The first season of Bigg Boss Malayalam went on air on Sunday with superstar Mohanlal as its host. Backed by his prior experience as a television anchor, Mohanlal hit the ground running on the opening night. He was in his element while explaining the basic rules of the show or while giving the audience a guided tour of the newly constructed house or when he got schooled by the Bigg Boss after he attempted to make a cup of tea for himself inside the house.
Unlike his counterparts in Tamil and Telugu versions, Mohanlal strictly followed the ‘no-English’ rule on the Malayalam show. He was repeatedly correcting the contestants as and when they used English words while speaking with him.
Mohanlal, however, kept the mood light with his funny off-the-cuff remarks, mostly when he introduced contestants. He displayed a great degree of camaraderie with some as they go back a long way. He reminisced his memories with them, he let them know how much he appreciates each one of them but not before making fun of them. He even reminded Aristo Suresh and Sabu that they won’t get the supply of alcohol inside the house.
And the superstar anchor also immediately put the other contestants who met him for the first time at ease before sending them inside the house. He even jokingly asked the audience not to get inspired by 10th contestant Basheer Bashi and do a second marriage.
Basheer is a member of Freakers, who are part of Kerala’s vibrant subculture. The members who identify themselves as Freakers dress in a flamboyant style, with gelled hairstyles, bright clothes coupled with large sunglasses. They have a strong presence on social media too. While Freakers dress modern, they are conservative in their outlook. Basheer was one of the members of the group who led anti-Kiss of Love protests in Kerala.
Talking to Mohanlal on stage, Basheer said the public opinion about him at the moment was not every favorable after his recent second marriage. And he would like to turn the tables through this show.
Interestingly, Diya Sana, an LGBT activist who led the Kiss Of Love protest, has also entered the show. She even recently made headlines for leading the ‘bare chest’ protest against sexist remarks made by a Kerala college professor.
The final contestant to enter the house was Ranjini Haridas, who is known for her public fights, in addition to being a star on television and stage shows. Mohanlal said he gets goosebumps in her presence while calling her an important contestant of the show.
The newly constructed house in Mumbai’s film city looks more spacious with colorful themes that are inspired by Kerala’s culture and tradition. While the women contestants settled in the room marked for men, the male contestants unpacked their bags in the ladies’ bedroom. All of them were summoned to the living area by the Bigg Boss and informed about their faux pas. As everyone rushed to change their rooms, Suresh hurt himself.
The wound seemed bad as he was bleeding and the opening episode ended with visuals of Suresh being rushed to the confession room for first aid help.