Karnataka

Director Vijay passes away

Karnataka Bengaluru 10/10/2020 Veteran fillm director Vijay ( Vijay reddy) with actor Rajesh Khanna   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

Veteran film-maker B. Vijaya Reddy, better known as Vijay in the Kannada film industry, passed away in Chennai on Friday. The 84-year-old is most remembered for his collaboration with Dr. Rajkumar to deliver some of his super-hit films.

He is survived by wife, two sons, and two daughters. “He was ill for some time now and hospitalised. He suffered a cardiac arrest on Friday evening and passed away,” said his son B. Nagi Reddy.

Hailing from Tadepalligudem, West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, he went to the then Madras seeking to become an actor, but later worked as a technician and eventually turned film-maker. He debuted in Kannada with Rangamahal Rahasya, a thriller in 1970, which became a runaway hit.

Karnataka Bengaluru 10/10/2020 Veteran fillm director Vijay ( Vijay reddy)

Karnataka Bengaluru 10/10/2020 Veteran fillm director Vijay ( Vijay reddy)   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

His big break came when M.P. Shankar selected him to direct Gandhada Gudi in 1973, for which Shankar had written the story himself. The phenomenal success of the film kicked off a long association with Dr. Rajkumar, with whom he went on to make nine films. He was also all set to direct Bhakta Ambareesha with Dr. Rajkumar in 2000, but the film got shelved due to health issues of the late actor. Puneeth Rajkumar tweeted condolences on Saturday, remembering his days when he acted as young Prahlada in Bhakta Prahlada.

Vijay also directed several other leading men of Kannada cinema — Anant Nag in Naa Ninna Bidalare, Shankar Nag in Auto Raja, which made the late actor-director a mass hero, and Vishnuvardhan in Deva, among others.

Karnataka Bengaluru 10/10/2020 Veteran fillm director Vijay ( Vijay reddy) with actors Dr Rajkumar , Ambika and Amitabh Bachchan during the sets of Kannada film Baktha Prahalada

Karnataka Bengaluru 10/10/2020 Veteran fillm director Vijay ( Vijay reddy) with actors Dr Rajkumar , Ambika and Amitabh Bachchan during the sets of Kannada film Baktha Prahalada   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

Vijay was not only one of the most prolific, but also one of the most successful film-makers of Kannada of the 1970s and 1980s. “Whatever he made was a massive hit and he came to be known as a man with the Midas touch. But it was his extreme hard work that made him successful,” said producer K.C.N. Chandrashekhar. He produced the Dr. Rajkumar-starrer Huliya Haalina Mevu that Vijay directed. “He traversed several genres of cinema — mythological, historical, social, adventure and thrillers — with great ease. Most of his films were not only massive hits of his times, but have also aged well. His screenplays were tight and had the right amount of emotion. I remember being blown away by his debut film Rangamahal Rahasya, a fine thriller,” observed Puttaswamy, a Kannada film critic and historian.

“The narratives of Kannada cinema history often only celebrate Puttanna Kanagal, Siddalingaiah and those who worked in parallel cinema, but tend to neglect the contribution of film-makers like Vijay who sustained the industry with their hits. Most of the films Vijay made are identified with the stars, not giving enough credit to him,” Mr. Puttaswamy said.

(Clockwise from top left) Veteran director Vijay with N.T. Rama Rao, Dr. Rajkumar, and Vishnuvardhan; with actor Rajesh Khanna; on a film set with Dr. Rajkumar, Ambika, and Amitabh Bachchan; and with Ustad Bismillah Khan during the shooting of Kannada film Sanadi Appanna.

(Clockwise from top left) Veteran director Vijay with N.T. Rama Rao, Dr. Rajkumar, and Vishnuvardhan; with actor Rajesh Khanna; on a film set with Dr. Rajkumar, Ambika, and Amitabh Bachchan; and with Ustad Bismillah Khan during the shooting of Kannada film Sanadi Appanna.  

Production company

Vijay floated a production house — Vijaya Shekhar Productions — with another director V. Somashekhar and went on to produce several films. Vijay also directed 17 Hindi and six Telugu films, where he worked with the reigning stars of the time such as Dharmendra, Shatrughan Sinha, Anil Kapoor, and Mithun Chakraborty.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 11:40:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/director-vijay-passes-away/article32823283.ece

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