62 Years of Kamal Haasan in Indian Cinema: Appu Raja to Indian; Movies that decode his incredible work

Kamal Haasan's first film was released in 1960 and the actor won the President's Gold Medal for the same.

Updated on Aug 13, 2021   |  10:29 AM IST  |  310.8K
62 Years of Kamal Haasan in Indian Cinema
62 Years of Kamal Haasan in Indian Cinema: Appu Raja to Indian; Movies that decode his incredible work

Kamal Haasan completes 62 years in the film industry today, August 12. An icon like no other, Kamal Haasan started his career with the Tamil film Kalathur Kannamma. The film was released in 1960 and the actor won the President's Gold Medal for the same. Since then, there has been no looking back! Kamal Haasan has acted in over 220 films and has become one of the few actors in India to have completed 62 years in cinema. Upon him completing 62  years in the film industry today, we bring you some of the most loved Haasan starrers that decode the art of cinema. 


Bringing international recognition up India, Nayagan went on to become a timeless classic, written and directed by Mani Ratnam. It was about the struggles of South Indians living in Bombay. Nayagan was based on the real-life of underworld don, Varadarajan Mudaliar. Haasan is seen essaying the role of Velu Naicker. The film earned him a National Film Award for his performance. The said film is listed in The Moving Arts Film Journal as one of the 20 greatest Indian films of all time.


A favourite among Haasan fans, Indian is an extraordinary story helmed by the visionary director Shankar. It is about a freedom fighter who in his bid to curb corruption kills the corrupted and the police are on the hunt for him. Kamal is seen in a dual role, as father and son. The film won three National Awards, including one for the mega icon for his brilliant portrayal of a wrinkled silver-haired veteran freedom fighter in his 70s who decides to enforce his own brand of justice. It has been hailed as one of the best vigilante films in India.  


This is of the most challenging films of Haasan's career. Showcasing the actor in his prime, Dasavathaaram, directed by K S Ravikumar is a science fiction movie written by Kamal, in which he played ten different characters. It is about how after realising the danger of a bio-weapon, a scientist (Haasan) wants to protect it from being misused. The lethal vial of the weapon accidentally reaches India, and he must race against time to prevent a potential disaster.


Who can hold back their tears while watching Sadms? It is a remake of Haasan's Tamil classic, Moondram Pirai. Its story revolves around a school teacher Somu (Haasan) who meets Nehalata (essayed by Sridevi) in a brothel, learns that she is suffering from amnesia and decides to take her to his home in Ooty and nurtures her. The Haasan-starrer won several awards, including two National Awards (Best Actor for Kamal Haasan, Best Cinematography for Balu Mahendra) and five Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. 

Hey Ram


Hey Ram made Indian cinema shine on the global map. The Kamal Haasan-starrer was screened at the International Film Festival of India, 25th Toronto International Film Festival, 2000 Locarno Festival and selected by the Film Federation of India as its submission to the Oscars in 2000. It was made keeping international filmmaking standards in mind with prosthetic make-up by Micheal Westmore, exquisite cinematography by Thiru and brilliant artwork by Sabu Cyril. It won as many as three National Film Awards. 

Thevar Magan  

This is the film that sheds the light on the magic of the craft of Kamal Haasan. Thevar Magan follows a London-educated Saktivelu, who returns to India and wants to open a chain of restaurants in Chennai. Having achieved cult status in Tamil cinema, it is said to have captured the essence of southern Tamil Nadu's rural culture. It was the only film at the time that touches upon caste and glorification of caste-based practices. Thevar Magan is the favourite film of many celebrated movie directors in India. 

Appu Raja


Produced by Haasan and released in 1989, Appu Raja was a massive blockbuster that entertained viewers in theatres for about 600 days! Its story centres around Appu and Raja, who are twins separated at birth and when their father is murdered, the twins meet as adults and connive to avenge his death. 

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