View Full Version : Kamaraj [review]

07-09-2004, 08:06 AM

Cast: Richard Madhuram, Anandi, Charuhasan, Sampatraj Sumant, Kanakaraj
Director: A Balakrishnan

Not many politicians can boast of virtues like simplicity, austerity in personal and public life and total incorruptibility. But Kamaraj was one of those rare politicians. A. Balakrishnan was so struck by the qualities of this leader, often referred to as ‘Karuppu Gandhi’, and ‘Kingmaker’, that when he decided to enter the film-scene as a producer and director he chose Kamaraj as his subject.

Shot in documentary style, the narration spans 60 years, chronicling not only the incidents and people that helped mould Kamaraj but also touching upon the important events in India’s history and how it affected him and vice versa.

The narration is divided into three phases. The pre-Independence period, depicting Kamaraj’s childhood, the influence of Satyamurthy, Kamaraj’s growth as a politician and his prison life.

The second phase depicts his taking over as the Congress Chief Minister of the state, the reforms he tries to bring in, especially in education, his largesse and his bending the rules for a good cause-like for the urgent eye-operation of a kid.

It also displayed his sense of humour (like his response when his mother in the village sends word that she needed a fan and a blanket), his refusal to take advantage of his position (asking for the newly-installed tap to be removed from his village-house).

The third phase where he puts forth the Kamaraj Plan, resigns from the post of CM, involves himself in party work; his influence on national politics, his emergence as a kingmaker and finally his disillusionment with the emerging non-ethics in political life.

The closing scene (taken from the record files of the actual funeral), show swarms of humanity mourning the death of their beloved leader.

Richard Madhuram fits well in the role, his resemblance to Kamaraj helping him, the guidance of the director aiding him to give a controlled and a subtle performance.

Though it’s naturally impossible to cover the entire life-time of a legend in a capsule lasting about two hours, the director should be commended for his sincere attempt to bring to celluloid the life of a great politician and to tell the new generation of Kamaraj’s greatness and simplicity.