‘Any fool can live my life’

After receiving the lifetime achievement award at Mumbai Film Festival,the Kamal Haasan talks about his cinematic influences,what has expanded the canvas of his movies and why he is trying not to lie

Published:October 21, 2013 1:19 am

Does getting a lifetime achievement award make you reflect on your career?

When I do that,it makes me sad. I could have done much more and used time more effectively. So I reflect irregularly. If I listen to people who appreciate my work,it seems like I have done good. But that,I think,comes out of bias. If you consider performances of Indian as well as international artistes,I have a very long way to go.

Which movies will you pick as cinematic landmarks of your career?

I sporadically feel happy about certain films. But I go by what people consider to be my best. They say Nayagan,and I nod my head. Who am I to look at a gift horse in the mouth? If you ask me,I am yet to make that film which will at least satisfy me,leave alone the audience.

What have been your cinematic inspirations?

Everything is inspired by something. If you watch Virumandi,which will be shown at the film festival,you can see that I have seen Costa-Gavras’ Z. I get inspired by Sistine Chapel though

I am a rationalist. Artistes do get inspired,especially by peers,and that is the best form of appreciation. You can see influences of Satyajit Ray,Shyam Benegal,K Asif and Guru Dutt in my movies.

In the later part of your career,you have become more experimental.

I doubt that. More the investment,more carefully one has to tread. The nonchalance,panache are lacking. The style becomes cramped. Often the edge is taken out of content or romance so it does not hurt anybody. When you try to make everyone happy,the person most unhappy is the creator.

You have played many roles on camera as well as behind it,what else do you desire to take up?

Like most filmmakers,I wish to get back into the body of an audience. When you become a filmmaker, you lose contact with the primary reason why a movie is made. It’s not naivete but a suspended disbelief with which a viewer goes to watch a movie and to be entertained.

Your biography is coming up. Which aspects of your life you wish should be highlighted?

It’s not a biography but an interview with me which someone else is writing. I am never going to write an autobiography. As a person in the given society,you lie. Why propagate a lie? People asked me to talk about my mistakes so that others don’t repeat them. So,I decided to talk about my work. My life,any fool can live.

In the last decade,the scale of your movies has increased.

It comes with the scale of my remuneration. You have to make it bigger to justify the money you are getting.

Will Viswaroop 2 have a grand canvas then?

It is bigger and pacier. The film is in Hindi. There was some confusion with Viswaroop being dubbed. Many do not know the difference between a double and a dubbed version. All the actors have spoken their lines in Hindi.

After doing 200 movies,what still gives you goosebumps?

Applause. especially when it’s genuine. That happened last night. I was humbled.

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