Mohanlal, Lalisom band under fire


Social media awash with comments on the band’s apparently poor performance at the opening ceremony of the 35th National Games.

Mone, mike thaazhe idada” (son, please put down the mike) – so goes a caption under a photograph of Thilakan and Mohanlal from the yesteryear classic ‘Kireedom.’ The social media was awash with such memes on Sunday, as fans and detractors alike launched a scathing attack on actor Mohanlal and his band ‘Lalisom,’ which apparently cut a sorry figure at the opening ceremony of the 35th National Games, with a set of lip-synched songs.

Even Mr. Mohanlal’s official page, which is usually a platform for much adulation from his diehard fans, was filled with negative comments. Hardly anyone, not even the fans’ association members, who have in the past hit back strongly at even slightly negative comments against the actor, was out to defend him.

On Saturday, at the greenfield stadium, the crowd which was upbeat after the well-executed initial part of the opening ceremony, reacted harshly when the Lalisom performance started.

“The crowd were upbeat till the band came on. During the first two songs, they waited patiently thinking that things would get better. Then the booing started and many left the stadium soon. The show started off as a history of Indian cinema, but it soon ended up being just a collection of songs from Lal’s films,” says Manu R., who was present at the stadium.

Soon after the performance, a few uploaded online television video grabs of the band’s performance, which clearly showed the actor lip-syncing to a previously recorded audio tape. The collective opinion was that this amounted to cheating the audience as it was supposed to be a live show.

On Sunday afternoon, a rumour floated that Lalisom was disbanded following the flop show, but music director Ratheesh Vega soon issued a clarification saying that the band will continue to perform.

This elicited further negative comments, with many of them asking ‘how many more crores need to be spent to stop them from performing again.’

A online campaign #ýlalismgivebackour2crore was also launched demanding the band to return the Rs.2 crore that the government paid it. The campaign starters cited the fact that even bands such as ‘Avial’ with years of experience and a huge fan following command only around Rs.5 lakh. Asking for Rs.2 crore for a lip-synched performance was unfair, they say.

Last week, when the band was criticised for charging Rs.2 crore for its performance, the actor had clarified that he was not taking the amount for himself but to meet the expenses of artistes’ travel and accommodation. But now questions are being asked on how this band which has not performed anywhere else was selected and on what criteria such a huge amount was paid.

From the film fraternity, directors Jude Anthany Joseph and Vinayan came out strongly criticising the actor. Many of the fans commented on the actor’s page asking him to continue doing what he was capable of and leave the singing to those who know how to do it.

The Hindu

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