Just under a week before the release of Ulaganayagan’s Thoongavanam, we speak to Renga, popular Tamil Blogger and an ardent fan of the great Legend, to get his thoughts on his Idol and this latest creation, a neo noir Crime Thriller.

1) How long have you been a fan of Mr Kamal Hassan and why? Tell us about your earliest memories of going to see one of his films
Firstly no Mr, no Sir nothing…he is my Thala and I address him as only Kamal :)
I started liking Kamal since the movie – “Vikram”. I was just 12 years when I saw the movie. It was a movie of a kind for its time, as most of Tamil movies at the time were revolving around family drama and social issues. I was amazed at his personality and attitude in that movie. My liking further firmed up with ‘Vetri Vizha’. With frantic bullying from my friends who were all Rajini fans, I was still only a moderate fan. There were several attempts from my friends to convert me to Religion Rajini (I do like him too). The true turning point for me where I became an ardent fan of Kamal was ‘Mahanadhi’. It was a lazy afternoon I just watched the movie by chance on a missed appointment. I was reflecting and thinking about the movie for the rest of the day.

2) How do you prepare yourself before the release of one of his new films?
The main preparation I do for Kamal’s new films is to stay away from any news or promotions of the film. I do not read even the taglines. My friends and family know about this. Where I have control, I avoid any exposure to the promos. I have run out of railway stations in Chennai, I have requested video shops within Grocery shops in Eastham to change the media if it happens to be any TV promos or shows where they talk about the movie – what not :). There were exceptions to this recently for Vishwaroopam and Uthama Villain where I watched the trailer. But It still excites me to go and watch his movies without any idea about the movie. I have not watched or read anything about Thoongavanam yet :) and I try my level best to go alone for Kamal’s movie to fully feel that experience. I am choosy right from the centre row centre seating etc. – call me a fanatic :)


3) Tell us how you are feeling prior to the release of Thoongavanam? What in particular excites you about this Movie?
I do not know anything about Thoongavanam except that Prakash Raj is also in the movie but I really hope it’s a commercial comeback for Kamal. Prakash Raj is a very good actor too and I hope this movie exploits both Kamal’s and Prakash Raj’s talent.

4) Obviously we want to know what your favourite film of Kamal Sir is and what film have you seen the most number of times?
Where do I start Salangai Oli, Unnal Mudiyum Thambi, Mahanadhi, Raja Parvai, Nayakan, Guna, Pesum Padam, Thevar Magan, Hey Ram, Virumandi, Anbe Shivam – Sorry did you ask one. Just one Kamal’s movie…. sorry? I have seen all of the movies over and over again but statistically Pancha Thanthiram might top for number of times seen.

Which of his films made you laugh the most?
Pancha Thanthiram. Amazing movie and a bible for actors on timing and teamwork. Still elates my mood any day.

Which of his films made you cry the most?
Salangai Oli, Mahanadhi, Anbe Shivam

5) If you had to pick a ” Golden Scene” of Kamal Sir’s to lock away in a Time Capsule for future generations, which one would it be?
The Invitation Scene from Salangai Oli; Anbe Shivam Madhavan and Kamal scene; Several Scenes from Hey Ram; Pammal K Sambandham – when Simran reveals breakup. Again can I have a big locker inside the time capsule to lock up please?

6) Living in the UK, have you had an opportunity to connect with Fellow Fans or if you did meet a group of hard-core fans like yourself, how would you celebrate Your Hero?
I am part of Kamal Hassan’s fan group in Facebook and I also have connected to few hard-core Kamal fans through my blog, but I have not met/connected here in the UK or made any conscious effort to connect with them. However Vishwaroopam opening show experience was fantastic with fellow fans – but with all honesty it was nothing like Rajini movies.

7) Apart from his acting, what personal qualities and values of Kamal Sir do you admire the most and try to live by?
His dedication, preparation and hard work are qualities I admire the most in him. He does justice to all his roles for his part. Absolutely thorough and brings that conviction. Leave the popular examples, but who else could bring that romance with Kovai Sarala as in Sathi Leelavathi, his perfect dialogue dialect in Virumandi and the body language of the Sandiyar. I can keep going on.

8) Many say that Hollywood has missed out on showcasing this Great Legend. If there was an English Movie that you think Kamal Sir should have done which one is it and what role?
I strongly agree Kamal is a great legend and would have been very successful in Hollywood. As it stands he has not acted in Hollywood movies. Hollywood movies and Tamil movies have a huge difference in the culture, emotions, nuances, style and setting of scenes. If I am to name any good /popular /best Hollywood movies – they already have been done by eminent actors who have done justice to those roles. For an analogy Kamal has done Papanasam, which was done by Mohan Lal in Malayalam and Ajay Devgan in Hindi. They all have done equally well in their language. So rather than naming a Hollywood movie, I would love to cast Kamal in a new one and I believe he would make a good casting on a political drama rather than action genre. On a different note I would cast him on Sandilyan’s Kadal Pura – that would be awesome

9) Give us 3 reasons why we should buy tickets for Thoongavanam and watch it on Big Screen?
1. Only with turnouts there will be a market for Tamil films in the UK. Otherwise there will be no more distribution in the future, which will leave you with no option for the movies you want to watch on Big Screen.
2. True cinema can only be experienced on Big Screen.
3. Needless to say its Kamal’s Movie :)

10) Have you ever met him? If you did get a chance, what would you do / say?
I have not met him yet. Have been dying to meet him and was trying through few links. Do you know any links? Well if I meet him I think I would be overwhelmed and taking a snap with him would be going in my mind. But questions would depend on where and how I meet him.

THOONGAVANAM – UK Premiere at Boleyn Cinemas on Monday November 9th.
– Cineworld Release from November 10th

Those of you interested in Renga’s Blog please visit

BBFC Rating

  • TYPE Feature
  • RELEASE DATES 10/11/2015
  • BBFCINSIGHT strong violence
  • GENRE(S) Thriller, Crime
  • DIRECTOR(S) Rajesh M. Selva
  • CAST INCLUDES Kamal Hassan, Prakash Raj, Trisha, Kishore, Asha Sarath
  • SUMMARY THOONGAVANAM is a crime thriller in which a corrupt cop must return a bag of drugs to a violent gangster in order to get his son back.
  • CUT All known versions of this work passed uncut.