Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Golden (Jubilee) Child

The cinema industry is a notoriously unforgiving industry. Whether one is an actor, actress, director or any one of the innumerable people involved in the movie-making process, one is only as good as one's last success. Or maybe the last few successes. We've seen people reach great heights only to crash and burn soon after and the same people who pushed them up don't hesitate to pull them down. Examples are numerous as we've seen so many stars go from being ubiquitous to vanishing into oblivion in a very short span of time.

Longevity in such an industry is achieved by only a few and so surviving for 50 years in the industry is no mean feat. And when one does so at or near the top of the field without bothering about one's image, while constantly experimenting with one's roles, taking huge risks and striving to deliver good cinema, it is truly a phenomenal achievement that deserves huge accolades.

That is why the lack of recognition of Kamalhassan completing 50 years in cinema comes as a surprise. Sure there are the mentions - accompanied by eulogies - in the popular websites and e-zines, random top 10 lists, list of achievements etc. But there are no celebratory gestures from the film industry or the Government. I haven't seen any statements from the other actors; I haven't read about any felicitation functions organized by the Nadigar Sangam; and I haven't heard about the Government doing anything special to mark the occasion.

Then again, Kamal is not someone who needs something like that since his films, from Kalathoor Kannamma to Dasavathaaram, speak for themselves. So today, on the 50th anniversary of his entry into cinema, I'll just hope there are many more years and films left in him and look forward to Unnaippol Oruvan with the same excitement with which I look forward to all his films.


At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Santhosh said...

I would understand if you expected Nadigar Sangam to felicitate Kamal but i dont see why you expect the government to spend tax payers money to congratulate him.

At 3:11 AM, Anonymous Namitha said...

Great post! I've been a Kamal Haasan fan for as long as I can remember and in my opinion, he really is the trendsetter and Number One in Tamil cinema.

But Balaji, there is a function...

check out:

Maybe a Kamal special, if you opt to? A top 5/10 roles post.

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous arun.k said...

That behindwoods link you posted in twitter, leaves out some of his more well known multiple roles like those in Apoorva Sagotharargal, Punnagai Mannan and Indiran Chandiran... so I'm sure they have the number wrong.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Kay said...

Kamal is one person who flouts convention conistently, be it his personal life or professional. I guess he is least bothered about felicitations but having an actor of his calibre gracing the film industry does deserve recognition...

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

santosh, cinema and politics are so tightly connected in TN that expecting that is natural. even cinema awards are given by the govt. and with tv rights and sponsorships, I don't think they'll have to spend the taxpayers' money :)

namitha, even that doesn't have a date yet! as for the kamal special post, that's something I've thot about doing for each of his bdays. Just too difficult. we'll see :)

arun, oh yeah PM is a good one. they definitely got it wrong :)

kay, yep, he's made a habit of flouting rules and conventions :)

At 7:29 AM, Blogger ரவிஷா said...

Please read my posting about an incident that happened between Kamal & my FIL about 40 years ago! The incident speaks for itself!

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous ram said...

orey oru actor aala

double role-a irundhaalum seri

moondru muga nadigorada poatti irundhaalum seri

naalu paeru personal life-a pathi naalu vidhamaa comment adichaalum seri

"anja matten, hey! ram maadhiri padam oadaatiyum paravaille"-nu sollitu

aarumuga saamiya kooda ek dho theen-nu dance aada vechu (kadhala kadhala)

ezhu adhisayathuku poayi duet paadaama irundhaalum

etti pidikaatha alavuku munnerina oru adhisaya nadigaraa

navarasathayum karachu kudichu

10 vaesham pannaa kooda "idhu pathaathu"-nu solra alavuku dhaagam ulla ulaga naayaganuku oru Salute!

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...

Ram, Vadivelu solra madhiri room pottu yosipeengalo :)

At 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ram, that is probably one of the best proper tributes to the actor. And since it comes from a life-long Kamal fan, it makes it even more special. Good one :)

BB, me and my mom were just discussing about this the other day. NDTV were hyping up Kaminey like no other film in this world would match it. We found it surprising that when northern channels can hype something like that why can't the South-Indian channels provide some proper homage to legends like Kamal. I find it very surprising to say the least.

Surprisingly (more coincidentally), Naayagan was telecast on K-TV on Wed, Aug. 12th, and was still amazed at his performance. What better homage for the great actor that watching possibly his best performance of all time.

Anyways, Kamal will keep on doing his work even though he gets little recognition among the general public. So, here's looking forward to Unnaipol Oruvan and a lot more to come from this living legend. :)

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Mambalam Mani said...

I agree with Santhosh. Govt. doesnt have to interfere on this. If Nadigar Sangam or Vijay TV want to spend a million and earn 5million in the process its ok. Already the Govt is spending enough for the film industry in terms of tax concessions, Kalai Maamani to Sombu, Asin & Trisha etc

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Here is what you were asking for :)

- Viswa

At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eldams Road is going to be renamed Dr.Kamal Hassan Salai.. This is how chennai works :)

At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Balaji

I am an avid reader of your blog, but this is the first time I am posting a comment. First, congrats and keep up the good work.

I don't see a neccessity for the government to felicitate actors for crossing a milestone, the govt. already does enough to boost the industry, if they commence such a trend then it will set a bad precedence and the list will become endless, there have been many veterans in the industry whose accomplishments can match up to Kamal's 50 yrs. Suddenly why should the govt. initiate a trend? Our policy makers can use their time and our money for other pressing issues. Mind you it is not the money alone, time and other resources such as security etc are also involved, money can be managed thru sponsors but time & other resources...why to waste? Acting is his profession, he is earning remuneration and awards & recognition as and when he performs.

I feel out of sheer admiration your opinion was erroneous ... I keyed a quick comment, I hope you realise...

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Nagesh.MVS said...

Geart Post.Hi Kamal i am waiting for the movie Muraghanayagan.

Earn 25000 in one Month. Work From Home

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A mega eleborate event was organized by Vijay TV to celebrate Kamal's 50 years in cinema. Search the net. One was a week long interview sessions and clippings on Kamal. And the other was the event itself.


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