Kamal Haasan: Indian cinema's experimentalist

UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2014 09:30 PM IST 6 Photos
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Kamal Haasan is master at his craft - few Indian actors in living memory would have experimented with themes, concepts, make-up etc as this man. On his 60th birthday, HT does a rewind - recalling some of his most memorable performances, films that moved out of the realm of his native Tamil language and reach out to a much larger audience. Here are some snapshots. In Raja Paarvai, playing a blind violinist Kamal Haasan was at his best as an actor. The film went on to be a cult film winning laurels but Kamal Haasan had to work really hard to recover the money that went into the film as it was, at best, a moderate success when it released.

Kamal Haasan is master at his craft - few Indian actors in living memory would have experimented with themes, concepts, make-up etc as this man. On his 60th birthday, HT does a rewind - recalling some of his most memorable performances, films that moved out of the realm of his native Tamil language and reach out to a much larger audience. Here are some snapshots. In Raja Paarvai, playing a blind violinist Kamal Haasan was at his best as an actor. The film went on to be a cult film winning laurels but Kamal Haasan had to work really hard to recover the money that went into the film as it was, at best, a moderate success when it released.

UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2014 09:30 PM IST
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Moondram Pirai, remade in Hindi as Sadma, was among the earliest films to bring Kamal Haasan to the larger national limelight. Playing a school teacher to a child-like Sridevi suffering from amnesia, Kamal Haasan's act as distraught lover brought him the national award.

Moondram Pirai, remade in Hindi as Sadma, was among the earliest films to bring Kamal Haasan to the larger national limelight. Playing a school teacher to a child-like Sridevi suffering from amnesia, Kamal Haasan's act as distraught lover brought him the national award.

UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2014 09:30 PM IST
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Nayakan was the first time Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam worked together. Based on the life of South Indian don of Mumbai, Varadarajan Mudaliar, the film was sympathetic look at the plight of South Indians in Mumbai. The film was also inspired by Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather in its narrative structure.

Nayakan was the first time Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam worked together. Based on the life of South Indian don of Mumbai, Varadarajan Mudaliar, the film was sympathetic look at the plight of South Indians in Mumbai. The film was also inspired by Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather in its narrative structure.

UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2014 09:30 PM IST
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Apoorva Sagotharangal: Taking his love for experimentation to a new high, Kamal Haasan played three characters - a mechanic, a police man and a dwaft who is a circus clown. The film was dubbed in Hindi as Appu Raja.

Apoorva Sagotharangal: Taking his love for experimentation to a new high, Kamal Haasan played three characters - a mechanic, a police man and a dwaft who is a circus clown. The film was dubbed in Hindi as Appu Raja.

UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2014 09:30 PM IST
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Continuing his experimental streak, Kamal Haasan starred in Pushpaka Vimana, possibly India's first full length silent film post independence. The film was a roaring success across India.

Continuing his experimental streak, Kamal Haasan starred in Pushpaka Vimana, possibly India's first full length silent film post independence. The film was a roaring success across India.

UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2014 09:30 PM IST
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With Hey Ram, Kamal Haasan was to experiment with the period drama format. Set in early 1900, the film chronicles the life of a patriot beginning with the partition of Bengal and culminating in the death of Mahatma Gandhi and chalks his transformation from hate to love.

With Hey Ram, Kamal Haasan was to experiment with the period drama format. Set in early 1900, the film chronicles the life of a patriot beginning with the partition of Bengal and culminating in the death of Mahatma Gandhi and chalks his transformation from hate to love.

UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2014 09:30 PM IST
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