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Updated: January 26, 2013 04:33 IST

Madhu makes Kerala proud

Special Correspondent
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FOR FILE-----Film star Madhu----Photo:S_Gopakumar.
THE HINDU FOR FILE-----Film star Madhu----Photo:S_Gopakumar.

In 1969, when Amithabh Bachan made his silver screen debut with Saath Hindustani, his fellow actor Madhavan Nair (Madhu to the world) was already a hugely successful star with six years’ of standing in the Malayalam film world.

On Friday when Madhu, 79, was awarded the Padma Shri, it was more than just an acceptance of 50 years of self-effacing work by a thespian. It was also perhaps a salute to a day and age of Malayalam movies that still continues to inspire cinema lovers.

Born in 1933 at Gowreeshapattom here to R. Parameswaran Pillai and Thankamma, Madhu left his first footprints on the silver screen with the acclaimed 1963 movie Ninamaninja Kaalpaadukal. The first movie he acted in, the Ramu Karyat film Moodupadam, was released only afterwards.

The excitement generated by Ninamaninja Kaalpaadukal had hardly died down when Madhu caught the fancy of film lovers through the evergreen movie Bhargavi Nilayam. All this while, he was a student of the National School of Drama after a stint as a lecturer in Hindi at a college in Nagarcoil.

When Ramu Karyat — who was first introduced to Madhu in Delhi by actor Adoor Bhasi — cast the lanky actor as Pareekutty in the film Chemmeen in 1966, history was being made in more ways than one. Chemmeen was music director Salil Chowdhury’s first Malayalam movie and Hrishikesh Mukherjee lent his unmatched editing skills for the first time to a Malayalam movie. The movie also sealed Madhu’s stature as a top-notch star of South India. It also bagged the President’s gold medal. Madhu went on to act in more than 350 films and continues to act to this day. Madhu’s directorial skills were on display in the popular 1970 movie Priya. The director also essayed the role of a villain in the movie. Sindooracheppu (1971), Neelakkannukal (1974) and Theekkanal (1976) were among his directorial successes. The last film he directed was Udayam Padinjaaru (1986) and the movie was later dubbed into English. Madhu has also produced 14 movies, including Asthamayam (1978) and Njan Ekanaanu (1982), which also saw the entry of playback singer K.S. Chithra.

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Ironically Satyan Master, and also Sivaji Ganesan, the legendary actor
evenly remembered from the Tamil film industry didn’t get any coveted
Padma award and the the National Film Award as well. Despite becoming
one of the final nominees for the Best Actor ( National Award), Madhu
was not selected when the vote by the Award Committee Chairman went in
favour of Bengali or Hindi actors! Otherwise he would have two Bharath
Awards.

Unfortunately this year the Padma awards had totally ignored South
Indian artists, scientists or other professionals who had excelled in
respective areas. Kerala must recommend the living legend Madhu for
the prestigious Life Time Achivement Award – Dadasaheb Phalke Award,
India's highest award given annually by the Government of India for
lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: Jan 28, 2013 at 10:38 IST

Recently while receiving the ‘Satyan Smaraka Film Award’ given by the
‘Satyan Fondation’ to commemorate the 100th birthday of the erstwhile
versatile actor and icon SATYAN, Madhu one of the equally legendary
actors of Indian Cinema had gracefully acknowledged the lessons he
could learn from Satyan Master. How many of our new generation actors
who becomes big stars and celebrities overnight will show the sort of
humbleness and remembrance?

Actors like Sarada and Sri Vidya too had sharpened acting skills with
the help of Satyan Master, just like Madhu. These two lady artists
could show the skills with competitive spirit while pairing with Madhu
in movies. Just like Satyan, Madhu too can be studied and followed by
new entrants in acting in Indian movies of all languages. He too had
lived in the depicted roles at a varied range.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: Jan 28, 2013 at 10:27 IST

Truly deserved. BTW, if Rajesh Khanna can be awarded Padmashree posthumously,
why not for Sathyan, one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema? It was due to
the efforts of this great actor, that we have the Malayalam industry as we know it
today. As well, awarding Sathyan, a Padma shree is a recognition to all the unknown
and unsung faces of that period.

from:  Russel
Posted on: Jan 26, 2013 at 21:33 IST

Although belated, the Padma award for thespian Madhu is richly deserved. Madhu was always in the shadows when the duo of Sathyan and Prem Nazir ruled the roost over Malayalam cinema, yet he did come into his own in several films where he excelled in author backed roles.One of the very few survivors of the black and white era, Madhu continues to act in films and is also a sublime presence on the small screen as well.Here is wishing the actor many more years on celluloid.

from:  C V ARAVIND
Posted on: Jan 26, 2013 at 06:11 IST
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