K Balachander at 90: Kamal Haasan remembers his mentor as important son of Indian cinema

K Balachander, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 84, is one of the most powerful filmmakers in Indian cinema. Kamal Hassan recalled his mentor on the former’s 90th birth anniversary.
K Balachander has worked extensively with Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth and Prakash Raj in his lifetime.
K Balachander has worked extensively with Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth and Prakash Raj in his lifetime.
Updated on Jul 09, 2020 04:11 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chennai | ByKarthik Kumar

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan on Thursday remembered his mentor and legendary filmmaker K Balachander as the important son of Indian cinema on his 90th birth anniversary.

Balachander, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 84, is one of the most powerful filmmakers in Indian cinema. Instrumental in catapulting the careers of Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Prakash Raj and several other Tamil artistes, Balachander is still a name to reckon with in cinema.

“Mr K Balachander. A mere name with fame that I heard as a teenager. Who would have thought that he would take many roles in the life of an actor like me? Benefactor, mentor, collaborator, father and when I think of his child like energy, I feel the pride of a father,” Haasan tweeted. He further wrote: “My salute to this important son of Indian cinema.”

 

The veteran filmmaker has over 150 films to his credit including path breaking ones like Aval Oru Thodar Kathai, Avargal, Varumayin Niram Sivappu and 47 Natkal among many others.

Dubbed Iyakunar Sigaram - or director’s peak - Balachander was born in a Tamil Brahmin family in 1930 in Thanjavur district. At an early age, he was attracted to theatre and drama and took part in stage plays. After graduating in zoology, Balachander joined the Accountant General’s office and pursued his theatre interest with the United Amateur Artistes, a drama company.

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Later, he started his own drama company and his play Major Chandrakanth became a hit. After entering the tinsel world, Balachander made the play into a movie which was also a big hit.

Many of his hit movies were earlier stage plays like Server Sundaram, Neerkumizhi and Mezhuguvarthi among others.

All his dramas and movies revolved around middle class characters and involved a lot of interpersonal relationships.

He made his debut with Tamil drama Neerkumizhi, starring actor Nagesh. It was followed by movies like Major Chandrakanth and Bama Vijayam.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021