Four Boldest Attempts In Tamil Cinema | Experiments With The Art

Many cinema lovers may spend their whole life without sitting through even one experimental or bold movie in theatre. 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 theatres also, thank Lord.

These are the four most boldest movies in Tamil cinema history.

Hey Ram Tamil Movie Kamal Haasan Plumeria Movies (1)

1. Kamal Haasan’s Hey Ram

It has gained a reputation as one of the most daring attempts in Indian cinema and 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?
Nehru: Yes.
Mountbatten: Thank God for that or the country would have been torn apart.

Hey Ram

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.

Mohanlal Prakashraj in Iruvar

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.

Nan Kadavul

Janma karma cha me divyam eva yo vetti tattvata
tyaktva deha – punarjanma

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.

Vedham Pudhithu

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.

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About the Author

PS Arjun
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Writer. Filmmaker.

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