A handcuffed Mohanlal, clad in white shirt and mundu, has his leg propped on the chest of a man dressed in a police uniform, pinning the latter to a wall. This is one of the posters from the Prithviraj-directed movie Lucifer that Mohanlal fans are going gaga over. From creating TikTok videos to memes, fans of all ages seem to be taking a liking to this stunt scene. But the Kerala police have taken exception to this.
The Kerala Police Association has written a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, seeking a ban on the usage of stills depicting violence against police in all movie posters.
“In the quarter-length poster, which was published in a leading daily of Kerala, a police officer in uniform was seen kicked on the chest with a tagline that gives a wrong message to the public,” the letter stated. The poster, which appeared in many newspapers on Tuesday, bears a tagline, which is the dialogue from the movie: ‘How dare you touch my kids’.
Speaking about the letter, Kerala Police Association State General Secretary PG Anilkumar told TNM that police officers are concerned that such posters would send a wrong message about the police force to the public.
“The depiction of violence against a police officer will have a context in the film. But when such scenes are taken out of context and used in film posters, it has a wider reach and people who have not watched the film will get a wrong impression. This can affect the behaviour and attitude of youngsters, especially teenagers, towards police officers,” said Anilkumar.
In the letter, the police association has also asked the Chief Minister to criminalise the use of posters that show violence against the police, and use statutory warnings for such scenes, just like how the use of pictures of alcohol and drugs have been banned from movie posters.
The police officers have also suggested displaying warnings during scenes that show violence against the police.
“If such measures could be implemented, then the negative influence, which this will have, could be minimised,” states the letter.
“When an actor who has a high level of influence in society appears in such posters, it is no wonder that people think the police are supposed to be attacked,” it added.
The Kerala Police Association also made it clear that they are not against the film or actors in any way. “We respect the freedom of expression of the artistes and this is by no means an infringement on their freedom. We are only concerned about the impact such posters can have,” said Anilkumar.