

  9. Lal’s laziness in reading scripts is the sole reason for the pathetic state he’s currently in. There’s even a talk in town that if anyone pays 50 Lakhs advance in ready cash, Mohanlal will sign up for the movie without reading the script. Going by the quality of the movies he’s doing nowadays, we would have to believe this.

    After Keerthichakra, is there a single genuinely good movie from Mohanlal? How long will people have to suffer these Balettans, Thampiyannans, Alibhais & Kumarans?? Its about time Mohanlal re-invents himself.. else, we would have to sadly witness the fall of a great actor.

  10. VC,

    Guess your readership was coming down. Good move.

    We have heard these talks many times before, with Jayaram, Suresh Gopi, Dileep, and now with Prithvi Raj. They come, They win and then We move on.

  11. Highly entertaining in the sense that most critics are attacking VC instead of addressing the problem. The same pattern was seen when they were attacking MovieMazaa instead of address the contents of his review. Yep, shoot the messenger.

    VC, You are doing a great job and you are a breath of fresh air among Malayalee bloggers. Don’t get caught up with these trivial critics.

  12. It is really sad to see an actor of Mohanlal’s stature and talent doing movies like Hello and Flash. I hope this Aashirwad films finds some good writers and directors who can help him. Also one suggestion for the vc folks, please approve only those comments which are relevant to the “content” of the post and stop approving comments which are personal attacks and have no relevance to the topic. Reading those comments which were trying to find motive behind this post is all a waste of time.

  13. Sunil

    You took the very words out of my mouth. I was about to comment on the similarity between the attack against MM and now VC, and there you were. I have always had this nagging doubt in my mind that most of the attacks against MM were personal attacks by fans of a particular superstar; the very same people who post abusive comments on Rediff.

  14. jibs, lal is making the hay while the sun is shining. You know the poor guy lost a helluva in the spicy business. Heard he handed over the business to Eastern group. So let him compensate his loss.

  15. Actually you may not have to wait till Cousins. His next hit will be the Sathyan Anthikkad movie which is the Vishu release.

  16. Thank you for mentioning that i am A “aggrieved”
    lalettan fan, that means iam a real fan.

    ** Rest of the comment not related to content and hence deleted – VC**

  17. Do VC only support comments against mohanlal.. ?

  18. Mohanlal is not trying to change with times in dealing with newer directors and newer plotlines.Please look into his future directors……….thulaseedas, k p kumaran, thean a t s sureshbabu,,,,,,,even the takings and narratives of paradesy was like that of an art movie of the eighties.can u please show a scene in the movie which was greatly framed, lighted and the star in natural looking makeup’s……that is the reason why it got out in all the big festival circuits.

    what is happening to our favourite star?i think he is seriously underrating him and is in the feel that his doom days are near……….dear actor , please see that u take up challenging projects like our other super star , that will make every malayalee proud…………..we are always with u.

  19. Why VC’s intention got questioned?

    Prediction (Wishfull thinking?) of future failure.

    Avoided mentioning (Purposefully?) that 1 (Pardesi) of the 5 flops was a art movie.

    And then Aag, who in the right sense would attribute the result of a Bollywood movie with BigB on Lal. With Company no one was even ready to give Lal any contribution credit.

    And then the classic “His next possible hit could be Lal Jose’s Cousins in which Mohanlal co-stars with Prithviraj.”

  20. Why is Mohanlal being criticised here?

    Stupid movies (Intentionally?) one after the other and some one had the courage to say the emperor is naked?

    Acting in 1980s style art movies and wondering what happened to the audience (Found Mental Peace!)

    Was outshined by AB in Aag

    And then the shock, “Not everyone worships him!” and some moral outrage!

  21. It cannot be said that these 5 movies are the only movies Mohanlal didnt read the script before signing. In his 25+ years career he might not have read script of any of his movies. Considering that, Mohanlal had an amazing and incredibly lucky run. Now the law of averages is catching up.

  22. I agree Paradesi was not well lit nor did it have flashy camera angles. But RGV’s AAG had all these, didn’t it?

    What I said in the post was that when one passes a comment on bad scripts, it would be nice if they mentioned a word about the one film that was an exception. At least something like “Paradesi had a good concept and script but it could have been executed better.”

    By ignoring Paradesi after mentioning it in the list of five consecutive flops, I think VC is doing a crime to Malayalam cinema and Mohanlal.

  23. An act of omission by VC becomes a crime against Malayalam Cinema and Mohanlal !!!! Wow VC is sure very influential.

  24. Sudeep KS,

    “This is a very bold subject and an issue which has not been tackled in Indian cinema before. Even though such people live in our midst, most Malayalees are not even aware of their problems and so P.T.Kunju Mohammed has to be congratulated for the subject and Mohanlal for taking up the challenge of portraying the three stages of Moosa’s life ( at 35, 60 and 80). After seeing him in movies like Ali Bhai, we are sure this movie will finally bring out the actor in Mohanlal for according to the movie stills he has transformed himself into the character of Valiyakathu Moosa.”

  25. The funny thing is that when College Kumaran was announced there were a barrage of abuses against Thulasidas, the director who stand where he started and surprises on how Lal accepted in Open Forum with almost 1500 visits in Forum Kerala. Lal accepted it due to the 1.25 Cr Cheque. He will do any damn thing if you have money. It is really funny to see a man with such an age and physiq is still running around girls. But his own media guys are spending lots in explaining he become hot and handsome. Are these are the antics of an exceptionally talented person who felt his time is near. Mammoo at least selects the role of 2/3rd age. Lal is merly after money. Now he joints with Satyan Anthikad who managed to make hits with his ordinary stuff in his last two attempts. How such people are surviving shows the attitude of Malayalees.

  26. 1.25 Cr.Wow. He’s probably giving discount for movies with script.

  27. Saw the song from College Kumaran.

    If he was wearing lungi/banyan serving or collecting money from students, that would have interesting. But what do we see. Canteen guy (in branded cloths) singing and dancing with college students and principal. And then use of National symbols. Pathetic !!!

  28. Pingback: varnachitram » Blog Archive » Review Roundup: College Kumaran

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