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Why director Suresh Krissna fell in love with ‘The Lion King’

Director Suresh Krissna   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Suresh Krissna, a popular Tamil filmmaker, is well known for having directed Rajinikanth in four films (Annamalai, Veera, Baasha and Baba).

He was also the man behind Kamal Haasan’s Sathya and Aalavandan, and has worked with leading stars in all South Indian film industries. These are the director’s top picks from his list of favourite films.

Sholay (1975)

I saw it when I was young and it had a terrific impact on me.

The key people of ‘Sholay’: (from left) Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Ramesh Sippy and Amjad Khan

The key people of ‘Sholay’: (from left) Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Ramesh Sippy and Amjad Khan   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The film was not only brilliantly written by Salim Javed, but it also had many first-of-its-kind elements on the big screen — the characters, backdrop, the mounting and action. Everything about this film was unique and it floored me. I will never forget the day I watched it because I stood in a three-kilometre-long queue to get the ticket!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Directed by Milos Foreman, this is completely set inside a mental asylum, but there is not a single dull moment.

Jack Nicholson in a still from ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’

Jack Nicholson in a still from ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Jack Nicholson was simply brilliant and the screenplay was fascinating. The highlight was its climax, something that no one would have expected. I remember watching it on the big screen, and no one in the audience moved till the end credits finished.

It moved me so much that I walked out of the theatre, and bought a ticket for the very next show and watched it again.

Moondram Pirai (1982)

Very subtle, very sensitive film... Director Balu Mahendra had handled this challenging script so well, and managed to get great performances from his lead actors, Kamal Haasan and Sridevi.

Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in a still from ‘Moondram Pirai’

Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in a still from ‘Moondram Pirai’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

I still hum the tunes of Ilaiyaraaja from the film to this day, and cannot forget the melodious ‘Kanne Kalaimaane’. I also hold the film’s climax in high regard; it had me exclaiming ‘wow’ when I left the cinema hall.

The Lion King (1994)

This was when 3D wasn’t heard of, and I remember taking my children thinking that it would be a ‘fun movie’.

A shot from the 1994 animated film ‘The Lion King’

A shot from the 1994 animated film ‘The Lion King’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

But I went ‘Oh my God’ after watching it, thanks to the absorbing screenplay. At one point in the film, I forgot that they were cartoon characters, and found myself carried away by the emotion. I realised then that animation films will have a big impact in the future. It has, now.

As told to Srinivasa Ramanujam


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 9:18:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/why-director-suresh-krissna-fell-in-love-with-the-lion-king/article28111270.ece

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