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“Cinema Was One Vision And Not Driven By Studios In My Age”, says Kamal Hassan

Kamal has donned many hats -- as an actor, a writer and producer -- for several films, including his forthcoming one titled "Vishwaroop 2".

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In 2009, Kamal Haasan reached a new feat of only a few actors in India to have completed 50 years working in cinema. Wikimedia Commons
In 2009, Kamal Haasan reached a new feat of only a few actors in India to have completed 50 years working in cinema. Wikimedia Commons

Tamil film icon Kamal Haasan, who started his acting career when he was just three years old, says he comes from an era when artists believed that cinema was one vision and not driven by studios.

Kamal has donned many hats — as an actor, a writer and producer — for several films, including his forthcoming one titled “Vishwaroop 2”.

What makes him take up so many roles instead of sharing the responsibilities with others?

“I used to because when you want something done precisely as per your vision… I have learnt from all my masters, including my mentor with whom I was an understudy, Mr. Balachander. He wrote, he directed and if given a chance, he could have been a fantastic actor but fortunately, he didn’t desire to do that.

“Otherwise, I would have lost out on 36 films with him. He (Balachander) could have played all those characters,” Kamal, who worked with the filmmaker in films like “Manmatha Leelai” and “Ek Duuje Ke Liye”, told IANS in an email interview.

The actor, also a politician, admires others as well.

“Even those whom I admired like (Charlie) Chaplin or (Alfred) Hitchcock or even Francois Truffaut, they all ended up acting, producing and did everything…including (acting) in other people’s films. Usually, directors shy away from it. But Truffaut acted in Steven Spielberg’s film ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.

Kamal has donned many hats -- as an actor, a writer and producer -- for several films, including his forthcoming one titled "Vishwaroop 2". Flickr
Kamal has donned many hats — as an actor, a writer and producer — for several films, including his forthcoming one titled “Vishwaroop 2”. Flickr

“So for me, it (multi-tasking in films) is nothing new because my masters – be it, Chaplin or Truffaut, all of them moved from one to another so easily. So, it seemed natural, and I come from an era when we believed that cinema was one vision and it was not driven by studios,” said the actor, now in his 60s.

“Vishwaroop 2” is a sequel to the 2013 movie “Vishwaroop”.

Does he feel more pressure when he does sequels?

“No, but I thought of sequels long time back. So much before that people thought I was an eccentric and a dangerous person to deal with… in the sense… I wanted a sequel to ‘Ek Duuje Ke Liye’. He (Balachander) asked, ‘How do you make a film after ‘Ek Duuje Ke Liye’?” So I told my boss, my mentor, the story.

“He asked ‘How could you rise from the dead?’ and I replied ‘It’s been done before, the new testament is all about it and finally Sir, you killed those lovers, you have the right to resurrect them’.”

And, they did make a film.

“But he didn’t want to call it ‘Ek Duuje Ke Liye 2’. So, we called it ‘Punnagai Mannan’ in Tamil,” said Kamal.

“Vishwaroop 2” will hit the screens on August 10. Its Hindi version will be presented by Rohit Shetty and the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Entertainment. It’s a bilingual shot in Tamil and Hindi and also dubbed in Telugu.

Also Read: Top 10 Kamal Haasan Movies To Watch Out

MN+ has associated with “Vishwaroop 2” for season three of ‘Pathbreakers’, a specially curated property showcasing Hollywood movies that redefined cinema till date. (IANS)

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Actor Anupam Kher Says That Cinema And Politics Cannot Be Separated

"The Accidental Prime Minister" is slated to release on January 11

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National Award winning actor Anupam Kher, who essays the character of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in “The Accidental Prime Minister”, says cinema and politics cannot be separated since one reflects the other.

The film, even before its release, has grabbed a lot of eyeballs and faced criticism for the projection of its central character and for being timed to hit the screens before the 2019 general elections.

Anupam told IANS: “Look, when the audience is going to the theatre to watch a film, they are regular cine-goers and movie lovers. They are not entering the hall as a voter.

“But yes, when they come out, the film might linger in their mind. But then, cinema and politics cannot be separated, because they are a reflection of each other.”

The actor further said: “A filmmaker or an artiste really cannot figure out why people are voting for a political party. Some voters are loyalists; some are making a list of good and bad to choose a party and the government. How much can a film could contribute to that?

“Having said that, I personally believe that when people go to vote for choosing a government, they do not decide anything based on the impact of a film.”

The movie is based on an eponymous book which was released during the 2014 elections when the political transformation happened and the nation voted the Bharatiya Janata Party government over the Congress-led UPA government.

Does the film intend to influence the voters to form an opinion on the Congress party by showing Singh in a critical light?

“It is ridiculous to say that people choose a political party and a change happened in the government because of Sanjay Baru’s book! Similarly, it would be silly to say that this film will change the result of the election this year,” replied the 63-year-old actor.

Anupam Kher
Cinema, politics can’t be separated: Anupam Kher, flickr

Directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the film also features Akshaye Khanna, Aahana Kumra and Arjun Mathur.

The book gives an insight of the Prime Minister Office (PMO) as well as the personal journey of Singh. And the film’s trailer gives a glimpse how the narrative will emphasise on the contradiction and difference of opinion between the PM and the Congress Party, especially its then president Sonia Gandhi.

In fact, such elements in the book also received some criticism in 2014.

Asked if highlighting on the conflict between the former PM and Congress party president is the core content of the film, Anupam said: “No, no, the story is a very humane tale of a man, who was born into a middle-class family and with his merit, he excelled and became a Prime Minister.

“He is a man with all heart, a true patriot, well read, humble man who went through a huge struggle and felt vulnerable as a Prime Minister of the country.”

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Commenting on the party president and PM conflict, the actor added: “It was never a secret. It was rather an open secret that has come out. It was there in the book as well!

“Everyone knew that he was chosen to become a Prime Minister by the Congress party and he was the least expected candidate. Our film is shown from the point of view of a media advisor in the PMO.

“It would be appreciated if audiences watch the film, as a story.”

“The Accidental Prime Minister” is slated to release on January 11. (IANS)