Kamal Haasan: Some Tamil filmmakers never allowed films like Sholay to come here

The veteran actor downplays the ongoing South vs Hindi cinema debate, reminds people that he himself got inspired by Hindi films like Sholay Achanak, Mughal-E-Azam.

Kamal Haasan at the Vikram: Hitlist [2022] presser in Mumbai.

By Our Correspondent

In an earlier article, we thought we heard the last word on the ongoing Hindi vs South cinema debate. But given its popularity, it will take a while before it dies down. Veteran actor, director Kamal Haasan, who is equally loved in Tamil and Hindi cinema, flew down to Mumbai to promote his next Vikram: Hitlist [2022].  

Before any reporter could ask, it was the emcee himself who opened the press conference with the ongoing South vs Hindi cinema debate.  Haasan disagreed with the emcee saying,” No, I think films speak a world language, it is a language on its own.  We are a country with such diversity but fantastic unity.  Yes, we might disagree but here is a country which doesn’t speak a language, but calls it their national anthem with pride.”

Downplaying the relevance of language, Haasan explained, “Films do its duty in uniting people. This is the only place where you don’t check what caste or community the next man sitting to you is. You got your ticket; you got your entertainment. That is how the country should be. I’m happy to belong to this family which makes that possible.”

The veteran actor also reminded people that South films doing well in Hindi belt or vice versa is no new phenomenon.  South Indian films like Baahubali franchise, K.G.F franchise, RRR [2022] have broken all national records.

“When you say South film is successful, I think it is an Indian film which is succeeding. It doesn’t matter which part of the country it is made. We should respect each other. If you think this film is good, appreciate it. Films don’t have language,” said the Vikram: Hitlist actor.

Haasan recalled the time when few from the Tamil film industry weren’t open to accepting films like Sholay [1975]. Says he, “Sholay, some of the Tamil filmmakers never allowed such films to come here [Tamil Nadu] They themselves couldn’t make it and so they wouldn’t allow a Sholay. In stead of saying that we should make a film like that, they got scared of it.”

Haasan further revealed that he was inspired to be a director after seeing Gulzar’s Achanak [1973].

“I wanted to become a director after watching Achanak. I keep referring to that film, I didn’t speak the language [Hindi] then. But cinema spoke to me, whether it is Mughal-E-Azam, Achanak, or even Padosan [1968]. It touches my heart. Nothing has changed except the audience with newer experiences and forgetting the old memories.  I am closer to the audience now than my predecessors,” revealed Haasan.

Vikram: Hitlist [2022] is set to be released on 3 June.


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