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Vikram actor Kamal Haasan: I want Indian films to be pan-world films

At the pre-release event of Vikram in Hyderabad, Kamal Haasan requested the audience to demand good films from makers and actors.

Viram pre release eventAnirudh Ravichander, Lokesh Kanagaraj, Kamal Haasan, Venkatesh, Nithiin and Sudhakar Reddy pose for photographers at Vikram's pre-release event in in Hyderabad. (Photo: PR Handout)

The pre-release event of Vikram was held on Tuesday night in Hyderabad. Kamal Haasan, Venkatesh Daggubati, Nithiin, Anirudh Ravichander, Lokesh Kanagaraj, Venky Kudumula, Sailesh Kolanu, Harish Shankar, Rama Jogaiah Sastry and Sudhakar Reddy among others graced the event.

In his lengthy speech, Kamal recalled his memories of working in the Telugu film industry. He said, “Almost 45 years back, I came to Hyderabad as a dance assistant for Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s film Srimanthudu. From then on, I have been eating Telugu food. My biggest hit came from Telugu. You continuously gave me hits, and I was lucky enough to get good directors. I was not alone. Like Nithiin here, I had a family pushing me in the direction that I wanted to go. I have done 36 films with K Balachander (KB), and that’s my PhD. I learned it all from him. KB garu was a fantastic actor. We learned from him. My style and Mr. Rajinikanth style’s came from him.”

Kamal Haasan further heaped praise on Venkatesh and rued that their film Marmayogi did not see the light of day. “I have to say something about Venkatesh, which would be a lesson to Nithiin. Venky need not work this hard. 30 years before, he could have spent his life like a holiday. But he worked as hard as any other actor. Truly when he was at the top, he met me in Goa and said, ‘I am not happy with what I am doing.’ I told him what I knew. There was an opportunity for him in Marmayogi. He came all the way and did a costume trial and photoshoot for it. We didn’t make that movie. That would have been a fantastic film in my career and Venky’s career. We missed it by inches. We have so many such hits and misses,” the actor said.

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Sudhakar Reddy has acquired the Telugu distribution rights of Vikram. The movie will release in more than 400 theatres in the Telugu states. The Dasavatharam star expressed his confidence in Vikram doing well in the Telugu states. He said, “I will have to thank producer Sudhakar Reddy for becoming a part of the Vikram family. I just wanted him to help us make history. Here using the word history before the release itself is not arrogance or a mistake. You people (audience) created such history for me and made me believe that you will make each film of mine a hit. I have done hundreds of films in Tamil, and not all are hits. I have done very few films in Telugu, and most of them are hits. That’s because of the love you have for me. So, this time also, we are trying for a hit, and now it is in your hands. I respect all the brothers who have come here to celebrate the film. By the way, they also celebrated me, and now I am thinking about my journey (smiles). No one can do it alone, even if you have a good director and distributor. If you have a good distributor and get good screens, you must have good audience. So all of it should fall in place. With that belief, we all are waiting with bated breath for June 3.”

Kamal Haasan also praised Vikram director Lokesh Kanagaraj who did not have things handed to him on a silver platter. Kamal said, “There are various ways of becoming successful. One way is to start with a silver spoon like Venky, Nithiin and Anirudh. But Lokesh came just like me. Nobody was behind him, but everybody is behind him now. He was very clear that he is going to come this far. I respect that kind of people.”

Kamal concluded his speech by thanking his Vikram co-stars Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil. He went on to request the audience to demand good films from makers and actors. The actor-filmmaker said, “I thank all my brothers who wish me well and thank my brothers Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil. The whole shooting process and experience of Vikram was like a felicitation for me. I didn’t feel like I was acting with competition. I was working with brothers who admired me, and I had to return the admiration because they deserved it. They all are soon going to become international. Pan-India films are not enough. I want Indian films to be pan-world films, and it can’t be done without your (audience) help. You have to demand quality films. If you demand it, we all are ready to give such films. So, give us the strength to make better films and ensure Indian films are international films and not just pan-India films. We all are capable of it. Again and again, Telugu cinema and Tamil cinema are trying to prove it. I am a fan of good cinema. I wish you will continue to be the same.”

Kamal Haasan’s Vikram will hit screens on June 3.

First published on: 01-06-2022 at 15:56 IST
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