On March 19th 2021 (little over a week ago), a satirical Malayalam film titled ‘Mohan Kumar Fans’ dropped in theaters all over Kerala without much pomp or splendour. This Malayalam satire gives us a unique look at the Malayalam film industry while also keeping us emotionally invested with the main characters (one of whom is also the titular character). This little known project is winning over critics and audiences; continue down below to find out why. Check out the film’s trailer at the end of this article.
Siddique portrays the title character, MohanKumar, and is one of the two main protagonists of the film – a role which he hasn’t had in some time. The movie actually has some elements from the Hollywood hit feature ‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’, where the film follows a faded actor from the yesteryear and is making a comeback. But that’s where the similarities end with both films.
In ‘Mohan Kumar Fans’ however, the lead character, Mohan Kumar has made a feature film for the first time in 30 years and has given a stellar performance. Although his performance is lauded by critics and fans alike, the hostile film industry deems his movie as a “filler flick” – a low budget movie only good for TV, due to his “low star” status. Due to megastar actors like Mohanlal and Mammootty, many don’t expect Mohan to receive a state award – the award he has been yearning for since he began acting. The trailer actually shows a person talking about good actors who disappeared into the background due to how quickly Mohanlal and Mammootty rose within the film community.
Kunchacko Boban plays the other protagonist – a singer by the name of Krishanan Unni, who is taking part in a singing competition which is being broadcasted on TV. Due to his financial difficulties, he works as Mohan’s driver when he is not appearing on stage or singing. The young singer then bonds with the older actor and slowly helps him get his mojo back.
A story like this is not something new, but the satire around the Malayalam film industry (which we expect is something that actually happens within Kerala and around the globe) is something new and quite interesting. The writer-director of the film, Jis Joy, has brought in an all star cast featuring Mukesh, Sreenivasan, Asif Ali, K.P.A.C. Lalitha, Ramesh Pisharody among many others to support Siddique and Kunchacko Boban in this movie. We do not know how fully relevant this movie is in this day and age, but as films like ‘Birdman’ showed – Showbiz is a cut-throat business, no matter the year, no matter the era.