Vijay TV’s Ulaganayagan Kamal 50, was one of the best conducted events in history of Kollywood. The top guns in the south film industry arrived on the dot of time at Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Monday night (September 28). There was glamour, glitz and glory along with passion for cinema.
It was the culmination of the channel’s month long efforts where they promoted, Dr. Padmashree Kamal Haasan’s 50 glorious years in cinema. Kamal the name itself symbolizes commitment to good cinema.
Take a look at the superstar guest list who turned up for the function- close buddy and superstar Rajinikanth, Malayalam megastar Mammootty, superstar Mohanlal, Telugu superstar Venkatesh, and Nadigar Sangam chief Sarath Kumar were there on the special dais. They were briefly joined by Kamal and Rajini’s mentor K Balachandar, the maestro Ilayaraja and Oscar winner AR Rahman.
Gopinath of Vijay TV was the main anchor throughout the five hour show. The function started with an opening contemporary dance performed by Rukmani, followed by stirring speeches by Sarath Kumar urging the state government to rename Eldams Road as Dr Kamal Hassan road..
Then there was a skit by Madhavan and a small boy on the “unbelievable man, the legendary Kamal sir.” It was followed by introduction to Kamal Hassan by AVM Saravanan who played a role in selecting the young six year old to play the child artist in Kalathur Kannamma, and Saroja Devi who talked about his dedication at a young age. Children performed the famous song Ammave Neeyum Appave Neeyum.., the first song picturised on Kamal as a child artist.
K Balachandar then made a speech on how Gemini Ganeshan introduced him to Kamal during the shoot of Poova Thalaia and found that the guy had Sarakku Irukke (stuff) to be a good actor, and later he cast him in Arangetram. After Balachander, Shivakumar waxed eloquent on the actor. Then a medley of Kamal songs was performed by Vijay TV’s ‘Ungal Yaar Prabhu Deva ‘team.
Next Jayaram took over the stage and showed an AV on Kamal during the 70’s and early 80’s. Jayaram said : “I consider him as a part of Malayalam cinema because he has done 41 films in Kerala. Do you know that I got the first prize at college youth festival, as I did a mono act based on his dialogues. Later I went on to do four films with him.” SP Muthuraman, Ramanarayanan and noted director K.Viswanath spoke.
It was followed by a classical dance by one of Kamal’s yester year heroine s Shobhana from his classic K.Viswanath film Silangai Oli. Then Vivek took over, and went on and on about his being a Kamal Hassan fan and even penned a poem (too lengthy) he had written on the actor. Later Prabhu and Arjun spoke about their relationship and love for the “Ulaganayagan”. Prabhu made it clear: “You are the true waris (heir) to Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganeshan.” The crowd went berserk hearing it and clapped loudly.
Then Radhika Sharat Kumar took over and said what a great actor Kamal is, “He can pretend that he is in love with a buffalo on screen. Without his heroines he can never be a kathal Mannan!” Radhika paved way for Kamal Hassan’s interaction with all his yester year heroines- Jaya Chitra his first heroine, Revathi, Radhika, Urvasi, Nirosha, Lissy, Sarnya, Tabu, Shobhana, Meena and Gowthami. When the ladies on stage constantly pulled his leg Kamal joined them on stage for a photo opportunity and said: “I’m very comfortable with women, as you can see it, as I grew up in a large household full of ladies”. Gowthami his lady love and constant companion said: “ I have done only four films with Kamal sir, but each one of them is a milestone in my career.”
Kamal’s favourite choreographer Prabhu Deva and his dad Sundaram Master dedicated a “very special” medley of the actors hot numbers over the years, which had the crowd on their feet dancing to the hit numbers. Parthipan, KS Ravi Kumar and Shankar spoke about their association with Kamal. Then there was ‘Kamal unplugged’, a medley of songs from Kamal films sung by his favourites SPB and Hariharan. Later Shruti Hassan sang some of Kamal’s heroine songs from his early films. Ilayaraja also sang a poem he penned on Kamal.
Then Prakash Raj took over and presented an AV on Kamal Hassan and also introduced artists from different languages in south cinema- Ramesh Aravind (Kannada), Venkatesh (Telugu), Mammootty and Mohanlal (Malayalam), who spoke on Kamal. Perhaps the best was for the last when Rajinikanth made a soul stirring speech on his friendship with Kamal. Finally Kamal in his thanks giving speech became highly emotional and at the end went down on his knees and bowed down to the audiences.
The other popular stars and technicians from tinsel town included young guns like Allu Arjun, Ganesh Venkatram, Simbu, Jeeva, Sibiraj, Abbas, Ajmal, Narain, Karthi, Sakthi, Sameera Reddy, Sandhya, Nisha Kothari, Mumtaz, Manorama, Balu Mahendra, Santhanabharathy, Crazy Mohan, Madan, Yugi Sethu, Mysskin, Lingusamy, Cheran, Gowtham Menon, AR Murgadoss, Dharani and many others.
Thanks to Vijay TV, it was a professionally run heart warming and memorable show that has never been done before in Kollywood. The entire event proceedings would be soon aired on Vijay TV and it is a must watch.