balu mahendra



Tamil cinematographer and director, born in Sri Lanka as Benjamin Mahendra, he developed an early interest in photography. He did his graduation at the London University and later studied cinematography at FTII, Pune. He pioneered innovative camera style for colour in South Indian. He worked mainly in Malayalam for directors like Sethumadhavan and P N Menon. He made his first film in Kannada and later directed films mainly in Malayalam and Tamil and regards his Malayalam films, made with greater freedom in a less demanding economic system as his personal works. Some of his well known works in Tamil are Veedu, Sandhya Ragam and Moondram Pirai.




Selected Filmography:


Olangal - 1982
(The Ripples)

Life goes on happily for the couple of Ravi and Radha, who live along with their only daughter until Father John arrives at the city along with the young boy Raju, Ravi's son in an affair with Reetha before his marriage with Radha. Now he has to keep the boy with him for a month before the Father takes the boy abroad.

Ravi introduces the boy to his wife as the son of a dead fried, George and she happily accepts to keep the boy with them. But the truth emerges out when the 'dead friend' visits their house. The six year long relationship between Ravi and Radha shatters…


Direction & Screenplay: Balu Mahendra
Cast: Amol Palekar, Poornima Jayaram, Ambika, Adoor Bhasi
Cinematography: Balu Mahendra
Editing: D Vasu
Music: Ilaiyaraja



Yathra - 1985
(The Journey)

The story unfolds as Unnikrishnan, a convict, now free from the jail tells his tragic love story to his fellow passengers in a bus. A forest officer by profession, he falls in love with a local girl, Thulasi, during his stay at a forest area. They decide to get married and he sets off to inform his marriage to his best friend. On his way back the police arrest him mistaking him as a terrorist. There he accidentally kills a police man and gets life imprisonment. After long years of torments in the jail he goes to meet Thulasi, and she waiting for him…


Direction & Screenplay: Balu Mahendra
Cast: Mammootty, Shobhana, Adoor Bhasi, Thilakan
Cinematography: Balu Mahendra
Editing: D Vasu
Music: Ilaiyaraja





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