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Malayalam Movies and Songs

P Padmarajan

Born23rd May, 1946
Died24th January, 1991
Native PlaceMuthukulam, Alappuzha
CareerDialogue (36), Screenplay (36), Story (32), Direction (18), Editing (1), Singing (1 songs from 1 Movies)
First MoviePrayaanam (1975)
Last MovieNjaan Gandharvan (1991)
ChildrenMadhavikkutty, P Ananthapadmanabhan

In his short life and film career Padmarajan proved himself to be a true genius, excelling in several different fields as a writer, movie dialogue-script writer and movie director. He was born on 23 May 1945 as the sixth of eight children born to Thundathil Ananthapadmanabha Pillai and Njavarakkal Devakiyamma in Muthukulam, Alleppey District. His early schooling was at Muthukulam. After studying at MG College and University College, Thiruvananthapuram, he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in 1963. He then learnt Sanskrit from scholar Cheppad Achyutha Warrier in Muthukulam. In 1965 he took up employment as an announcer at All India Radio, Thrissur. He later transferred to AIR Thiruvananthapuram, working as a news reader and an announcer, and became popular with his distinctive voice and style of delivery, and settled down in Poojappura. He continued working there until he took up voluntary retirement in 1986 due to overwhelming movie commitments.

Padmarajan started his literary career early in life, while in Thrissur, having made acquaintances with prominent literary figures like Ramu Kariyat, MT Vasudevan Nair and Sethu. His first novel, Nakshathrangale Kaaval, won the Kerala Sahithya Academy Awardin 1972, at the age of just 26. Close friendship with Ramu Kariyat piqued Padmarajan's interest in movies and movie making. By age 29 he was completely engrossed in the field. His major literary works were completed during the interludes between movie making. In total he wrote about 15 novels and 120 short stories. His stories gave readers a new, fresh outlook on the world, and provided a keen insight into the evolution of human relationships.

In 1975 Padmarajan wrote his very first film script and dialogue for the movie Prayaanam, which was also Bharathan's first movie as Director. Altogether he has written dialogue and script for about 35 movies. His script was reputedly very precise, with great attention to detail. Even though his dialogue was natural, and in the language of the common man, it had a unique, subtly lyrical quality. All Bharathan - Padmarajan movies turned out to be super hits, popular with the masses, and at the same time highly acclaimed by critics. Padmarajan wrote screen plays for other directors as well, including IV Sasi (Ithaa Ivide Vare, Vaadakaykkoru Hridayam, Kaanaamarayathu), KG George (Raappaadikalude Gaadha), KS Sethumadhavan (Nakshathrangale Kaaval), N Sankaran Nair (Sathrathil Oru Raathri), Mohan (Shaalini Ente Koottukaari, Idavela) and Joshi (Ee Thanutha Veluppaankaalathu).

From script writing, it was only a natural progression for him to turn to directing. Incidentally, Padmarajan has only directed movies based on his own script, based mainly on his own stories. This might explain the clarity and intensity of each finely drawn character in all of his movies. The characters he portrayed were those of strong men and women, people who we may meet in our everyday life. The first movie he directed was Peruvazhiyambalam in 1979. All 18 movies he directed are all-time classics of Malayalam cinema. Cine- goers used to anticipate the next Padmarajan movie to be released, confident that they would be treated to an exemplary cinematic feast at each of his movies, whether he was just the Scriptwriter, or the Director.

His last movie was Njaan Gandharvan (1991). He was under great stress during the production of this movie. Apparently strange things kept happening and people tried to discourage him from making it. But he went ahead and completed it. However, it did not do as well as expected at the box office. During a promotional tour in Calicut, on 23 January 199, he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the Hotel Paramount Towers, plunging his friends and fans alike into shocked disbelief and despair.

He introduced many new faces in his movies, who went on to become some of the greatest and most loved stars of Malayalam cinema. Ashokan, Rasheed, Rahman, Suresh Gopi, Shobhana, Sumalatha, Jayaram, Ajayan, Nitish Bharadwaj, Suhasini and Shaari. Mohanlal, Mammootty, Nedumudi Venu and Thilakan gave stellar performances in his movies. Some of Padmarajan's assistants (Blessy, Suresh Unnithan) went on to become full fledged directors in their own right.

Padmarajan is survived by his wife Radhalakshmi Padmarajan, a son Ananthapadmanabhan, and a daughter Madhavikkutty. Both Ananthapadmanabhan and Madhavikkutty appeared in Peruvazhiyambalam. Later, Madhavikkutty also acted in Thinkalaazhcha Nalla Divasam.


National Awards
National Award for Best Malayalam Movie (1979) - Peruvazhiyambalam
National Award for Best Malayalam Movie (1985) - Thinkalaazhcha Nalla Divasam

Kerala State Awards
Best Second Film (1979) - Peruvazhiyambalam
Best Script Writer for 1978, 1979, 1984, 1988
Most Acclaimed Movie (1983) - Koodevide

Film Fare Awards
Best Malayalam Movie (1983) - Koodevide
Best Director (1988) - Aparan
Best Screenplay for Itha Ivide Vare (1977), Rathinirvedam (1978), Thakara (1979)

Indian Panorama Selection
Peruvazhiyambalam, Koodevide, Thinkalaazhcha Nalla Divasam

Film Critics award
Itha Ivide Vare, Peruvazhiyambalam, Oridathoru Phauyalvaan, Novemberinte Nashtam, Koodevide, Namukku Paarkkaan Munthirithoppukal. Nombarathippoovu.

International Award
Asian Film Festival, Kuala Lumpur (1982)
Best Film, Best Screen Play - Oridathoru Phayalvaan

Documentary " Ode of Ocean" ( "Kadalkkaattiloru Doothu", 2009 ) by Rajesh Menon

Prepared by: Dr. Susie Pazhavarical


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