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Pa Ranjith calls Kamal Haasan, a pioneer in merging arthouse and commercial cinema

Kamal Haasan had earlier inaugurated the Kaala director's newly launched library and cultural space

Pa Ranjith calls Kamal Haasan, a pioneer in merging arthouse and commercial cinema
Kamal Haasan with Pa Ranjith at the launch of Neelam Books
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 01.11 PM, Feb 12, 2023

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Natchathiram Nagargiradhu director Pa Ranjith launched a brand new library and cultural space called Neelam Books in Chennai this morning and it was inaugurated by none other than Ulaganayagan Kamal Haasan. Speaking at the launch, Pa Ranjith called Kamal Haasan, a pioneer in merging arthouse and commercial cinema.

Citing the examples of his landmark works, Mahanadi and Virumandi, Ranjith went on to say that he was blown away by the way Kamal Haasan conceived Virumandi and cracked his life onscreen. "He didn't make an arthouse film separately, but included it in mainstream cinema and took it to a wider audience. His contribution is huge as far as blurring the lines are concerned, and what's interesting is that he has also emerged successful in his attempt. It's not a cakewalk because everywhere else, arthouse cinema and mainstream cinema thrive separately and there's a huge divide between the two. Both function in their respective space. While mainstream commercial cinema has a larger audience, arthouse cinema is watched only by a few. "

He added, "Even during the transition from films to digital cinema, Kamal Haasan sir led the way.  He has also brought out a silent film as a mainstream feature and his contributions to the industry are immense. He has used the cultural space of cinema in a very effective manner throughout his life and continues to do so.

Speaking on the occasion, Kamal Haasan said that his biggest political enemy was caste and that he wanted to wipe casteism clean. "I have been reiterating the same right from the time I was barely 21 years old. Though I am able to speak about it in a more eloquent manner, my opinion about caste remains the same. After wheel, man's biggest creation is god. We cannot accept the fact that what we created is now attacking us. Caste is a terrible weapon

. What's saddening is that BR Ambedkar, who was three generations ahead of me, has been saying the same, but the fight still continues."

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