Cinematographer and director Balu Mahendra no more

Cinematographer and director Balu Mahendra passes away
Veteran cinematographer and director Balu Mahendra passes away today (Feb.13) in the morning. He was 74 and was admitted to Vijaya hospital in Chennai, after feeling a chest pain. Following his critical condition, he suffered a heart attack. He was considered among first filmmakers, who had introduced ingenious visual adaptation in South Indian cinema.

 Balu Mahendra began his career as cinematographer reportedly through Malayalam cinema, where he held camera for movies like "Panimudakku" (1972),
"Sasthram Jayichu Manushyan Thottu" (1972) and "Kaliyugam" (1973). But his best work as cinematographer came in 1974 with Ramu Kariat directed Malayalam movie "Nellu", for which he bestowed upon Kerala state film award. During this period till 1976, He worked with directors like K S Sethumadhavan, P N Menon and Bharathan.

 Soon he turned to direction with Kannada movie "Kokila" (1977), starring Kamal Hassan, Shoba, Mohan, Roja Ramani and others. The movie won best cinematography at National Film award and later he directed many movies and in Malayalam his directorial are "Olangal" (1982), "Oomakkuyil" (1983) and "Yathra" (1985).

 Balu Mahendra also directed well known Hindi movie "Sadma" starring Kamal Hassan and Sridevi in lead. "Aur Ek Prem Kahani" is the other Hindi movie he had directed. He married actress Shoba in 1978, but it turn despair for him with Shoba committed suicide at the age of 17. It was also known that K G George directed "Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback" to an extent was based on the life of Shoba.

 Balanathan Benjamin Mahendran was born and brought up in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. After his graduation from London University, he joined FTTI (Film and Television Institute of India) in Pune, for cinematography course. Altogether five National film awards speaks itself his magnitude in Indian cinema.

 One of the finest actor, writer and director Venu Nagavally was one of Balu Mahendra's gift to Malayalam cinema, as he introduced the actor to K G George for the role in "Ulkkadal"

 Balu Mahendra had tried his hands on cinematography, editing, scripting and direction to explore more undefined perspective in film making.

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