Asha Sharath's promotional video for a movie leads to a police complaint

The Malayalam actor's Facebook video seeking help to find her 'missing’ husband goes viral for the wrong reasons

Updated - July 05, 2019 11:29 am IST

Published - July 04, 2019 07:16 pm IST

Asha Sharath

Asha Sharath

The makers of the Malayalam film Evide, which reached cinemas on Thursday, came up with an unusual method to use the social media for promotion. Not merely has it evoked mixed response – some of the criticism has been scathing – but it even caused a lawyer to file a complaint with the police.

Director K.K. Rajeev, who is better known for his hugely successful television soap operas, and Asha Sharath, who achieved wider fame after playing the senior cop in Drishyam (a role she reprised in Papanasam) , may not have anticipated that when a short video was posted on the actor's Facebook page on Wednesday.

In the video, https://www.facebook.com/AshaSharathofficialpage/videos/675960876210546/ , a visibly shaken Asha, sans any make-up, sought help from the public in her search of her missing husband, Zacharia. She also requested people to contact the police station at Kattappana if anyone had any information.

The video went viral, and initially many felt it was real. It has already attracted a million views. The total number of likes for Asha's page is 1.4 million.

Many of the comments on the video – and there have been more than 6,000 of them at the timing of filing this report – are not positive. Which isn't surprising. Nobody enjoys being fooled. Some of them vowed not to see the film, while others wished it failure. There are, however, also people who have appreciated the different way of marketing.

Marketing like this has happened before in Malayalam cinema, even at a time when Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg was still in school. In 1990, an advertisement had appeared in major Malayalam newspapers about a girl who lost her memory following a road accident. A telephone number was also given along with the photograph of the girl (actor Shobana). Many dialled that number, without realising that it was part of the marketing strategy for Innale.

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