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Thevar Magan (The Chieftainís Son)/1992: Sivaji Ganesan, Kamal Hassan, Nasser, Gautami, Revathy. Directed by Bharatan

Kamalís story and script, and Bharatanís powerful direction, made this a film to savor.

The US-educated Kamal returns to his ancestral village with girlfriend Gautami in tow; his Western values donít quite gel with those of his village chieftain father Sivaji Ganesan, who hopes he will follow in the traditional path of the proud, clan-oriented Thevars.

An innocent incident assumes cataclysmic proportions. Kamal is forced, step by step, to repudiate the values imbibed through education, and revert to the mores that are part of his genetic makeup.

The film, remade by Priyadarshan as Viraasat in Hindi, with Anil Kapoor in the lead, did not grip quite as much; much of the credit for the excellence of the original owes to how well the storyteller, and the director, rooted the film in the unique, yet universally (in Tamil Nadu) recognisable milieu of the Thevars.

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