More often than we stop to notice, movies are not merely what is projected on the big screen. It goes deeper and farther than the general perspective utilisation of hundred-and-twenty that we pay to keep us entertained for three hours.
Though a movie is the result of the focused diligence of a crew, the apple of our eyes is the protagonist or another on screen character. This is why actors are worshipped with annotations of star and leader. But Kamal Haasan is much more than a star – he is ‘Ulaganayagan’; why?
Kamal was born to a lawyer and found his way into fine arts very early in life. It was only four years from 1954 when he had the limelight shine on him. But by 5, he had proven his deserving talent worthy of President’s Gold Medal for the Best Child Actor, for his debut in ‘Kalathur Kannama’.
Early induction does not translate to easy ticket to stardom. For the next seventeen years since his debut, Kamal Haasan sharpened the edges of his inclination to fine arts, investing his time in dance and music, while pursuing the screen life as a supporting actor.
Break at 21:
The big break ‘Apoorva Ragangal’ happened in his life, through legendary director K Balachandar’s find for the apt forward-thinker, and the film fetched Kamal Haasan the credits of a National Award. However, Kamal had already established himself in Malayalam, through ‘Kanyakumari’. But come ‘Apoorva Ragangal’, there was no turning back.
Kamal Haasan is an actor, alright. But his knowledge in music, dance, story telling and language is equally impeccable. Of these, he put his dancing skills in the front line, to live his dream. As a dance choreographer, he has been the mind behind the moves of legends like MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and Jayalalithaa.
Kamal is a man of very unique ideals, that is way ahead of our times. But he does not shy away from reaching out, for the fear of cordoned to be different. He has boldly captured his ideas on screen as a director – starting from the highly complex and critically acclaimed ‘Hey Ram’. His first as a director, however was in Bollywood, with ‘Chachi 420’.
Kamal now has five movie in all, that credit him as the director. And there is multiples more in his kitty, that he has written the script for. The actor has been dedicated to movies all his life, and has been credited on a number of cards for being the associate choreographer, assistant director, singer and lyricist.
On his music front, Kamal Haasan has authored four full albums including ‘Virumandi’ and ‘Vishwaroopam’; he has been lending his voice from as early as his fresh half of twenties. The actor is also a trained makeup artiste.
Kamal’s dream was to become a technician. But upon guidance from director KB, Kamal took to acting. As he over quipped in an interaction, “the money that actor Kamal earns, funds the technician Kamal.”
First of his kind:
Hollywood director Barrie Osborne had once remarked that Kamal is a cinema encyclopedia. Careful observation must have gone into remarking so, and Kamal Haasan has many firsts to his credit.
•He was the first to introduce DTS in Tamil cinema (through ‘Kuruthi Punal’)
•Kamal Haasan was the first to experiment with 2D animation in K-town, with ‘Aalavandhan’. This was credited in the Hollywood flick ‘Kill Bill’.
•One very important attractive feature about Kamal is that he was the first to convert his fan club into welfare association. The Kamal Narpani Iyakkam actively involves in offering support to the betterment of the society, by helping the needy.
•Kamal is the first actor in Kollywood who is bold about his views. His ideals on relationships and views about God are revolutionary.
Best of the clan:
Not only is he an outstanding artiste, his circle is also a set of handpicked choices.
•Kamal Haasan is very closely associated with director K Balachandar – a legendary and revolutionary director, known to think ahead of his times.
•The actor is best buds with Isaignani Ilayaraja, undoubtedly the best in the field of music.
•Kamal adored Nagesh, and the two were thick friends. Nagesh himself has credited Kamal to be the best actor he has ever come across and Kamal still worships the late comedian.
•Kamal Haasan has received appreciation and accolades from a lot of his peers, including Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Sridevi and Sharukh Khan.
•Not only is he the celebrated personality, he is the inspiration for directors Ameer, Bala and Gautam Menon, and actors Madhavan and Suriya, to take up cinema as their profession.
One of a kind:
•Kamal Haasan is stands out for a variety of reasons, be it on screen or off screen.
•Kamal Haasan had worked in a hundred movies, while he was still at a very young age.
•Kamal is a complete actor who is best at everything – action, romance, masala, comedy or drama. He takes his role very seriously and has an obsession for perfection.
•He is adept across many languages – Tamil, English, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam. And he speaks all these languages, including their colloquial dialects, without a sore point in his pronunciation and accent. This can be observed in all his movies, as he dubs for himself in all of them.
•Kamal has donated all his organs.
•He is the first and only Indian so far, to have maximum number of nominations of films that were submitted under Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
•He has won 4 National Awards and so many Filmfare Awards that after his 19th in 2000, he wrote to the association to not nominate him for a Filmfare Award in the future.
•Kamal is bold and confident about his views – be it questioning the existence of God or very offbeat relationships.
•He has written off all the money he earns from product endorsement to social causes.
•Kamal instituted cancer relief fund for children in 2010 under Sri Ramachandra Medical College.
Far and out of his personal life that has had many ups and downs in terms of relationships, Kamal Haasan is an excellent actor and a good man to the society. He is a good father and a good partner too.
Kamal is currently living with Gauthami, his daughters Shruthi and Akshara, and Gauthami’s daughter Subbalakshmi, leading a peaceful life. While most people take recourse to religious celebrations or sober practices at 60, Kamal is gearing up to get his hands dirty and clean the country, starting with a lake in Chennai, as part of the Prime Minister’s Clean India project.
We at TamilWire take it as an honour to wish this young man a happy birthday as he turns 60. Join us in wishing Kamal Haasan the best!