Tamil Features

Anjali, Thillu Mullu: A Few of Chandran’s Favourite Films

Chandran declares early on that he’s not an avid reader. He reads ‘Indian author books’ and finds them quite interesting. Inspiring stuff? Not that much, he shrugs.


An avid traveller perhaps? Similar to his role in Kayal…? “No, no! It is quite hard to live like that in this concrete jungle. Andha mindset varadhu konjam kashtam.

Mention movies though, and he lights up. He looks to some iconic films (and filmmakers) for inspiration, he informs me. Named after that infamous scene in Mouna Raagam, it is of no surprise when Chandran (aka Chandramouly) mentions that director Mani Ratnam is his favourite. Kamal Haasan too, finds pride of place in the list of people who continually inspire him to do better. “I’m a huge huge fan,” he grins. Alongside other greats like K Balachander and Mahendran. “The people I look up to, look up to them. And so, I love them too!”


Kamal Haasan’s passion project is quite close to Chandran’s heart too. The non-linear narrative, the beautiful love story at the core of the film…they are all things that invoke a sense of wonder in the actor to this day. “Kamal sir showed us a piece of Tamil Nadu culture and identity that we are not greatly aware of. The people in the film, that village, its politics…they are all amazing. I loved this film.”



Mani Ratnam’s Anjali holds a special place in Chandran’s list. The film was way ahead of its time, Chandran firmly believes. “No one else would have the guts to make a movie about a 3-year-old child. That too, in the 90s. I believe that the film was India’s official Oscar entry around the year that it released. That’s just way too cool!”


Chandran found the political saga riveting. “There were so many things that I learnt watching this movie. It speaks about Tamil Nadu politics at a day and age when others dare not even mention it. It’s such a contentious issue, but then Mani Ratnam sir was never one to back down because of opposition, right?”

Thillu Mullu

Chancey illadha padam, Chandran exclaims. “KB sir was someone who always focussed on triangular relationships, affairs and such. And then suddenly he makes a movie like this – an out-and-out comedy. That too with a kickass performance by all the artistes. What’s not to like about it?”

Uthiri Pookkal

Mani Ratnam once said that if he could make a film like this, he’d happily retire. Chandran tells me that he found the film a learning experience, too. “A legendary filmmaker talking about another like this is rare, isn’t it?