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Kamal Haasan


“Boss is always right” is what every company, be it small or huge, believes in. Cinema is a huge business and the bosses are the audience. Sometimes the decisions or in our case, the tastes of the ‘bosses’ might not appear to be fair.

Such incidents usually happen to one of our own star - an actor who has been in Cinema for more than 5 decades, a very rare breed of artiste, who doesn’t fear exploring various characters, a filmmaker, whose brilliance has always been too high for a normal brain to reach. Now, Barrie Osborne is waiting for his call sheet. Kamal Haasan has been an artiste who has never hesitated to explore cinema and its different components, whether it is easy for the audience to understand or not.

Why aren’t his films performing as well as a film of a mass hero? Is it because he doesn’t jump from a skyscraper, directly into a running train, or is it because he doesn’t do a role that involves meaningless multitudinous murders? May be it’s because he doesn’t deliver punch dialogues like, “Kola kolaya mundhirikka, Aanaa naan adicha kathirikka da…”

People thinking ahead of times, in most cases aren’t given the due respect, because their brilliance is too high for us to understand. This had been the case in lives of many geniuses. Copernicus’ theory took years for people to understand, Nostradamus was respected only when his predictions started coming true. Similarly, Kamal’s films, be it Aalavandhan or Virumandi are being appreciated only now.

Recently, Quentin Tarantino disclosed that Kamal’s Aalavandhan inspired him to involve animation into his film, Kill Bill. And now people (I mean my friends) are considering watching Aalavandhan. But what amazes me is the fact that Nolan’s films get better reception than Kamal’s from people. I have seen people praising the brilliance of Nolan in Memento and Inception and call Kamal’s Dasavatharam, Heyram and Alavandhan crap. The question that pops up from my mind during such conversations (rather accusations, I would say) is that how can you possibly understand a film that runs backward or a film like inception, when you can’t even appreciate or understand Heyram, Alavandhan or Virumandi?

I’m neither a diehard fan of Kamal Haasan nor a hater of Nolan or any other artiste in that case. I’m just a fan of good cinema. And I fear the fate of Vishwaroopam. Being a Kamal’s product, it cannot be a sub-standard film. There sure will be something that hasn’t been in his films before.

People tend to close their brains while watching films. That’s exactly why good films get bombed and illogical films become blockbusters. Not all films need to be stressbusters. Few of them can be eye openers. For them to be eye openers, all it requires is a bit of thinking from us. A good film is a puzzle, a Da-vinci’s painting. It’ll be blissful, if we could decipher whatever the maker has hidden in his art.

Kamal has been in the industry for more than 50 years now. He is a revolutionary in the field of film making. When Tarantino applauded him, he said, “When I did the animation action sequence 12 years ago it was seen as self-indulgent and odd by a lot of people. Now that it has been endorsed by a filmmaker of such brilliance, critics will be kinder to some of the things I attempt in my films.” I see pain in his statement. He has been entertaining us for decades. He has been an icon for all aspiring actors. We do consider him as one of the best actors, but when it comes to his films, we prefer going to a no holds barred comedy entertainer that has dialogues like ‘Mullampandri Thalaya…’, ‘Dubakur Mandaya…’. I don’t mean to say that such films must be banned. Laughter is the best medicine. All I mean to say is that let’s be supportive of Kamal, and give him encouragement. We support Saina Nehwal with our hearts when she is playing for India. Kamal is being recognized and praised by so many internationally acclaimed filmmakers. Let’s cheer for him and celebrate him. It doesn’t look good when an ordinary masala flick performs better at the box office than his films, after all even Hollywood is awaiting his arrival.

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