Kamal Haasan: Mastering the art of negative roles – Spl. Article by Naveen

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Kamal Haasan has consistently mesmerized audiences with his ability to portray a wide range of characters, from heroes to complex anti-heroes and outright villains.  His recent role as Supreme Yashkin in ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ is being lauded by everyone. Even though he appears only for a brief period his portrayal of the character is much talked out. Let us take a look at some of the iconic grey shaded roles played by Kamal Haasan.

‘Sigappu Rojakkal’:

Sigappu Rojakkal — 50 Tamil Movies to watch before you Die — 18 | by  Sylvian Patrick | Sylvianism | Medium

One of Kamal Haasan’s earliest forays into a negative role was in ‘Sigappu Rojakkal’, directed by Bharathiraja. In this psychological thriller, he plays a seemingly charming and successful businessman with a dark, obsessive side. The film delves into the mind of a serial killer, showcasing Kamal Haasan’s ability to bring depth and chilling realism to a character consumed by inner turmoil and a twisted sense of justice.

‘Apoorva Sagodharargal’:

Zero vs Appu Raja: Before Shah Rukh Khan, there was Kamal Haasan's Apoorva  Sagodharargal

‘Apoorva Sagodharargal’ is a cult classic where Kamal Haasan plays triple roles—a circus dwarf seeking revenge for the death of his family, a police officer and a mechanic. Kamal Haasan’s portrayal of the dwarf character is remarkable for its emotional depth and the humanity he brings to the character. His ability to balance the vulnerability and ferocity of the character earned him widespread acclaim and further showcased his versatility as an actor.

‘Indian’:

Kamal Haasan's Indian 2 Chennai schedule begins. Cricketer Yuvraj Singh's  father Yograj joins film's cast - India Today
In the critically acclaimed ‘Indian’, directed by Shankar, Kamal Haasan takes on a dual role. While the father figure represents integrity and justice, the son is a corrupt government official who also happens to be the main antagonist in the movie. Kamal Haasan’s portrayal of both the characters is a testament to his versatility, seamlessly switching between the moral complexities of both characters while delivering a powerful performance that resonated with audiences.

‘Virumandi’:

Why Kamal Haasan's viral interview about Virumaandi controversy continues  to be a fan favourite | Tamil News - The Indian Express

Directed by Kamal Haasan himself, ‘Virumandi’ is a gritty drama set in a rural backdrop, where Kamal portrays the titular character—a complex man accused of murder and awaiting his trial. What makes Virumandi’ unique is its exploration of perspectives and the moral ambiguity surrounding its characters. Kamal’s portrayal of Virumandi is raw and visceral, showcasing his ability to delve into the psyche of a character torn between violence and righteousness.

‘Aalavandhan’:

Kamal Haasan's 'Aalavandhan' to re-release soon | Tamil Movie News - Times  of India

Directed by Suresh Krissna, ‘Aalavandhan’ is a psychological thriller where Kamal Haasan plays twin brothers. Kamla Haasan’s portrayal of Nandu received widespread acclaim for its intensity and the nuanced portrayal of mental illness. Raveena Tandon, Manisha Koirala, Sarath Babu, Gollapudi Maruti Rao were seen in the picture along with Kamal Haasan.

‘Dasavatharam’:

Dasavatharam (2008) - IMDb
In ‘Dasavatharam’, directed by K.S. Ravikumar, Kamal Haasan takes on ten distinct roles, showcasing his versatility and range as an actor. One of these roles is that of Fletcher, a ruthless bio-terrorist willing to go to any lengths to achieve his goals. Kamal Haasan’s portrayal of Fletcher is chilling and captivating  and is one of the most talked about characters in the ten roles that he played in the movie.

By Naveen

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