Many cinema lovers may spend their whole life without sitting through even one experimental or bold movie in theater. That is the fate of such movies around the world. Such films might not be able to satisfy the mass viewers. Experimental movies become popular when it reaches home screens from big screens. Occasionally few such movies have done well in theaters also, thank God.
These are the four most boldest attempts in Tamil cinema history.
1. Kamal Haasan’s Hey Ram – It has gained a reputation as one of the most daring attempts in Indian cinema. It could be also argued that Hey Ram is the most neglected film. It deserves much more than we can give. For me, by far, in all of movie history, this ranks among the top. A true work of art! Kamal Haasan’s direction is pitch perfect, and the tone he keeps throughout feels coldly realistic and unsettling.
Below is a conversation in the film, immediately after Gandhiji being shot and killed –
‘Mountbatten: Was it a Hindu?
Mountbatten: Thank God for that or the country would have been torn apart.’
2. Maniratnam’s Iruvar (1997) – One of the greatest epiphanic moments in Maniratnam’s films, I think, is the one in “Iruvar” where the character Anandan meets Thamizh Selvan for the first time. The movie deal with a very sensitive subject.
Anandan – Temple?
Thamizh Selvan – Stone.
Anandan – Vedham?
Thamizh Selvan – Fake
Anandan – Saaththiram
Thamizh Selvan – Superstitious
Mani Ratnam’s fearlessness, that is Iruvar – a landmark in Tamil cinema. An epic film that does justice to its subject. This is educational film with two of the most electrifying performances ever displayed on film. An excellent document exposing ideas and believes of two of the most important men in the history of Indian politics. Electrifying.
3. Bala’s Nan Kadavul – Bala’s most flamboyant film. This was a shocking classic, an unexpected dark piece of art. Any amount of appreciation would fit well for this film. The film tries to make you aware of the dark side of our world which we have never bothered to know. This film is a must see for all who appreciate great movies and exceptional movie-making!
This will remain as the last bold and daring film to release on theaters in India, for atleast some years. Thanks to this very sensitive and violent world.
“Satya Prabavam, Divya Prakasham, Mantra Swaroopam, Nishkalamkoham, Nijapoorna bodham, Gatya Gadmaham, Nitya Brahmoham, Satya Pramanam, Moola Prameyam, Ayam Brahmasmi, Aham Brahmsami“
4. Bharathiraja’s Vedham Puthithu – It points at the hypocrisies of strict religious beliefs. Two scenes in this movie can be recreated as two separate short films and grab few awards at many International Film Festivals around the globe – 1. The kid questioning Sankracharya about being carried by men in the palanquin. 2. The kid questioning Balu Thevar about his name. Impossible to ignore. The movie is quite moving too. I did find myself thinking a bit differently about few things in life.
There are more films like this which touches sensitive issues and tries to give a message to the viewers like John Abraham’s Agaraharaththil Kazhuthai, S.P. Jananathan’s Ee, K. Balachandar’s Thanneer Thanner etc. It is so good to see still few Film Directors making movies which respects the cinematic form of art.