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THE GREAT GURUS OF TAMIL CINEMA

By Sudharshan

“A teacher simply teaches. But a master unfolds the self within you.” There have been quite a lot of masters in Tamil cinema like K Balachander and Balu Mahendra, who have turned rocks into amazing sculptures. Literally speaking these masters have produced some amazing talents and dedicated it to the film industry. Behindwoods.com takes the opportunity to dig the history of a few noted directors of Tamil cinema.

Let’s start with the director, who is rightly called the University of Film making. Director K Balachander has not only given Tamil cinema its greatest assets like Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Prakash Raj and Vivekh but also many promising directors like Samuthirakani and Saran. Kamal Haasan was also one of the lucky directors, who got the opportunity to learn under this legendary master.

Talking about legendary film makers, Balu Mahendra is regarded as one of the greatest directors who not only excelled in his department but was also a pioneer in revitalizing Tamil cinema. He has created two great cult directors in Bala and Vetri Maaran. Both have been honored with national awards for Naan Kadavul and Aadukalam respectively. Katradhu Thamizh Ram is also a proud student of this legendary director.

Bala himself has produced highly promising talents like Ameer and Sasi Kumar. Both of them have worked under him in Sethu. Sasi Kumar eventually went on to work as an assistant to Ameer in his Mounam Pesiyadhe and Raam. Now, Sasi Kumar is acting under the direction of his own assistant, Prabhakaran. 

The Midas of Tamil Cinema, director Shankar, is no different. He found his Guru in director SA Chandrasekar. Shankar got his big break while assisting SAC in Jai Shiv Shankar, starring late Rajesh Khanna. Later he became the sculptor of two amazing talents- ‘Angadi Theru’ fame Vasantha Balan and ‘Eeram’ fame Arivazhagan.

One of today’s most loved directors is Gautham Menon. But he himself was trained under the masterful guidance of Rajiv Menon. Gautham worked as an assistant in Rajiv Menon’s Minsara Kanavu starring Arvind Swamy, Prabhu Deva and Kajol. He had also done a cameo in the song Ooh la la la…

To sum up in David Billa style, “Every director has a history; every good director has a Guru”. Our directors have not only been legends. Most of them have shared their traits with their students and have made geniuses out of them. Kudos to the great Gurus of Tamil cinema!

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