Movies

I’m a Kamal Haasan fan because...

Kamal Haasan

Kamal Haasan

Prem Kumar, director-cinematographer

Mani Ratnam is the reason why I became a filmmaker. But my understanding of the craft side of cinema came through Kamal Haasan. I remember being a school-going kid when I first watched Kaakhi Sattai in my hometown, Thanjavur. Even at that age, I noticed something different; Kamal sir plays a budding police officer and you could see him taking the effort to look muscular, in order to ‘look’ like a cop. All his movies are a bible for me, especially Virumaandi . It is a raw and intense movie, but I loved the light-hearted scenes — where Virumaandi and Analakshmi are having a moment when the bull runs amok.

Prem Kumar

Prem Kumar

If you notice the dialogues, he had used the word ‘mail’, reflecting that time period and milieu. This is the kind of ‘realistic’ romance I probably saw for the first time in Tamil cinema. The movie, in fact, draws humour from unlikely places and the screenplay has multiple layers. But the thing with Kamal sir is, he never preached through his movies, be it Virumaandi or Hey Ram . That is the true meaning of an artiste.

 

Sean Roldan, music composer

I did not have a lot of exposure to Kamal’s films growing up, but when I watched Hey Ram , it made me learn what he was all about. It told me what sophisticated cinema was, and invoked something inside me. The characterisation of Saketh Ram has so many shades and colours, and the film chronicled the helplessness in him, and how the anger inside him builds up slowly.

Sean Roldan

Sean Roldan

The scene is right after his wife is murdered, when he meets Atul Kulkarni. The way he stifles his voice, unable to explain what he’s going through. When you go through something intense, sometimes you don’t have the energy to explain what happened...and Kamal pulled that off with some unbelievable acting. I have seen the film a hundred times and that scene, and the other sequence with Shah Rukh Khan when they have an argument about ideology, is what makes it a masterpiece.

 

SJ Suryah, director-actor

I remember watching the first-day first-show of Thevar Magan and being blown away by its content. There were no OTT platforms back then, and we didn’t have the luxury of watching it multiple times. So, every time I visited the theatre, I carried a notepad and took notes because Thevar... is perhaps one of the finest scripts in Indian cinema.

SJ Suryah

SJ Suryah

It gave us a blueprint as to how a screenplay should be. I’m purely talking in terms of its screenplay. If I go into the details of character arcs and performances, I would need an hour or two!


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 10:45:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/im-a-kamal-haasan-fan-because/article29897102.ece