I for IV Sasi
Some people might say that I am choosing IV Sasi because his name starts with I. Initially, this series wasn’t supposed to be an A-Z series and I wanted to have IV Sasi because of his bold film-making and knack of making good commercial entertainers. I consider Guru as of one of the crazy entertainers of Tamil cinema. Having said that, IV Sasi’s scripts have been successfully remade in Tamil. Palaivana Rojakkal ( and Kadamai Kanniyam Kattupadu are perfect examples.
IV Sasi was attracted to the cinema at an early age and moved to Chennai to pursue his dreams. He started his career as an art director and assistant director. His first directorial venture was Utsavam (1975), but he shook the South Indian film industry with his Avalude Raavukal (1978), a movie about a commercial sex-worker played by Seema. It criticised the pseudo-morality of people and openly discussed the life of a sex- worker. He made 150 films and known for introducing a lot of actors including Mammootty, Jayan, Soman and Seema. He also introduced Rajinikanth to Malayalam cinema.
IV Sasi was someone who could balance commercial cinema with critically acclaimed movies. His Malayalam hits include Eetta, Iniyum Puzhayozhukum, Ezham Kadalinakkare, Aarattu, Angadi, Ee Naadu, Ina, Aaroodam (Won the National Award for National Integration), 1921, Inspector Balram, Devasuram and many more.
IV Sasi was a close friend of Kamal Hassan, and it was a bilingual that brought IV Sasi to Tamil movie world. Alauddinum Arputha Vilakkum was a fantasy movie that had a huge star cast including Kamal, Rajini, Gemini Ganesan, RS Manohar, Jaya Bharathi, Sri Priya and SA Ashokan as the Genie (his Aalampana rendition is still famous).
His notable movies in Tamil include Pagalail Oru Iravu (that dealt with the trauma of a young girl who couldn’t comprehend with her first sexual experience and abortion), Guru, Kaali, Ellame Un Kairaasi, and Kolangal.
Break-out movie: Guru
Guru is about a vigilante thief who robs the smugglers and helps the poor. He has an alter ego, Ashok (both characters played by Kamal), who is a philanthropist and businessman. He runs an institute for orphaned children in his mother’s name. He has an arch-nemesis MN Nambiar, with one metal arm and they constantly run-in with each other.
Guru was a Robin Hood movie in Batman setting with a James Bond villain. Although the film was based on a Dharmendra starter Jugnu, Guru was an audacious attempt in Tamil cinema. It was a crazy, weird and fun action movie that had unbelievable (illogical) action sequences, complicated plot that connects everyone and some scintillating western background score from Ilaiyaraaja. In simple words, it’s one of those perfect mass masala entertainers.
The movie was a huge success. It ran for a year, and it completed 3885 houseful shows in 45 days (it was mentioned in the ads)
Movies to watch
- Allauvuthinum Arputha Vilakkum
- Pagalil Oru Iravu