Enable Javscript for better performance
Remembering K Balachander: Director Vasanth talks about his master, mentor, and father- Cinema express

Remembering K Balachander: Director Vasanth talks about his master, mentor, and father

In this week-long series dedicated to veteran filmmaker K Balachander to celebrate his 90th birthday anniversary, celebrities reminisce about the auteur and his work. 

Published: 10th July 2020

"‘Achamillai Achamillai was the first film in which I properly assisted KB sir, even though he had known me before. Naa romba thittu vaangina padam (laughs). I remember joining the shooting at Courtallam a bit late, and we were shooting ‘Odukira Thanniyile’ song. I thought we would be shooting near the falls, but KB sir just looked up and asked, "How will it be if we placed the camera there?” pointing to the start of the fall. Our 90-man crew trekked up the waterfall to shoot for that song, crawling on all fours to reach there. His passion for cinema was so intense.

On the sets, he was always deep in thought, working on subtle touches he could add to scenes. One day, we had all arrived at the set, but we weren't shooting anything. Suddenly, KB sir asked for a bell and a few other things. We didn't know what he had in mind, but we arranged it. Only later did we learn that he had planned a single shot focussing only on Saritha for three minutes, with voices in the background. We shot that the whole day and used 400 foot of film for it. The entire crew was spellbound; we hadn't seen anything like it before. His drive for innovation came not just to be novel, but also from the desire to create powerful images.

KB sir was a great man. It was such greatness of thought that manifested through his films. He hated wasting resources, especially water. His mind was always preoccupied with dialogues, and I remember him always reading out to us what he had written. We were the first audience to a man who had his way with words. Also, he created such strong women characters when heroism was the order of the day. That was what he came to be known for. Even though I would get scolded every day, he always seemed like a father figure when I went to meet him in the evenings. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to train under him. I wish he hadn't left us so soon, I wish I could have shown him my Sivaranjanium Innum Sila Pengalum. It will always be a regret, but perhaps, I'll take this film with me to him when I go. (smiles)"

(As told to Ashameerra Aiyappan)

Related Articles


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.


Which is your favourite time travel film in Tamil?

Indru Netru Naalai