Tamil cinema is renowned for its unconventional story lines and diverse treatment of conventional plots. However, there was a time when directors preferred to stick to the time tested formula.
In this era, K. Balachander was one man who dared to think differently and was hugely applauded for his experiment with movies. His movies were loved and praised by the audience, making him one of the most popular film makers of Tamil cinema.
Here is our pick of some of his best films which every Tamil movie lover should watch without fail.
Balachander made his debut as a director with this film. With ace comedian Nagesh in the lead, the plot of the film was based on a play that was directed by the director himself. Portraying the lives of hospital staffs and patients, this film also starred Sowcar Janaki, V. Gopalakrishnan, Major Sundarrajan and Jayanthi. It was highly praised by the audience and became a hit.
Aval Oru Thodarkathai
Unlike other directors of his times, K. Balanchander loved making female oriented movies. Aval Oru Thodarkathai is one such movie starring Sujatha in the lead role. The film portrays the trials and tribulations of a woman who works hard to support her family who hardly recognizes her efforts. Donning a tough exterior but housing a heart of gold, Sujatha’s character and her performance was highly applauded. Kamal Haasan, Jaiganesh, Vijay Kumar and Sri Priya played integral roles in this movie. The movie was later remade into all the other major Indian languages.
Starring Kamal Haasan and Srividya, this film was way ahead of its times when it was released in 1976. Portraying the relationship between an established singer and her young admirer, intertwined with many more complicated rekationships, this film came at a time when the audience preferred watching conventional relations on screen. However, the fabulous music by MS Vishwanathan and impressive performances by the cast which included Rajnikanth, Jayasudha and Major Sundarrajan, the film nullified all predictions and went on to be a hit.
Varumayin Niram Sivappu
Unemployment is a problem that has been troubling the youth for long. In this movie, K. Balachander went on to depict the lives of three educated men who are unable to find a job and are subjected to poverty and misery. Starring Kamal Haasan, Sridevi, S.V. Sekhar, Prathap Pothan and Dilip this film struck a chord with the audience and is considered to be one of the best Balachander movies.
This is another K. Balachander movie in which more importance has been given to the female character. Starring Sujatha, Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth and Ravi Kumar, this film depicts the dilemma of a woman stuck in a loveless marriage who finds an admirer in a ventriloquist. The movie was later remade in Telugu as Idi Katha Kaadu.
Balachander created various masterpieces with his inimitable style and novel treatments. Though he is no more, his movies live on as the reminder of his creativity and talent.