A contrarian world: Balu Mahendra: Artist, Plagiarist and Philanderer
Following the passing away of Balu Mahendra, Director Bala talks of his relationship with the veteran filmmaker. Balanathan Benjamin Mahendran Other names, Mahendra, Balu, Bala Mahendran .. The film was about the relationship between an ageing man and his Deus which means mother of god, due to Portuguese influence on the port city. Balu Mahendra (I) on IMDb: Movies, Tv, Celebrities, and more 2) Bala: "Balu Mahendra sthanathila inga vandhe aaganum nu Ram . Thank god, that hasn't happened! .. I shared close relationship with Balu Mahendra: Kamal Haasan.
Mahendra received a Filmfare nomination for Best Story and became a well-known director with the Hindi audience with the film. Unlike Olangal, Oomakkuyil failed to create an impact among the audience. Later Mahendra noted that he made the film with a sole intention to prove critics that he could make commercial films.
Closely based on the American film Micki and Maudethe film is regarded as one of the best comedies ever made in Tamil cinema during the decade.
Balu Mahendra, master of complex relationships
While Veedu focused on the life of a lower middle-class urban woman and her struggle to build a house,   Sandhya Raagam dealt with "old age". Night Shyamalanthen a newcomer, approached Mahendra to be the cinematographer for his directorial debut Praying with Anger to which he refused.
Mahendra made the film as he felt it was close to his personal life. The film was based on the psychological thriller novel Misery by Stephen King.
Initially he stated that the film to be an extension of his film Azhiyatha Kolangal. The film was loosely based on his own Malayalam film Yathra released in When asked about the difference between the two films, he said "Yat[h]ra was the love story of two adults, this is the love story of two adolescents. As such they are of topical interest beyond just salaciousness.
Tamils while being conservative when it comes to the morals of their fellow citizens they will tolerate, in fact applaud, their politicians and movie fraternity to flout all morals. Bigamous politicians are feted. Archana and Easwari Rao stood at the near the head of Balu's lifeless body caressing the casket. Balu's wife Akila sat in a chair nearby.
Life is stranger than fiction indeed. In what caused a minor sensation Archana and director Bala prevented Mounika from seeing her beloved. This was a gross disrespect to Balu who had openly and categorically stated that he was indeed married to Mounika.
Master craftsman who was also a great teacher
They shaped our ideas of entertainment and art which I had to unlearn with effort. Musing on mortality is something that hangs over my thoughts always. Just last week as I was listening to an 80's song I was thinking ruefully that they are all aging and many cannot even walk.
The grim reaper awaits several of them. When Rajini had a serious health scare I felt sad. It does speak volumes of the man. Kannadasan once ignited a rumor that he was dead just to see how many really loved him.
Balu's soul can take comfort from how his cherished proteges flocked to his funeral. Balachander and Bharathiraja openly sobbed. Balachander whenever he suffered losses from his artsy movies he would produce a commercial movie, usually starring Rajini, but directed by somebody else.
Two things irked me about the funeral though. First, for a man whose art was all about subtle aestheticism his funeral had no semblance of it.
His body was tossed about hither and thither while being loaded onto the caravan and while being brought down. People were just milling around and jostling each other both when his body lay in state and all through the funeral. Only Kamal Hasan wrote a half-decent obituary. I was disappointed to read the eulogies of Bala, Bava Chelladurai and Suka. This is pornography of grief. We are all mortals and we hope the reaper would not take us before we had our fill of this life.
When film musician Mahesh died young of cancer Kamal wrote a beautiful obituary for his friend titled "Mahesh: Celebratory worshipper of life" Mahesh: Even now only Kamal spoke of man being mortal and that he came to the funeral as an expression of thanks to the life that Balu had led and for the impact he made on many lives in that period.
I can sympathize that for Bava, Suka and Bala it is a deep personal loss.
- Balu Mahendra
- “Balu Mahendra never liked my films” - director Bala
- Balu-Mahendra topics
But Balu, aged 74, had been ill for a few years. Death is not even understood as an ever present shadow. Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman shockingly died young due to heroin overdose. He was a drug addict. The film has two parallel story arcs that come together in the end. One is the story of Rudran, a boy deserted in Varanasi by his parents, who grows to become an aghori and returns to his native village in South India on the bidding of his guru.
The other arc is that of a blind beggar girl and her cohort who are kept enslaved in a dingy, underground den by the evil Thaandavan.Balu Mahendra on Bala
Rudran, the aghori played by Arya in the film, wears the same chain of skulls as Bala. Watch the trailer here: Chithan is an orphan who grows up in a graveyard. He befriends Shakthi, who makes a living by selling petty items with cooked-up stories.
The film explores the bonds that form between these four misfits and whether Chithan can fit into a normal society. This song from Pithamagan gives you a beautiful snapshot of their relationship: Raw Realism From the plots of Naan Kadavul and Pithamagan, it must be apparent that Bala tends to focus on lives of people we brush aside, out of fear or repulsion.
His characters are people we rarely encounter, or have no need to meet. Yet, when they appear on screen, they feel real. Other Tamil filmmakers from the realism wave like Balaji Sakthivel, Vetrimaran and Manikandan present a carefully constructed and chiseled realism. These rough edges around the corner make his films more realistic. You will see only see coins dropping into bowls of the beggars or legs walking past them.