Moondram Pirai (1982)
Have you ever had any doubt about how to show someone how much you love them without uttering those three words? Kamal Haasan’s Moondram Pirai is a definitive guide. The heart-warming love story between a school teacher and a woman who suffers from retrograde amnesia, Moondram Pirai is perhaps, late actress Sridevi’s best performance to date. The movie is like a poignant poem or even a painting where you can feel the chemistry of the leads, the love, and the romance they exude from just the lead’s body language themselves.
A man is jailed after being conned by his business partner, and his family decays from within. The sin of greed is explored here as we see how the desire to earn money can ruin an entire family. The movie is meant to be provocative and questions us on our role as viewers to daily misconducts and misdemeanors that occur every day. Kamal Hassan is magnificent in his role as the father who’s hell-bent on getting his family back together. Mahanadhi is not for the commercial audience. It’s an art film and a very underrated masterpiece, Mahanadi is a must-see for those who haven’t seen this.
Shankar’s 1996 blockbuster, Indian, co-starring Kasthuri, Manisha Koirala, and Urmila Matondkar as the female leads, revolves around a veteran freedom fighter named Senapathy who learns a rare form of martial art that enables him to kill anyone with his bare hands. He uses that to end crime and disciplines the culprits on his own.
Anbe Sivam (2002)
A cult classic that was way ahead of its time, Anbe Sivam is an outstanding film about a man who finds God in people and love. Partly inspired by the American comedy film, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles,’ Kamal Haasan ingeniously combines his own ideologies about communism, religion, faith, and love to preach his understanding of forgiveness, compassion, and sacrifice for the betterment of mankind. Coupled with striking dialogue and heart-wrenching scenes, Anbe Sivam is more of an experience and a lesson on humanity than a simple film.
Virumaandi, a Kamal Hassan directorial, revolves around the interview of two prison inmates, the direction of their life, and where they have ended up. It also explores the controversies of death penalty. Ahead of its time, persuading the audience to understand that there are flaws in the criminal justice system. The use of the Rashomon effect in this film neatly explains the difference and introduces new details that were intentionally omitted to elucidate this point.