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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

He epitomised the restive youth

N.J. Nair


Venu Nagavally lent a refreshing sensibility to the celluloid.


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When actor and filmmaker Venu Nagavally passed away in the wee hours of Thursday, curtains were drawn on a productive phase of Malayalam cinema that reflected the emotions of the responsive common man.

Venu Nagavally entered the world of movies through the vestibule of All India Radio and epitomised the restive youth who reacted sharply against the post-Emergency repression in the State. Well before registering his presence in Malayalam movies as an accomplished actor-director, he had carved a space for himself among Malayalis who dutifully listened to the radio, the sole means of entertainment those days. Apart from routine programmes, he used to present music-based productions featuring film songs.

The late Padmarajan identified his talent and introduced him to K.G. George. Thus began an endearing journey—starting from George's Ulkkadal—which saw him lent a refreshing sensibility to the celluloid in about 35 films, the last being Bhagyadevatha directed by Satyan Anthikkad.

Director Lenin Rajendran made optimum use of his talent as an actor in his films. The revolutionary Madathil Appu in Lenin's Meenamasathile Sooryan and the soft and romantic hero of Chillu earned him rich encomiums as an actor. Lenin also used his resourceful voice to give life to the character of Swati Tirunal that was portrayed by Anantnag in a movie made on the royal composer. Anantnag had only a faint resemblance with the original character, but the resounding voice of Venu made it more credible and convincing.

Venu Nagavally had also found himself comfortable acting in the films of Balachandra Menon. He had got an opportunity to express his talent as a singer in a movie by Mr. Menon.

Short-story writing was Venu's forte, but it did not get due attention. His writing skills became more evident in screenplays like Gayathri Devi Ente Amma and Artham. The screenplay of hilarious super-hit movie Kilukkam was written by him.

In film-making, Venu was inspired by his passionate friendship with the late footballer Simon, poet Kunju Pillai and such others to do his first film, Sukhamo Devi. The lead character played by Sankar closely resembled the filmmaker himself. Lal Salaam too narrated the story of a strong friendship on a political canvass.

His yearning for poetry and music was quite evident in most of the 12 films he made. They contributed some of the best songs to the genre of Malayalam film music.

As a director, Venu Nagavally will be remembered for a long time to come for his works based on strong scripts and excellent casting.

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