Ace cinematographer PC Sreeram has spilled the beans on one of the best-kept secrets in Kollywood. In a recent interview PC Sreeram has revealed as to how ‘Ulaganayagan’ Kamal Hassan managed the ‘dwarf’ character in the 1989 super-duper hit Apoorva Sagodharargal directed by Singeetham Srinivasa Rao. PC Sreeram was the cinematographer of the film.
Many tasks are possible in today’s film making with the aid of computer technologies, but things were different in the eighties. Kamal Hassan did undergo great physical stress in essaying the much-talked about role of dwarf, one of the two brothers, in Apoorva Sagodharargal which had the then hotties Gouthami and Rupini starring opposite him.
Kamal Hassan had always kept the ‘secret’ about how he managed the dwarf get-up and has never revealed it in public till date. However, PC Sreeram has given ample hint about it now. “Except on a few occasions when Kamal Hassan folded his legs and did reduce his height, all other sequences are the result of ‘trick shots’ by the camera. I would purposely let the camera concentrate on ‘other things’ while Kamal Hassan‘s activities would go unnoticed by the audiences.
“We managed this in many sequences. Kamal Hassan did everything at his disposal to make his fans believe that he had become a ‘dwarf’. We patiently shot the portions involving ‘Appu‘, the dwarf in the film. If the audiences watch the film now, freeze certain sequences and observe carefully, many of the ‘camera tricks’ that we adopted would easily come to light.
“With today’s advanced technology, this would have been a child’s play but the fact that Kamal Hassan chose to do it in those days and did it with aplomb is proof enough of the man’s commitment, dedication and sincerity,” concludes PC Sreeram.