Remembering Bharathan

The late Bharathan

The late Bharathan  

It has been ten years since the ace director died

Wednesday (July 30) marked the 10th death anniversary of Bharathan, the director who painted unforgettable pictures through film.

More than anything else, it is the sensible middle cinema that directors like him and Padmarajan created and nourished that Malayalam filmdom misses most now.

Bharathan was a prolific director; he made some 40 films in a career spanning two decades. More importantly, most of those films were exceptionally good and in an astonishing range.

He directed one of the best thriller in Malayalam, ‘Thazhavaram’; he also made one of the prettiest, ‘Vaishali.’ The man who directed the simple and sensitive ‘Prayanam,’ his first film, also made ‘Amaram,’ a blockbuster with louder emotions.

Consistent genius

‘Thakara.’ ‘Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettom,’ ‘Lorry,’ ‘Kattathe Kilikoodu,’ ‘Ozhivukalam,’ ‘Aaravam,’ ‘Ormakkayi,’ ‘Palangal,’ ‘Ithiripoove Chuvanna Poove,’ ‘Padheyam,’ ‘Venkalam’… It would be a difficult task to pick favourites.

“It certainly is,” says director Jayaraj, Bharathan’s most famous disciple. “Though ‘Thakara,’ ‘Chatta,’ ‘Prayanam,’ ‘Vaishali’ and ‘Thazhvaram’ are on top of my list, I have enjoyed most of his films and learnt all I know about films form those films. As a student, I was mesmerised by his films.”

Babu Thiruvalla, who made a splendid debut as a director with ‘Thaniye,’ is also indebted greatly to Bharathan. “I produced two of his films, ‘Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettom’ and ‘Amaram,’ and was part of many of his films. I believe it is mainly because of my association with him over many years that I could direct a film like ‘Thaniye.’”

Talent spotter

Bharathan had an eye for talent. He gave Malayalam cinema two brilliant talents – Padmarajan, who wrote many scripts for him before himself turning director, and composer Johsnon.

Taste in music

“Bharathan is one of our few directors who knew precisely what kind of music he wanted for a film,” says Johsnon, who gave him unforgettable songs like ‘Gopike…’ (Kattathe Kilikoodu), ‘Rajahamsame…’ (Chamayam) and ‘Melle melle…’ (Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettom). “He was particularly fond of ragas Hindolam and Madhyamavathi, but he gave me total freedom.”

“He had great taste in music, knew how to make each frame perfect and always dared to experiment,” says Jayaraj. “He was a perfect director.”

P.K. Ajith Kumar

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