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25 memorable moments from Shankar’s films - PART 1

Shankar and his ADs celebrate 25 years of the director

One of the biggest directors of our times, Shankar completes 25 years in Tamil cinema. With an impressive track record, the director has given audiences unforgettable films as director as well as producer. We take a look at 25 such memorable moments from his career.

Here are the first five…

1. Gentleman

Arjun and Madhu in Gentleman

This is the film that gave us writer-director Shankar. The film which was to be made with Sarathkumar and then Rajasekar, was finally made with Arjun in the lead role. Produced by KT Kunjamon, the film didn’t find any takers to release it because the distributors thought that it looked like a dubbed film. Also the music by AR Rahman was not considered mass-friendly. But thanks to Kunjamon’s faith in Shankar, he released the film himself and it went to become one of the biggest hits of 1993.

Check out the song Chikku bukku rayile from the film featuring Prabhu Deva and Gauthami

2. Kadhalan

Prabhu Deva arrived with this film. AR Rahman’s music, the way the songs were picturised especially the use of CGI, everything about this film was a landmark. But it was the Mukkala song which became the rage not only in Tamilnadu but the entire country. It was probably this film that cemented the the AR Rahman and Shankar combination, as well as the unique style in which the director presented the songs in his movies.

Mukkala made Prabhu Deva a national phenomenon. Check out his amazing moves from the song.

3. Indian Thatha aka Senapathy

Kamal Haasan came on board Indian to play the dual roles of father and son. The film centred around a former freedom fighter and Netaji Subhashchandra Bose follower, spoke about corruption as it is main theme. Carrying forward the social message that he wrote about in Gentleman, Indian was another cinematic comment from Shankar about the social evils in Indian society and how a common man has to sometimes take the law in his hands to fight them.

Kamal Haasan as Senapathy in Indian

The highlight of the film was Kamal Haasan and Sukanya’s make-up as the elderly couple. So good was the actor’s performance that it won him the National Award. Of course AR Rahman’s music once again created the buzz. Once again there was the use of CGI in the song Maaya machindra and beautiful foreign locales in Telephone manipol. But the tribute to Indian culture and traditional attire in Kappaleri poyaachu is what touches the heart the most.

4. Poovukkul and Kannuodu kaanbadhalam songs from Jeans

Shankar wanted to work with Aishwarya Rai when he was making Indian. That wish finally came true with the 1998 film Jeans. The film which starred Prashanth in the lead role, playing twin brothers was a simple love story, but told in a fun, entertaining way that won audience appreciation as well as critical praise. AR Rahman’s music and picturisation of the songs were once again talking points. Shankar continued the tradition of showcasing international locations in his songs. But what made Poovukkul a memorable song was that it featured the Seven Wonders of the World. From the Great Wall of China to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the song took the viewer on a trip around the world. Another song Kannuodu kaanbadhalam was a unique combination of CGI and comedy. Shankar introduced the concept of virtual reality through this song

Enjoy the song here.

5. ‘Chief Minister for A Day’ in Mudhalvan

This is probably Shankar’s most political film. An interview of a Chief Minister with a TV cameraman results in the latter becoming CM for a day and successfully transforming the state into a profitable and productive one.  The film brought together Shankar, Arjun and AR Rahman for the second time. Manisha Koirala was the leading lady.

So impressive was the film and its plot that it was remade in Hindi. Shankar directed the Hindi version as well with Anil Kapoor in the lead.

Arjun in Mudhalvan, Anil Kapoor in Nayak
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