| Saturday, October 2, 2010

I like to take strides and complete it to satisfaction. It is one characteristic of mine that helps me stand tall. I don’t care for monotonous. I believe, when tried, anything and everything can be made interesting. Including my fellow brothers and sisters thought process back home, at least when it comes to cinema. As Kamal Haasan is a living proof of this statement.

A while back ago I came across a fellow bloggers' post about Kamal and his “inspirations” as written by the blogger. I wanted to put together my thoughts about his post but did not get the time and eventually forgot about it. So, when I came across the same post written in Tamil by another blogger I had to document my thoughts into words;

Since its origin, originality has been closely linked to creativity. It is often seen as the inevitable result of that creative process. But some people seem to have misunderstood it to be a separate entity standing by itself. As in many creative activities like writing, composing, cooking and a few others, it has also become the ultimate criteria for the use of creativity in the development of products. There is little doubt about the fact that even in Western culture this longing for originality is a relatively recent phenomena."Bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different."

I think for the most part almost all content in life is the result of the "remixing" or "mashing-up" of culture. Cinema is no exception. Every movie that comes out has some mashing up of culture, the writer/directors personal influences, and affiliations, better called as inspirations. KamalHaasan is no exception. Then what is my point of this post? One might ask.. Well, all I am trying to bring forth is the genius that lies in Kamal. I say why can’t us “Tamilan’s” for once not be the “Tamil Nandu”???

"Ce qui fait les hommes de génie, ou plutôt ce qu'ils font, ce ne sont point les idées neuves, c'est cette idée, qui les possède, que ce qui a été dit ne l'a pas encore été assez." - - Eugene Delacroix

This French quote literally translates to; "What moves men of genius, or rather, what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough."

Originality comes not from a genre, setting, plot, characters, voice or any other element on which we can work. It cannot. It isn’t possible. Originality can come only from what you bring of yourself to your story. In other words, originality is not a function of your novel; it is a quality in you. I think Kamal is one of the very few Indian film makes to have understood it. Yes, he did bring many English movies to the main stream Tamil people. But that is not without his own quality! As a matter of fact I think he did a huge favor to the Tamil people by exposing worldly culture, thoughts, perspective and ideas through cinema. He took the Indian cinema world to the next level! No one can deny that.

Now, lets take a look at the claims of some half-baked viewers of Hollywood flicks, they will never realize the connection between Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Avatar let alone it is the story of Pocahontas. They will not see the connection between many Indian movies and Titanic. No one sees the Matrix in Inception, which itself is a collection of ideas from several books, and scientific research. Get my point?


  1. "Good Artists Copy... Great Artists Steal" - Picasso
    That right about, sums up this write-up..

  2. As we spoke yesterday.. the fact is indeed that Kamal failed to get our brothers ans sisters be on par :(


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