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Ace Malayalam film director K S Sethumadhavan passes away- Cinema express

Ace Malayalam film director KS Sethumadhavan passes away

Sethumadhavan who won 10 national awards and 8 state awards was bestowed the J C Daniel Award for lifetime contributions in 2009.
 

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Published: 24th December 2021

Ace Malayalam film director KS Sethumadhavan, who created many classic movies based on established literary works passed away at his residence in Chennai on Friday morning, at the age of 90.

Sethumadhavan who won 10 national awards and 8 state awards was bestowed the JC Daniel Award for lifetime contributions in 2009.

Born to Subrahmanyam and Lakshmi in Palakkad in 1931, Sethumadhavan completed his degree in biology at Government Victoria College in Palakkad. His first Malayalam film was Gnana Sundari, which was based on a short story by writer Muttathu Varkey. He went on to direct 64 films and a notable number of his films were adaptations of famous literary works.

His most acclaimed movies are Odayil Ninnu based on a novel by P Kesavadev, Daham, Sthanarthi Saramma, Koottukudumbam Vazhve Mayam, Ara Nazhika Neram, Anubhavangal Palichakal, Karakanakadal, Achanum Bappayum, Punarjanmam, Chattakari, Oppol, Marupakikam, and Kannada movie Manini.

His film Achanum Bappayum had won the Nargis Dutt Award for best film on national integration in 1973. Sethumadhavan brought the national award for best film to Tamil for the first time through his film Marupakkam in 1991. In 1996 his Telugu film Stri won the National award for Best feature film in Telugu.

Starting his career as an assistant of director K Ramanathan in 1951, Sethumadhavan became an independent filmmaker through the Sinhalese movie Veeravijaya in 1961. He introduced actor Kamal Haasan to Malayalam cinema as a child artist through his film Kannum Karalum in 1962. Kamal Haasan acted as the son of actor Sathyan in this movie. He later introduced Kamal Haasan in Malayalam cinema as a hero for his movie Kanyakumari, which was also the debut movie of actor Jagathy Sreekumar. In 1965, actor Suresh Gopi made his debut in Malayalam movies as a child artist through Sethumadhavan's Odayil Ninnu. Actor Mammootty also made his debut as a junior artist in the movie Anubhavangal Palichakal, directed by Sethumadhavan in 1971.

In an interview with rediff movies, Sethumadhavan had said, "I was an introvert. I do not know whether I was passionate about films when I was young. When I lost my father at eight, I could see his death like a film. While my mother and sisters cried, I just stood in a corner and watched everything as if I were watching a film. After my father died, we moved from Tamil Nadu to our native place, Palakkad, in Kerala. I wanted to become a sanyasi. But I came to Chennai and enrolled at Madras University. The prospect of going to the same office every day, and seeing the same faces frightened me."

Naalai Namadhe directed by Sethumadhavan starring MG Ramachandran and Latha released in 1975 was a remake of the Hindi movie Yaadon Ki Baaraat.

In the same interview, the director says about the movie, "My brother wanted to remake Yaadon Ki Baarat in Tamil and wanted MGR in the film. I was not interested in directing a remake, but when they went to meet MGR, he asked whether I was directing the film. My brother said yes. So I directed it. You know, the shooting was to begin at 9 am the first day. He arrived at 10.45 am. When he came in late the second day as well, I asked him, "What time will you come in tomorrow?" Everyone was shocked when I asked him that. I continued, 'If you want to come at 10.30 am, I will have the call sheet at 10.30 am, not at 9 am. We are wasting one-and-a-half hours.' He said he would arrive early. Next day, when we came at 8.55 am, he was already there, ready with his makeup."

Sethumadhavan had directed 64 movies in 6 languages. Venal Kinavukal, scripted by writer M T Vasudevan Nair and released in 1991 was the last Malayalam movie directed by him.

He is survived by his wife Salsala Sethumadhavan, sons Sonukumar, Santhosh and daughter Uma. His son Santhosh Sethumadhavan had remade the classic movie Chattakari in 2012.

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