Sasikumar first broke onto the Tamil film scene with his the 2008 low-budget film Subramaniyapuram (2008) that won him significant critical praise with many calling it one of the strongest directorial debuts in recent memory. Since then, he directed another feature – Easan (2010), and has starred in several Tamil films, including Asuravadham (2018) which released last week. In our interview with the artist, we asked him to name some of his favourite films by directors he looks up to. Here are his picks:
Amongst Mahendran sir's films, I love 2 films specifically. One is Mullum Malarum, obviously. He portrayed Rajini sir in a completely different way. I used to love that Kali character that Rajni sir portrayed. The second film is Nandu.
Another film of Mahendran which I loved was Udhiri Pookal. Vijayan sir's character in that movie was really amazing. Especially that climax scene of that movie impressed me a lot. In that, an entire town had cornered him and he'd deliver a dialogue. I used to love that dialogue because that one dialogue summarised the entire plot of the film – it was something along the lines of – "Idhu vara naan dhan kettavan nenachen, ippo theridhu neengalum kettavanga aaiteenga nu" (I thought I was the bad guy, but now I have realised that all of you have become bad guys).
His debut film, 16 vayadhinile is one of my most favourite of his films, because he made all those artists stand out as the character they were portraying, and that is where he dominated as a director. 16 vayadhinile had stars like Rajni sir, Kamal sir and Sri Devi madam, but even today when we watch that movie we remember only Mayilu, Chappani and Parattai. So that inspired my movies also because if you see my movies I have given that importance to the naming of the characters. When you see a film with a star, the star will stand out in the film, but when it comes to new comers, their characters will have a good reach and that is what happened with Subramaniyapuram, as their characters got a good reach among the audience. That is why I love 16 vayadhinile.
Another movie I loved was Mudhal Mariyadhai. Especially the love story in that film is one of my favourites.
Balachander sir's Aval Oru Thodarkadhai is my most favourite of his films. The way he displayed as to how a woman should be in this society was so bold and beyond its time. Then, I loved Sindhu Bhairavi. It was like a musical film, involving Carnatic music. He even did another version of musical films, in Ninaithale Inikkum. During those days, only in English films, we had witnessed something called as a 'musical' film. He made everyone enjoy Carnatic music through Sindhu Bhairavi. This is because of the combination of Ilayaraja sir and Balachander sir. Also, it was possible only because of writing such an amazing script.
Thanneer Thanneer was also another movie by Balachander, which I really enjoyed watching. He spoke about the water problem, which even today is still prevalent everywhere.
Moondram Pirai. No other movie will take that pedestal. It is such a beautiful movie which inspired me a lot, and a movie which taught me a lot. That climax scene, the realness that the movie exhibited, the dialogues were all very beautiful.