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TIME TO RE-RELEASE KAMAL'S CLASSICS

By Kaushik.L.M

A lot of Kamal Haasan’s movies have been dismissed as ‘ahead of time’ by the audiences. Either they didn’t understand these movies or just weren’t interested to use their brains in a movie hall, which is supposed to be just for entertainment.

Among this unfortunate list, we have classics like Kurudhipunal, Anbe Sivam and Hey Ram to name a few. Aalavandhan can also be included in this list as the concepts of hallucination were hitherto unexplored.

Sun TV has been screening movies based on two heroes this week in the 11pm slot. Last night we had Anbe Sivam. It literally arrested one’s attention for the entire span of its running time. There were no ad-breaks too. No other movie touched upon so many concepts like communism, labor problems, the concept of God, the culture of street-plays to drive messages, social issues like blood donation, youth’s obsession towards credit cards and above all the fact that looks can be deceptive. All this was achieved with the help of a breezy narration, intelligent dialogs, stunning set design and excellent performances by Kamal and apt foil from the likes of Madhavan, Nassar, Santhanabarathy and Kiran too.

When the movie was released in 2003, it was given the cold shoulder and the question that begs one’s attention is why? This movie was as close to being perfect as they come. Now, when this classic is shown on TV, the unanimous response one gets from viewers is “wow, what a movie!”

Even now it’s not too late. In this era of re-releases, restorations and 3D gimmicks, why not take up Anbe Sivam and release it again. In 2003, the audiences did a major disservice to Kamal Haasan – the artist, by snubbing this movie at the box-office. Now, if there is a re-release, one can safely bet that the amount of positive goodwill that Anbe Sivam has generated due to its cult status on TV would generate into footfalls at the theater as well.

When commercial movies like Baasha are being re-released, why not a true-blue classic like Anbe Sivam! People might argue that the fun is already lost due to the many screenings on TV, but so was Baasha which is practically screened once a month or so in Sun TV or K TV. The re-release of Baasha still worked pretty well.

With the cult following that Anbe Sivam has developed thanks to the proliferation of the social media, a re-release will probably work. Appropriate digital mastering and enhancement ought to be done for some extra value addition. Same with Aalavandhan and Hey Ram which are very rarely screened on TV, that too in the late night slot. With the backing of Hollywood giants like Tarantino, Aalavandhan has been in the news recently. Why not milk it with a re-release?

Hope the people who matter feel the same!

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