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The actor recently curated a list of 70 films that had changed his life - from Chemeen to Dangal.

Mahanadi was inspired by real life plot to kidnap my daughter Kamal HaasanFacebook/ Kamal Haasan
Flix Cinema Monday, August 14, 2017 - 11:07

Kollywood superstar Kamal Haasan recently curated a list of 70 films that the actor said had changed his life.

Writing in The Hindustan Times, Kamal said, "This is not a bucket list – 70 films you should see before you die. I’m not trying to recommend movies, or impose my choices on other people. Films are my profession, my life. The way I react to a film will be different from the way other people would. I’m sure I will probably notice nuances other people may not. Finally, it’s like falling in love! Why do you fall in love with someone? Who knows? It’s the same with movies.”

While the films he listed include Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, and Kannada, what has caught people's attention the most is Kamal's note about Mahanadi, a film that he wrote and acted in. The 1994 film was about a man who is caught in a conspiracy and goes to prison. His daughter is kidnapped and sold into sex work.

Speaking of the film, Kamal shared a very personal experience: "I have never spoken of what prompted me to write Mahanadi. Now my daughters are old enough to understand the ways of this world I can ...I guess. My household help, all of them, conspired to kidnap my daughter for ransom. They even did a dry run. By accident I discovered their plan. I was angry, unnerved and ready to kill for my baby's safety. But I saw sense in time. I was to write a new script and I kept delaying it for a month. Later when I sat down to write, the script wrote itself ....maybe assisted by my fear, apprehension and paranoia."

The films cut across genres and while you see some usual suspects like the classics Mayabazar, Sholay, Parasakthi, Chemeen and Kagaz Ke Phool, there are also some surprises like Aamir Khan's Dangal.

Kamal has rarely commented on contemporary films, especially the big budget ones.

Commenting on Dangal, the actor said, "It has all the beauty of commercial cinema. It reminded me of Rocky, but it’s a sports film of a different kind. It was so beautiful, it reminded me that I could still be a film fan."

Interestingly, the Baahubali films which gave stiff competition to Dangal in terms of records, have not made it to the list.

Smaller films like Thithi have also caught Kamal's attention.

Complimenting Mammootty for his performance in Thaniavarthanam, Kamal said, "This is a film about mental health and how the responsibility lies in everyone’s hands. It doesn’t talk directly about superstition, but in the end makes you very angry. My friend Mammootty did a brilliant job in the film."

Some other interesting tidbits Kamal has shared from his own films:

Aboorva Sagodhargal: Only a man like my brother Chandrahasan would have agreed to be part of this mad adventure. Singeetam Srinivasa Rao the director and my brother indulged all my epiphanies at the cost of the budget and their patience. They believed I had the technique of playing the midget under my belt. The truth was I didn’t. Their trust in me gave me sleepless nights. Many a time I thought of telling them the truth and surrendering to failure. I thought both Peter’s principle and Murphy’s law had partnered to finish me off. One day I got up to confess and in the long-winded preface to my confession I actually came up with possible ideas. So I didn’t confess. I kept my face confident. This was the case of the actor succeeding even before the camera rolled.

Thevar Magan: I was challenged to write it in 12 days. I wrote it in seven. The casting of the film was done against everyone else’s suggestion. Wrong advisors are sometimes the reason for the right decisions, and sometimes complacency.

You can read the full list here.

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