While some fans loved the performance there were others who clearly expected more
After hype and anticipation, the Mohanlal show materialised on 9 June amongst some controversy; however, not unexpected for a show of this calibre. Everyone wanted a piece of him! Of the nearly 2,000 Mohanlal fans who had filled the stands of the Quay Centre at the Sydney Olympic Park to watch their idol perform, some walked out satisfied that they had seen him live on stage and some others were dissatisfied.
Each one of us have our own expectation when we purchase tickets for a show—and the response is based on how much the show matches that expectation. This happens even when one goes to watch a movie—some like it, some don’t! I am a satisfied fan; I enjoyed his performance and the performances of all the accompanying artists.
Mohanlal came to Sydney to entertain his fans and he did that well. The artist who has carved a niche for himself and holds a place amongst the most talented artists in the global film industry, reached out to his fans in the best possible way—with his presence and his performance. He is an icon, a star and above all a good human being who is known amongst his peers and his juniors for his humility and simplicity. The testimonials by talented artists who have directed him and acted with him, are testament to this. The performers who accompanied him on the stage—especially the famous M G Sreekumar—complemented his performances very ably. The skits he acted in and the dance numbers he performed had his signature moves and gestures, something that is so ‘Mohanlalish’. Interestingly, since the show, I have gone into Mohanlal movie marathon mode!
Stage shows always stand the risk of unexpected debacles, as there are no retakes. While a dance move can be rectified, a slip in a chord while singing can be a disaster. It is to avoid such instances that some artists perform some of their vocal renditions to their own pre-recorded versions. This is not unheard of in the entertainment industry. Beyoncé did that when she sang the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration. Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and Whitey Houston have all done it. And most artists pull it off with a flair and Mohanlal did it too, till the one ‘infamous’ slip up. Did he know he had slipped up? Of course, he did. But as a true artist he continued and delivered…the show had to go on.
Whatever the flaws, Mohanlal towered head and shoulders above all performers. As a star ages, he matures, and Mohanlal is one star who has matured very gracefully. The way he opened the show, setting the tone to what his intention was, reveals his calibre as an artist and his depth as an individual.
The song, ‘I Believe in Love’, originally sung by Don Williams, was his message to the audience… “And I’m an ordinary man… Sometimes I wonder who I am….”