The one true mega icon of India, Kamal Haasan has been an inspiration to actors, filmmakers and writers. He has fans across the globe who have stuck around as he clocks in 61 glorious years at the movies. On his cinema anniversary, we share with you a list of a few unforgettable looks of Ulaganayagan that make him an unparalleled skin-changer.
1. Chachi 420:
Chachi 420 is a 1997 Indian Hindi comedy film, co-written, produced and directed by Kamal Haasan. It features Haasan essaying the role of a divorced man who disguises himself as a house help to be able to meet his daughter at his ex-wife’s house. The actor transformed to look the part he was playing with the help of prosthetics and makeup. No one could guess that the Chachi in the film is Haasan himself!
2. Appu Raja:
In the Singeetam Srinivasa Rao directorial, Kamal Haasan essays two roles, out of which one is that of a dwarf. The dwarf look was achieved by shooting in different angles and using innovative ideas and equipment for shooting. A pair of special shoes were made to be attached to the folded knees of the actor for the straight angle shots. The mannerism adopted by Haasan by holding his arms in a particular way jelled with his “dwarf” legs.
3. Anbe Sivam
The makeup for Haasan’s scars in Anbe Sivan was designed by Oscar-winning makeup technician, Micheal Westmore (who has also collaborated with Kamal Haasan for Indian and Avvai Shanmughi) and Anil Premkarikar. With this film, the icon used cinema to impart his thoughts about religion, communism and globalisation, without being preachy.
Kamal Haasan has always been an artist ahead of his time and the best film to prove it is the 2001 fantasy thriller ‘Abhay’. The actor again played the dual role of Vijay, a cop and Abhay, his paranoid schizophrenic brother who has been in an asylum. The film garnered a cult fan following since its release. It shows Haasan as a bald, bulky, tattooed and deranged freak.
5. Indrudu Chandrudu:
Kamal Haasan has played double roles in many films. In Indrudu Chandrudu, the actor was seen as a corrupt mayor and as a youngster. He had revealed that he had to widen his nostrils with pen caps and put gum on the upper lip to modify his face.
Virumaandi is a 2004 Indian Tamil-language action drama film written, co-edited, produced, and directed by Kamal Haasan, who also essayed the title role. It revolves around the interview of two prison inmates, firstly, Kothala Thevar’s (Pasupathy) life sentence, and secondly, Virumaandi (Haasan), who is sentenced to be hanged. The film revolves around the controversy of the death penalty. This film acquired cult status in Tamil cinema and inspired similar themes. Essaying the role of a convicted criminal, Haasan is seen in the film with a moustache that goes into his sideburns.
In Vishwaroopam, Kamal Haasan played two roles poles. One of the ambitious films which created quite a stir due to its content was a success and showed the actor in two different avatars – a classical dance teacher who loves cooking and an undercover RAW agent who fights terrorism. None other than the legend could have easily justified the two diverse roles.
8. Hey Ram
Hey Ram is a 2000 Indian period drama film written, directed and produced by Kamal Haasan, who also acted as the protagonist. It was simultaneously made in Tamil and Hindi languages. It captures the actor as a man traumatised by the death of his wife who was raped during riots.
Dasavathaaram is a 2008 Indian Tamil-language science fiction film directed by K. S. Ravikumar. It stars Kamal Haasan, who also wrote the screenplay of the film. The actor portrays ten different characters with ten varied avatars in it. Even for Haasan, the number of transformations were record-breaking!
10. Indian 2
Indian 2 is an upcoming Indian Tamil-language vigilante action thriller film directed by S. Shankar. Kamal Haasan’s first look from the film has garnered a lot of appreciation and has created huge anticipation for the film.