Archive for April, 2007


With so much focus on Dasavatharam, some small bits of news get sidelined at times. Here are a couple of them:

  • After living in the Alwarpet area of Chennai for as long as one can remember, Kamal shifted to Neelangarai, in the outskirts of the city, a few years ago. Now, it is said that he’s looking to move away even further from the maddening crowd.
  • He met and appreciated Harikumar, the hero of Thoothukkudi and someone who has worked with Kamal in the past.

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]

Photos by a fan

More photos are here, this time from a big fan. Karthikeyan, who is involved in the Orkut group among other things, has a Flickr album dedicated to Kamal. This includes photos of events that Kamal took part in, of posters, fans’ activities and what not. Sample a few….

Kamal and Tushar Gandhi at the release function of the latter’s book

Birthday poster, 2006

The man himself, standing in front of a Dasavatharam launch poster

Photos with fans

These long-overdue photos were taken during Kamal’s meeting with fans on 4 February. The first one features Kamal kneeling down to pose with a physically disabled fan. The photo at the bottom is a regular one (courtesy: ‘Kamal’ Karthikeyan).

Dasavatharam: climax, new/old pairing

News and rumours about Dasavatharam continue to trickle as slowly as ever. While the budget has been pegged at figures like 45 crores (450 million), the climax is now quoted at 6 crores. Another interesting piece of news that has emerged is that veteran actors Nagesh (a Kamal favourite) and KR Vijaya have been paired for the first time in this movie.

(Thanx to Sridhar Sundaresan again!)

Ashmit Kunder on Dasavatharam and Kamal

Ashmit Kunder and his brother Shirish (Farah Khan’s husband) have been associated with Kamal in many movies. Currently, Ashmit is also editing Dasavatharam. In an interview to IndiaFM, he speaks about many things including Kamal and Dasavatharam. He reveals that the movie has a whole lot of special effects. More form the horse’s mouth:

What is Dasavatharam about? Tell us something about the film?
Dasavatharam is an edge of the seat roller coaster entertainer where Mr. Kamal Hassan essays 10 roles. The amount of special effects involved is humungous and never before has such magnitude of visual effects been attempted in any Indian film ever. And that makes my job a lot more arduous as well!The film boasts mostly of an international crew, with action directors, Special visual effect directors and makeup men from all over the world! With this film I feel I have gained such tremendous knowledge of special effects that I can take on any complex project.

Why does Kamal Hassan always go for you to edit his films?
He is very demanding; precision and quality is what he expects. I guess it’s because, I deliver the results he demands irrespective of whatever the adversities are! Apart from the fact that we share a terrific rapport, it has always been a matter of privilege and pride for me to work with him.

Thanx to Sridhar Sundaresan for passing on this article!

Saran movie dropped!

After several confirmations (atleast from Saran), Kamal’s next movie plans have been shelved. Kamal is unhappy about Saran entering into an arrangement with a third-party without consulting him.

Personally, I am not really disappointed. I just hope that his next movie will be a solid one, directed by Kamal himself.

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]

Police, police

After Chennai police, now it’s the turn of Kerala police to look up to Kamal. On the occasion of their golden jubilee, they conducted a film festival of police-based movies. Among the movies featured were Kamal’s Kurudhippunal and Vaettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu.

Meanwhile, there’s another news doing the rounds — it seems like an usual rumour. Kurudhippunal is to be ‘remade’ into Russian. It’s important to note here that it was a remake in itself, based on Govind Nihalani’s Drohkaal.

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]

On Kamal…

SS Music telecasted a programme on Tamil New Year’s day, about Kamal receiving the Living Legend award, with various people talking about him. I thought that now was a good time to brush up the past a bit, although in a different way.

Sripriya, who co-starred with Kamal in many movies:

My inspiration to learn Tamil came from many persons, such as Vaalee and Kamal Haasan…has not studied much but he writes poetry. So I thought when Kamal Haasan could do it why not I? I have read a lot of Kannadasan’s songs also.

Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth are my good friends. I learned a lot from them, particularly Kamal Haasan from whom I learnt dance.

Gautham, who directed in his last movie, Vaettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu:

I conceived the story after Kamal said we’d work together. He rejected my first script and that’s when I thought I’d make him a super cop stalking a serial killer. `Let’s do it,’ he said

I was jittery. Kamal is not only a super actor but also a director. You can’t play the fool with him. If I want an extra take from Kamal, I have to give him the right reason. I just can’t afford to be casual with someone of his stature.

K Balachander, his mentor, of course, has often praised Kamal. Here are a few things he said about Kamal and also Rajni:

Answering the million-dollar question as to if he would direct Kamal and Rajini in a movie, Balachander answered that he is open for the project if the two stars are ready to go for it. Besides, he, as it seems, has a script of sorts for the project as well. “I would not cast them in two opposite roles”. On the contrary, my movie would cast them as brothers who run into occasional prank fights, he replied.

Replying to another question, he stated, “Kamal requested me to open a college to support cinema and stage. However, I have no immediate plans for the same. But if I was asked to head a college I would happily agree for that”.

Finally, we have Santhanabharathi, his long-time friend and associate:

As far as Mahanadhi goes, Kamal has acted very well in this movie. Certain shots that he has given in this movie, I wouldn’t have expected even in my wildest dreams. Particularly the scene where his daughter comes to visit him in jail. He told me to continue to take till he gave the cue. Everybody knew the scene, but nobody knew how he was going to do it. The emotions of a father, his helplessness…. and at the same time the need to hide his feelings from his children was really moving. When the scene got finally over, I had tears in my eyes.

The character in Guna can be played only by Kamal Haasan and no one else.

If I have to talk about Kamal Haasan, I would say he’s an encyclopaedia. He’s a self-made person. I have known him from my school days, infact I have seen the way he has grown, from the time he first came into films. He would take the initiative to learn on his own by reading a lot of books, talking to people and by watching movies. If he speaks about something it wouldn’t be out of the hat, his arguments are supported by a lot of reading and learning. Even though he did not have much of a formal education, his knowledge is immmense.

When it comes to movies, he gets totally involved with his character. Whether he has to put on weight, shed weight, go bald, grow a beard or change his complexion he would do it. For Guna, he dieted and lost a lot of weight and throughout the movie we see a darker version of him. For the last scene in Guna where we show him falling down a steep slope, we could have used a rubber dummy, but he insisted that the dummy should look exactly like himself and we moulded a dummy…we went about moulding the dummy part by part, first the hand, then the head, then the neck and so on. For that, he had to sit through for very long hours. You need a lot of patience for all that. He’s very helpful and cooperative when it comes to that. That’s why Indian was such a great success. Once you put on the make-up, you can’t even eat till it’s taken off. He wouldn’t mind all that, because of the total involvement that he has.

Lots of people ask me…how come he fights with all other directors but not with you. Well the thing is, any product is a result of teamwork. If somebody gives a good suggestion, there is nothing wrong in taking it. Actors like Kamal Haasan will surely bring their inputs to the character and the movie. For them the movie is more important than anything else. You have to take it as teamwork rather than personally, otherwise nothing will get done.

Dasavatharam, et cetera

Dashaavtar Poster 1Some time ago, Dinathanthi (leading Tamil newspaper) published some pieces of information about Dasavatharam. Not all of it seems to be true. In any case, it talks about things like 8 hours of make-up versus 1 hour of shooting each day and has Oscar Ravichandran, the producer, raving about the movie.

Behindwoods reported that a “mammoth database of stills” are waiting to be released before the movie itself. This article also talks of Dasavatharam being dubbed in many languages — Bengali seems far-fetched while Kannada is simply impossible due to the ban on dubbing movies into that language.

Another piece of news that came up was that Prime Focus, a Chennai-based special effects company, has bagged Dasavatharam.

Meanwhile, Vannathirai (Tamil magazine) went ga-ga over Kamal on the occasion of his Living Legend award.

Dasavatharam: post-case revelations

The Dasavatharam story controversy took a new turn in the past couple of days. We all thought it was over with the court verdict coming out. First, it was a letter from Kamal to the judge, which was also released to the press. Finally, Kamal charged old industry ‘friends’ with working against him in a video on IndiaGlitz and Behindwoods.


[Updated: 15 Apr 2007 ]