Every audio launch is entertaining. But, not all are memorable. Perhaps because there is no Kamal Haasan in every event, and not all are as well-organised as Uttama Villain‘s.
The audio launch of Uttama Villain was replete with moments that were touching, hilarious and unforgettable. A quick roundup here.
1. An Ode to K Balachander
About five years ago, the late filmmaker K Balachander had written a poignant letter to Kamal Haasan, about how much he adored the actor. Kamal Haasan has an audio of Balachander reading out the letter, which was played at the music launch of Uttama Villain. In the English letter – that sounded like a poem – Balachander declared that he didn’t discover Kamal Haasan, but he gave him the opportunity to discover himself. The letter was a fitting introduction to the actor, who appeared on stage to thunderous applause, when the text on screen faded. A visibly emotional Kamal Haasan had penned a beautiful poetry, in response to his mentor’s letter. The audio of Kamal Haasan reciting the poem – written in pure Tamil – was also played. Kamal Haasan then wielded the microphone and said, “Andha nilavin nizhal dhaan naan! I shall do all that he had wanted to. I see him in myself.” Balachander’s wife and his family were in tears.
2. Acting, The Panacea
Nasser’s son suffered grave injuries in a road accident when the actor was on the sets of Uttama Villain. While it took him about an hour to reach the hospital where his son was being treated, Kamal Haasan had phoned Nasser every once in a while to share updates on his son’s condition. “Through his sources, Kamal knew how my son was doing. He could have asked his manager to keep me updated. But like a cricket commentator, he gave regular updates,” said Nasser at the audio launch. Nasser chose to resume work in two days, for he wanted a distraction. “As per the schedule, I had no scene that day, so the sets were removed. Just because I went to work that day, Kamal gave instructions to erect the sets again, and shoot a scene. Just for me. If I hadn’t come that day, I am not sure when I would have resumed acting. I might forget all the 500 films that I have done. But not Uttama Villain,” said Nasser, as tears rolled down his cheeks.
3. A Bow to the Bow-man
The veteran villu pattu artiste and writer, Subbu Arumugam was honoured by Kamal Haasan at the event. The octogenarian had written the song Uttaman Introduction for the film, which Kamal Haasan rendered along with Subbu Arumugam. The duo was joined by other writers and lyricists like Dr G Gnanasambandan, Madhan Karky, Viveka, Lingusamy and Parthiban, and they discussed Uttama Villain songs.
Kamal Haasan’s favourite line from Uttaman Introduction song:
Arasayilvaadhi avan unmaiyai sonnaar pol, adhisayam naanum kanden.
4. The Closet Singer
As the actress sang over four lines without faltering, we could hear a male voice humming along. It didn’t take more than a second to guess whose voice it was. Kamal Haasan and Parvathy rendered a flawless impromptu performance.
5. The Secret
Urvashi was a little shy when she revealed that she knew she was pregnant when she signed the Uttama Villain contract. “But I didn’t tell anybody because I was going to be a part of Kamal Haasan‘s movie after a long time. I didn’t want to miss the chance,” she said, stifling a chuckle. However, three days after the shoot began, Kamal Haasan found out that she was expecting. “Enna ma? Apdiya?” Kamal Haasan had asked Urvashi, caressing an invisible bump. She had felt relieved. “Gautami and Kamal Haasan did all they could to keep me happy and comfortable during the shoot.” When her schedule was complete, Kamal Haasan instructed Urvashi to finish dubbing, too. “I wondered why when we had a lot of time in hand. But three days after I finished, I had my baby. Avarukku ellaam theriyum…” she giggled.
6. The Call
Kamal Haasan made a quick phone call at the audio launch. It might have looked slightly staged, but it was still fun. He called Shruti Haasan, who told him that she was in Mumbai. Kamal Haasan asked Shruti to appear on FaceTime and requested her to check her phone. “I have sent Uttama Villain songs to you. Listen to them and tell me what you think,” he told her. She promised to listen and started to talk about a guy whom she had met. Kamal Haasan quickly stopped her, and revealed that she was being watched by 2,000 people. An embarrassed Shruti then waved goodbye, saying, “Ellaarum irukaangannu sollirkalaam appa…”
7. The Thirrupathi Brothers Tale
For the uninitiated, Lingusamy’s Anandham was partially autobiographic. It was loosely based on his relationship with his three brothers. Lingusamy and his brother Subash Chandrabose are active in the industry. But, their two other brothers – the dormant members of their production house – run a grocery store in their village. For the first time, an emotional Lingusamy introduced his brothers to the world. What made it more memorable was Kamal Haasan held their hands, ushered them to the stage, and said, “Thirrupathi brothers-la anjaavadha naan vandhurukken!”
Also, Parthiban missed no opportunity to crack quick jokes about Kamal Haasan’s “talent” to kiss. However, Kamal Haasan, the sport that he is, laughed heartily every time.