Director R. Balki says that 'Moondram Pirai', the original Tamil version of the film 'Sadma', is the "most brilliant film" made in the country and had a tremendous influence on him as a filmmaker.
"Since I was in 10th standard, I was quite sure that I'll do something in films. Actually there was a neighbour of mine who would take me to a lot of movies. The original Tamil version of 'Sadma', named 'Moondram Pirai', tremendously influenced me," Balki told IANS.
"I feel that it is the most brilliant film made in India, because I had never seen the pain and love story as shown in the film. As soon as I watched it, I thought that it (films) was a beautiful place to be in," he added.
Balki, who has directed films like 'Cheeni Kum', 'Paa', 'Shamitabh' and 'Ki & Ka', said that he watched 'Moondram Pirai' 30 times.
"I watched 'Moondram Pirai' 30 times and have visited each location in Ooty where it has been shot, where the actors were seated and where they had gone for a walk... I was so influenced by the film, it was so deep," he added.
Released in 1982, 'Moondram Pirai' features actors Kamal Haasan and Sridevi. It won numerous awards including the National Award and its Hindi version comprised the same cast and was released a year later.
About his early years before making his foray in the film industry, Balki said: "I joined a film institute, but I didn't like the atmosphere there, so I joined a computer engineering college nearby. It was interesting, but I was very bored, so I used to play a lot of cricket and watched a lot of movies."
"I was the only person who was mad about films and cricket. I just felt I would never be a computer engineer in my life, so I was just passing time," he added.