Kamal Haasan has given a shocking announcement that he will be hanging his boots shortly. He has Viswaroopam 2, Sabaash Naidu lying in the cans and Indian 2 to start afresh. In order to take a full plunge into politics, Kamal Haasan has decided to cut his illustrious career short.
But, cinema freaks will be the ones who will be terribly missing the Legendary Artiste whose body of work was getting better with his advancing age. Yes, the last few films of Kamal Haasan were not only new attempts in Kollywood but also for the Legend himself.. Let us see why.
Papanasam released in 2015, a remake of the Malayalam blockbuster Drishyam. The film did well in the market but many of us might have missed why it was new to Tamil cinema.
- For perhaps the first time, a Tamil cinema hero had a grown up daughter and a middle aged wife for the entire running time for the film.
- A Tamil cinema hero, without caring much for the rules which he ought not to break, goes all out to hide a shocking murder. He does it successfully without resorting to heroics or stunts.
- A Tamil cinema hero breaks down for the first time in front of the ruthless antagonist for doing what he ought to do. The scene of Kamal Haasan crying remains fresh in the minds of his fans.
Many remember Viswaroopam for the controversy it generated. But one might have missed the fact that it broke new ground the way thrillers are made in India.
- The story was set in Afghanistan and U.S and the background very much followed from a real historical context- the U.S invasion of Afghanistan.
- In addition, it referenced real-life characters in Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Omar and even George Bush. Most of the Tamil movies, even the political ones do not refer to real characters or politicians.
- The style of narration did not resemble that of a thriller once the story moved to Afghanistan. The tone became a bit dramatic and for the first time in Tamil cinema, terrorists were humanised. It was a daring effort IMO.
- The ending of the film again was unforgettable- for the first time, the heroine instead of the hero saves the world.
- Apart from all these novelties, the story was kept open-ended with lot of intriguing, yet unanswered questions.
Uttama Villain, released in 2015 did not receive as much appreciation it warranted. This film too, rewrote a lot of Tamil cinema rules and conventions.
- The protagonist was very much like the real life Kamal Haasan himself. Flawed, charismatic, talented and yet immensely human. I don’t remember the last time when an artist was readily willing to bare himself on screen.
- The lead actress on one of the very rare occasions was as much aged as the lead actor himself. Kamal surprised everyone by casting Urvashi as his wife.
- The role of Andrea playing Kamal’s illicit lover was very much similar to his real life romances.
- The script alternated between comedy and drama seamlessly- two genres which most of the time do not dovetail into each other quite easily.
- And for the first time, the film tried to show that a man can love two women at the same time and yet remain true to both. It was a tricky attempt but Kamal’s script pulled it off quite convincingly.
Kamal Haasan’s Thoongavanam too for the first time showed the star in his royal salt-and-pepper look. The narrative interestingly spanned an entire night unlike many other Tamil thrillers. The hero too, for the first time was shown in a broken up relationship which remains unresolved even at the end.
The best phase of Kamal’s career probably began post Devar Magan in 1992. He became a full fledged writer-director for some of his films. He even smartly switched between light comedies and heavy duty dramas, giving a great time for his fans.
Post Viswaroopam, it looked like Kamal Haasan was no longer worried about his box-office power and even his on-screen image. We, Kamal fans were expecting a Clint Eastwood like transformation from him.
But he has hung up his boots just when he looked all set for an all-new adventurous ride.