Kamal Haasan: His cinematography and his mastery of playing with emotions

Smrithi Mohan
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Kamal Hasan

One cannot pick a favourite when it comes to Kamal Haasan but you can admire his entire cinematography and what he's contributed to the industry!

The more you try to dig deep into the archives of Indian cinema, the more you come across individuals who make the industry great and it's impossible to ignore and not talk about people who explain why it is great. Actor, director, screenwriter, and playback singer, Kamal Haasan happens to be one of them! Known to movie enthusiasts as Ulaganayakan, the actor is an integral part of Indian cinema.

What makes Kamal Haasan so special that he's talked about amongst cinephiles? Is it his majestic yet realistic appeal onscreen, his deep knowledge of every industry he has worked in, or his mastery that has gone on to become a lesson that lovers of cinema often tend to copy? His almost muffled yet deep voice that can give monologues that have become a part of cinematic history or his big eyes that have a story of their own, will always be looked up to by generations to come. It is this portfolio that convinced us to watch a film like Dashavatharam that starred him in 10 different roles without questioning its purpose. But again, people have seen him play more than one character or go on loggerheads with himself. The case in point is his character in Aalavandhan, Nandu, who was everything one would expect from the thespian while delivering some of the best dialogues while acting the hell out of it. 

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Like his own self, the actor has always used movies as a way to make political statements, call out bigotry, celebrate our historic heroes, and more. His 1980 movieVarumaiyin Niram Siggappu talked about the Indian economic crisis and unemployment at the time while Mahanadi (1994), a winner of the National Award, highlighted women and children being traded off like objects. Not to forget the daring attempt at Hey Ram, a movie about Saket Ram who wanted to murder Mahatma Gandhi after losing his wife in the Bengal riots. Another movie that stands close to his own atheist beliefs is Anbe Shivam. A movie that speaks immensely about humans finding God in each other through their acts of kindness is exactly what everyone needs to watch. Nallasivam’s conversation with Anbarasu talking about the God he believes in is a masterclass in itself.

The multifaceted actor has managed to give the industry a bit of everything that he has to offer. It’s not just his presence onscreen that has always been praised, he is truly a master of storytelling with the immaculate stories he has written, movies he has directed, and the words he's given to songs that became iconic additions to the Indian music library. You know it’s impossible to listen to Kanmani Anbodu Kadhalan without his narration or not be marveled by his ability to bring out all the nakhara and grace while dancing to Unnai Kaanadhu Naan doing complete justice to Late Pandit Birju Maharaj’s choreography. 

The praise can never be enough when we talk about the legend and his works, but it is always nice to remind ourselves of the treasures that we, as an audience, are blessed with!

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