Kamal Haasan

  • The most extraordinary versatilist of Tamil Cinema. Be it Nalla Sivam with a deeply scarred face or the dwarf of Apoorva Sagodharargal, that demanded a painstaking performance along with the ability to mask the physical pains, Kamal Haasan has never failed to amaze movie lovers!
  • He came from a highly educated family. His father and elder brother were renowned lawyers. Kamal was the only person who refused to fit into that mould and aspire for something different. He grew up mostly under his mother’s pampering love. She got to see the genius in him before others could, and thus she was his first fan!
  • Kamal started facing the camera at a very tender age. He was introduced to cinema by A. V. Meiyappa Chettiar. When Kamal had come to visit the studio, A. V. Meiyappa Chettiar asked him, “Would you like to act in a movie?”. Kamal thought it was some sort of a game and agreed to it. That was the start of a long journey filled with the most colourful, adventurous scenes.
  • Writer Jayamohan describes Kamal as a person with endless dimensions. How true that is! Be it showcasing a badly injured and inflamed face in Kurudhipoonal or sporting a half-tonsured head in Virumandi; Kamal never hesitated to do whatever the character requires. He took efforts that a lot of actors wouldn’t be willing to take. He did all this because he was more than an actor, he was an Artist! The efforts he took to play 10 roles in a movie is in itself an encyclopedia of acting!
  • He was the pioneer in bringing ‘Method Acting’ to Tamil Cinema. Method Acting is where the actor lives as the character in every aspect, be it speech, or action or way of thinking. The movie ‘Nayagan’ is a good example of Kamal’s adaptation of Method Acting. Hollywood actors like Marlon Brando and Dustin Hoffman are some of the ones who practised this style of acting. 
  • Kamal is considered the Fashion Freak of Tamil cinema. Whenever fashion is making the trend at World level, Kamal would be one of the first to introduce it in tamil cinema. Bell bottom and Funk haircut are fine examples of how he rocked the eighties by updating his style constantly.
  • Before Kamal entered the screen there wasn’t much scope for dance. Song choreographies involved more walking than dancing in the pre-Kamal era. Kamal brought with him an active style of choreography that caught people’s attention instantly. It may not appear to be a big deal now. But bringing about a change in an industry dominated by old methods is not easy.
  • He actively advocated for the modernisation of Tamil Cinema. Let’s have a look at some of his pioneering efforts. In ‘Vikram’ movie, he introduced computerised music recording. Devar Magan was the first Tamil movie to have a screenplay written using a software. Mahanadhi was the first Tamil movie to be edited using ‘Avid’. Dolby Stereo Sound Technology was introduced in Kurudhipoonal, Live Sound Recording was introduced in Virumandi, and Digitalisation in Mumbai Express. The Digitalisation was a revolutionary move in Tamil Cinema. Vishwaroopam sowed the seed for OTT and it also featured Auro 3D sound. The level of updation and courage it takes to constantly experiment with his craft is ‘Level Kamal’.
  • Not just in the film-making process, Kamal keeps introducing technologies to the people too. ‘Apoorva Sagodharargal’ features a scene where he kills Delhi Ganesh using a fairly elaborate game that initially looks like a game and makes Delhi Ganesh underestimate the climax of such actions. It was a construction that illustrated how Physics works, in a simple manner. In Michael Madana Kamarajan, he introduced Laptop to the Tamil audience. The laptop in the film is a heavy weighing ancestor of today’s sleek laptops. Singaravelan features a scene that shows a software similar to Photoshop. The software shows how a childhood photo of the heroine morphs to show how she looks currently. In Dasavatharam, the scientist Kamal rides a Segway, a two-wheeled transporter that can be used for walkable distances.
  • Having worked with giants of screenplay writing, such as K. Balachander, Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra and K. Vishwanath, Kamal learnt the nuances of writing a screenplay. Some of the fine examples of Kamal screenplays are Devar Magan, Michael Madana Kamarajan.
  • When Kamal and Crazy Mohan worked together, they were sure to make you laugh to the point of tears. Some of films that had this iconic combination are Michael Madana Kamarajan, Pancha Thanthiram and Vasoolraja.
  • Till date Kamal has won 4 National awards (Moonram Pirai, Naayagan, Devar Magan and Indian) and 19 Filmfare awards. No Indian actor has broken this record of his. 
  • Kamal is setting a benchmark for those actors who are coming from the big screen to the small screen. His show ‘Big Boss’ is one of the most viewed shows. Every action of his on that show is a lesson on how a show must be composed.
  • An artist who can get into any character and any slang or dialect. At any given time, it is hard to find an artist who is as talented and dedicated as Kamal is.