If Rajnikanth is an underrated actor , Kamal Hassan's films are underrated.
Kamal Hassan can easily do a commercially viable Viswaroopam or Sakalakala Vallavan but he does a Uttama Villain or Anbe Sivam which the audience find it difficult to appreciate immediately. The beauty of his films is that they take time for people to understand and start celebrating them. You may say he can better go and do some art house cinema were he can showcase his talent in a better way , but he says he wants to make films for the masses.
We must understand that box-office success is quite essential for such talent to exist and for us to witness quality films.
The 10 times we failed to appreciate his films -
10. Uttama Villain (2015)
This is the latest to join the list of underrated Kamal Hassan films . ( It is still running in cinemas and not yet released in the north of India ,so you can still do yourself a favour by watching in the theatres.)
Uttama Villain is one of the finest films written in Indian Cinema , the film shares the same problem as other Kamal Hassan films .It is a highly self indulgent film and requires an intellectual mind to appreciate. May be our audience don't prefer going through all this intellectual stuff and are quite happy with films like Kanchana . Though Uttama Villain can be termed as a moderate success the film could have done much better at the box-office ,despite the financial problems during the release which caused a delay in the theatrical release .
Source - Ibtimes
This film about mortality and immortality is definitely going to take some time for our audience to start raving it ,may be a few years from now.
9. Mumbai Express (2005)
This pioneering film shot entirely in Digital still evokes a mixed response among the audience and critics alike. Though the film was touted as a simple comedy fair , the dialogues were written such that it takes us a while to get the jokes. This experimental comedy definitely warrants a watch at least now.
8.Mahanadi ( 1994)
Mahanadi is the most depressing Tamil film , maybe that's the reason it didn't do well at the box office. The film deals with a multitude of problems in a person's life. The film is said to inspired from the French novel Les Misérables.
7. Aval Appadithan (1978)
If this film had succeeded we would have got to witness more such masterpieces from a rare breed of filmmaker C. Rudhraiya. This film considered much ahead of its time explores the plight of women in the society. The film stars Rajnikanth as well in a pivotal role and had music by Ilayaraja. The film started gaining audience only after directors such as Bharatiraja and Mrinal Sen started raving it.
6.Raja Paarvai (1981)
This was Kamal Hassan's 100th film, apart from starring in the film as a blind person he also wrote and produced the film . The film was critically acclaimed but failed at the box office , leading to Kamal working for almost 8 years to compensate on the loses of the film .
Source - Sylvianism
Kamal Hassan makes use of the Rashomon effect , in his take on capital punishment. The beauty of the film is in how it showcases us that the Rashomon effect is rooted into our Indian Panchayat system , where a same story is told from the viewpoint of the affected individuals in contrasting perspectives. The film ran into quite a lot of controversy , as it was said that it promotes violence whereas in contrast it was against violence and capital punishment.
4.Anbe Sivam (2003)
More recently there was a news that the makers of the film were planning to re-release the digitally restored version of the film to cash in on its cult status. I think this a practise widely followed in Hollywood and if applied here would work as well at least for few films. This film ghost directed by Kamal Hassan is complex beneath its surface and deals with communism , capitalism , atheism and Kamal's concept of 'Love is God'.
3. Alavandhan (2001)
We would term Alavandhan as one of Tamil Cinema's greatest stoner film.This physiological thriller is one of his most ambitious films, which even influenced Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The film, like most films of Kamal was way ahead of its time. The animation sequences are guaranteed to trip the hell out of you.
2.Hey Ram (2000)
Hey Ram is the first Tamil directed by Kamal Hassan ( though he is often known to ghost direct films ) is considered a Text book of filmmaking, was a box office disaster upon its release. But , thanks to torrents and satellite TV the film took its own time for the people to understand the vision of this man , and from then on people have been raving about this semi-fictional recounting of India's past. The film had an international production quality unseen in Indian films , if this film had succeeded we could have seen more such films.
This film at least for me remains still underappreciated, may be our audience require some more time to open up to such kind of films. There is an important line in the film -
"Manithar unarndha kolla, Idhu manitha kaadhal alla, Adhaiyum thaandi punithamaanathu"
Meaning -“This love, to be understood by humans, is not human love; it’s beyond that. This is divine love”.
If we interpret this as Kamal's love for cinema definitely we cannot understand it .Despite having commercial failures , he never stops experimenting in the space of commercial cinema . If it had been art house cinema it could have been way easier for him, but he wants to make films for the people.
Do also read about the multi-talented personality of this Cinematic Magician .
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