Kamaraj is a Tamil biographical film directed by Balakrishnan made about the life of the Indian politician K. Kamaraj from Tamil Nadu, widely acknowledged as the "Kingmaker" in Indian politics during the 1960s. He was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu during 1954-1963 and a Member of Parliament during 1952-1954 and 1969-1975.
Music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja and the film was produced by Ramana Communications. The film had a theatrical release across India in February 2004. In 2013, Balakrishnan revealed that the film would have a re-release with fifteen extra scenes edited into the film.
Richard Madhuram's death in 2005 meant that his son Pradeep Madhuram essayed scenes which needed the protagonist while Vijayakumar was featured as Periyar. Scenes were later digitalised and extra portions featuring actor Samuthirakani were filmed in June 2014.
The narration is divided into three phases. The pre-Independence period, depicting Kamaraj's childhood, the influence of Satyamurthy, Kamarajs growth as a politician and his prison life.
The second phase depicts his taking over as the Congress Chief Minister of the state, the reforms he tries to bring in, especially in education, his largesse and his bending the rules for a good cause-like for the urgent eye-operation of a kid.
It also displayed his sense of humour (like his response when his mother in the village sends word that she needed a fan and a blanket), his refusal to take advantage of his position (asking for the newly installed tap to be removed from his village-house).
The third phase where he puts forth the Kamaraj Plan, resigns from the post of CM, involves himself in party work; his influence on national politics, his emergence as a kingmaker and finally his disillusionment with the emerging non-ethics in political life.
The closing scene (taken from the record files of the actual funeral), show swarms of humanity mourning the death of their beloved leader.
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Tamil Best of 2017