Gemini Ganesh might have been the original 'Kathal Mannan' but the baton passed on to Kamal Haasan in the late 1970s.
A lot of stars have done well in romantic lead roles since but Kamal still holds sway. Surprising since it has been quite a while since we saw Kamal in an out and out romantic film. But come December 23 and Kamal will strike with Cupid's Bow (!) in Manmadhan Ambu which will see him paired with Trisha. A great time to roll back the years and reminisce some of Kamal's most memorable romantic films. (While a lot of Kamal's films are remembered for the special chemistry he shares with his heroines, this is a list of romantic genre films)
1. Apoorva Ragangal (1975): Kamal and Sri Vidhya were just too good together in this K Balachander classic that follows two relationships that involve single parents. Memorable music by MS Viswanathan and top-class performances by the entire cast and a script that was certainly path-breaking and ahead of its time.
2. Madanolsavam : Malayalam (1978): Inspired by the Eric Segal Romantic classic 'Love Story' this was one of Kamal's biggest Malayalam blockbusters. Kamal was paired with Zarina Wahab, one of the dream girls of the 70s. The film also featured timeless music by Salil Chowdhury
3. Raaja Paarvai (1981): Kamal's first foray into production, his 100th film and a film that will always be remembered as one of his sweetest. He and Madhavi (Who has probably never looked better on screen) worked up a terrific chemistry, the songs (Like the evergreen Andhi Mazhai) still haunt us, the visuals were awesome and the climax made us all believe in love!
4. Ek Duje Ke Liye Hindi :(1981): Kamal needed a strong launch pad to announce his arrival to the national audience and his mentor K Balachander gave him just that. He paired with Rati Agnihotri in a reprise of his smash Telugu hit Maro Charitra. It was bigger and better than the original and gave him a Bollywood debut that other stars from the South have failed to eclipse ever since.
5. Moondram Pirai (1982): Kamal won a national award for this performance in this poignant Balu Mahendra film which saw him paired with Sridevi along with whom he formed a winning combination through much of the late 70s and the early 80s. Great visuals, great music and brilliant performances by the lead pair made it one of the landmark films of that decade.
6. Vazhve Mayam (1982): The Tamil version of the ever-popular Devdas and one of Kamal's biggest hit films. While most of the film revolves around his romance with Sreedevi the film also worked because of his awesome screen chemistry with Sri Priya (Who plays a character inspired by Chandramukhi in the original) and the soundtrack.
7. Sagara Sangamam - Telugu (1983): Kamal and Jayapradha were brilliant in this K Vishwanath masterpiece which is also remembered for some brilliant music and classical dance sequences by Kamal.
8. Saagar Hindi (1985): Kamal, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple sizzled in this triangular love story that was almost entirely shot on a painstakingly crafted set. Although Rishi wins Dimple at the end, it was Kamal that garnered all the attention and awards in a brilliant performance and as for Dimple they came back together in Vikram (1986) where she looked even more gorgeous!
9. Punnagai Mannan (1986): Probably the last time the K Balachander-Kamal magic worked. One of Illaiyaraaja's most memorable soundtracks and amazing screen chemistry with both the heroines â€“ Revathi and Rekha make this one of Kamalâ€™s best romantic films.
10. Pushpak (1988): How do you say I love you without saying a word? Kamal and Amala did this in this watershed film that had all the elements: Romance, Humour and a tinge of sadness throughout. A silent film that made a lot of noise and the two of them looked awesome together!