Mani Ratnam’s immortal Kamal Haasan classic Nayakan is celebrating its 25th anniversary today. The path breaking film was released on October 21, 1987 and went on to become one of the greatest movies ever made.
Nayakan was voted one of Time magazine’s top 100 films, and people still remember it as one of the all-time great classics of Tamil cinema . Kamal Haasan has written a brilliant article about the making of Nayakan in today’s (Oct 21, 2012) The Hindu , which will be treasured by the new generation filmmakers.
Mani Ratnam and Kamal Haasan changed filmmaking in south with Nayakan. The film is based on the life and times of the Tamil gangster Varadaraja Mudaliar who ruled Dharavi the Mumbai slum in the 80’s.
Nayakan was a trendsetter of sorts with outstanding camerawork by PC Sriram, who made dim lighting a craze. Another highlight was Thotta Tharani’s art work as he created Dharavi slums in Venus Studio in Chennai. And it had outstanding music by Ilayaraja, which enhanced the theme of the film.
Above all it is Kamal Haasan’s towering performance as Varda Bhai that made it a classic.
It still remains the best works of Mani Ratnam and the dialogue - "Neenga Nallavara Kettavara", will linger for a long time to come.