When Kamal Hassan Inspired Quentin Tarantino!

By Aditya Savnal. Posted on October 05, 2015

Quentin Tarantino is one of those rare filmmakers who is unabashedly vocal of his inspirations and had once famously remarked ' I steal from every movie made'.

So it was not surprising when a few years ago, reports surfaced that O-Ren Ishii's famous animated flashback in Kill Bill was apparently inspired from another film. Surprisingly, the source of inspiration was rumoured to be an Indian film.

Apparently in a conversation with Anurag Kashyap, Tarantino admitted that an Indian film had inspired the famous scene from Kill Bill.

Some internet research (not always reliable) reveals that film critic Naman Ramchandran, who was then with the famous Sight And Sound magazine, had pointed out this inspiration. And when Kashyap met Tarantino at Venice, the latter had reportedly remarked 'Yes, I saw this Indian serial-killer film which showed violence as animated.'

Since there haven't been many serial killer films in India till then and only one of them used animation to show violence, the theory that it was Kamal Hassan's Tamil - Hindi bilingual Abhay/ Aalavandhan directed by Suresh Krissna, gained ground. And if you look at the two scenes side by side, it does seem likely.

Abhay narrated the story of a psychopath Abhay (Kamal Hassan) who hunts down his sister in law (Raveena Tandon) after he believes his estranged brother Vijay (Kamal Hassan, yet again) has married an evil woman. The film was noted for Kamal Hassan's remarkable physical transformation and for exploring some disturbing themes.

Now how true the rumour is can be substantiated only by Anurag or Naman. All we can do is speculate and make intelligent guesses. One must admit that both the scenes do seem similar and may have indeed inspired the iconic filmmaker. And if it is true, then it would be one of the rare instances when the 'West' was inspired by 'India'.

Below is the famous scene from Kill Bill.

And here's the much talked about scene from Abhay that is believed to have inspired Tarantino.

So do you think Tarantino was indeed inspired by Kamal Hassan? Do let us know your views on the same.


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