Kamal Haasan @ 64: 64 dialogues of the Ulaganayagan


As the multifaceted Kamal Haasan turns 64, I curate 64 Tamil dialogues mouthed by the actor that I like the most. A part of every actor wants to be Kamal Haasan. So much has been written about his performances but what truly sets him apart from the rest? I think it’s nothing but an instinctive sense of dramatic execution.
Blessed with a pair of expressive eyes and facial gestures, whatever he does, ensures him a permanent place in films. He speaks impeccable Tamil, and also has a sound grounding in the language.
Playwright Crazy Mohan refers to him as an actor par excellence. He said, “Kamal Haasan conveys feelings and emotions through his voice and interprets them honestly. He always speaks the language of the character.”
Delhi Ganesh, who has worked with Kamal Haasan, concurs in a different way.
“Kamal internalises the role and goes beyond the script. He’s a complete actor-technician. Such is his depth of knowledge in cinema. Also, he gets under the skin of any role effortlessly be it that of a funnyman ‘Chaplin Chellapa’ in Punnagai Mannan, or a fearless old man in Indian, or a don ‘Velu Nayakar’ in Nayakan, or a doting father Krishnaswamy in Mahanadi. He betters himself with every film, and his greatest quality, is his connect with those who stands before him in the frame to act,” he added.
I remember him as this 40-something handsome Superstar whose films I used to watch growing up. Avvai Shanmugi was the first ever film of his that I saw.
My father told me that after watching it, I kept pestering him that I meet ‘the madisaar-clad Shanmugi maami’ somehow, someday.
It took me a few years to understand it was Kamal Haasan.
Name anything in cinema the man has done it. He’s inspired generations of actors through the years, and yet manages to stay relevant and in style.
If he could do it for more than five decades, there must be a lot more than talent to his story. He will always remain the Ulaganayagan in years to come.
I’m not a fan of loud punch dialogues. But I always admire the way he delivers his dialogues.

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