Kamal Haasan to quit acting to focus on politics
Signalling what could be curtains on a long and illustrious film career, actor Kamal Haasan has indicated winding up his cinema stint to be an "effective" politician. The founder of the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) has indicated that the sequel to his 1996 blockbuster 'Indian,'--'Indian-2-- could "probably" be his last film.
"I will have to wind up to be effective as a politician...you have to dedicate time totally (for politics). But I will have my production company continuing in the field. Somebody else will run it," the 64-year-old actor-politician told reporters at Kizhakkambalam near Kochi Monday.
Besides Indian 2, Haasan is involved in the trilingual 'Sabash Naidu' directed by him and another untitled movie, and may not sign any ventures after that, sources close to him said in Chennai. The films are slated for release over the next two years, even as his party plans to contest next year's Lok Sabha polls. Haasan, however, said his production company Raajkamal Films, would continue producing movies. He was in Kizhakkambalam to inaugurate a housing project for the poor completed by the 'Twenty20 Kizhakkambalam initiative.'
Haasan had taken the political plunge on February 21 this year, floating his MNM at a grand event in Madurai. Since then he has been critical of the ruling AIADMK on issues including corruption, though he had made some occasional swipes at the ruling party earlier also.
Fondly addressed by his fans as 'Ulaga Nayagan,' (Universal Hero), Haasan made his debut as a child artiste in the Tamil film 'Kalathur Kannamma' in 1959. The image of the orphaned, bare-chested boy praying to Lord Muruga with folded hands, calling him his mother and father, remains etched the minds of many a Tamil cinema buff.
A talent later picked up and nurtured by veteran director and Dadasaheb Phalke Award recipient, the late K Balachander, Haasan ventured into various genres, donning the hats of director, poet, producer and even a columnist. Whether the psycho-killer in 'Sigappu Rojakkal' or the rustic villager in 'Pathinaru Vayadinile' or the stylish urbane youth in 'Michael Madana Kama Rajan,' Haasan enacted them with absolute ease, in the process earning a good fan-following.
He also ventured into experimental scripts, such as 'Pushpak', which had no dialogue, and the innovative back and forth narration in his directorial venture 'Virumaandi'-- films that among many others earned plaudits. His last release was Vishwaroopam 2, but the film failed to make a mark at the box office.
Experimenting with make-up techniques was another of his unique aspects. The National Award Winner's 1992 hit 'Thevar Magan' was India's official entry to that year's Oscar Awards. Haasan has won the National award for the best actor four times--- Moondram Pirai (1983), Nayakan (1988), Thevar Magan (1992) and Indian (1996).
(With inputs from agencies.)