Archive for June, 2006

What should Kamal do?

Kamal is Kamal Haasan, sometimes wrongly spelt as ‘Kamal Hassan’. For those of you who don’t know, he is a highly rated actor from India. Besides producing, writing and directing many movies, he also dabbles in singing, choreography and lyrics among other things. For more details, check out details on Wikipedia and IMDb.

I’m an ardent fan and have been following him for the most part of my life. This article might reflect that bias, but also attempts to provide some genuine suggestions to a beloved star. The only additional qualification I have is that I’m a movie-buff, but surely not a bigger one than Kamal himself.

For the past few years, frankly, Kamal has been struggling. Towards the end of the previous millenium, he launched his dream project, Marudhanayagam with much fanfare. After canning thirty minutes of the final product, he was stuck for finances and the movie was shelved. After years of proxy direction, he finally came out with Hey Ram. Save for a bit of indulgence, it was a perfect movie with a superb message. Alas, it went above the heads of most and flopped miserably. Faced with heavy financial losses, it was time to go back to the world of commercial movies. He has had moderate success from then on, except for the debacle of Aalavandhaan / Abhay.

But “running around trees” even at the age of 51 is both funny and sad. He seems to be in a constant state of ‘Catch-22′ between the movies he wants to make and the movies he’s having to be in.

In my opinion, Kamal’s days as a leading man are pretty much over. As merciless as Indian movies might be towards old actors, it is time to break the shackles once more and act only in roles that suit his age. Kamal has a recent example in Amitaabh Bachchan, the biggest star of them all, who learnt it the hard way. Supporting roles aren’t bad at all, if they’re going to stay in public memory forever.

Acting was, after all, something he got into by accident, as he himself has said many times. He can remain with his first love of making movies till the end of his life. His ever-increasing knowledge of movies is matched by very few and that’s something that can be put to use always. Yes, if you want to make movies your own way, you need to produce it too most of the time and that requires loads of money. The “Amitaabh way” might be more than enough though. Also, movies with relatively low budget (few crores of rupees) aren’t a bad option, maybe once in a while.

Kamal tasted success as a child star, struggled as a teenager doing choreography, got picked up by Balachander and rose to superstar status, moved onto meaningful movies starting with Nayagan and then hit the not-so-good times starting with Marudhanayagam. To use cricket terminology, it’s time for Kamal to begin his sixth innings. (Or is it the seventh or the eighth?)

[Reproduced from Random Ramblings, to give an idea of the tone of this blog.]

Picture courtesy: The Telegraph