Noted Malayalam film director I V Sasi dead
He had directed close to 150 films in a career spanning over four decades that featured Mammootty, Mohanlal, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth
Acclaimed Malayalam film director I.V. Sasi, who was instrumental in the success stories of superstars Mammootty, Mohanlal and Jayan, died here on Tuesday, according to family sources. He was 67. In a career spanning close to four decades in which he also helmed Tamil and Hindi projects, Sasi directed nearly 150 films. He was ailing for sometime. He is survived by his wife, the popular yesteryear actress Seema, a son and a daughter.
Sasi, who was inactive in the film world for a while, was planning to get back to his passion. He had announced a blockbuster film with technology geek Sohan Roy to make a film on Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
The news of Sasi's demise drew emotional tributes from the film fraternity.
Innocent, a member of the Lok Sabha and the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), said Sasi's departure was an irreparable loss to the Malayalam film industry.
"When I started my career, Sasi was a director and he went on to reach heights which not many can reach. He proved through his films that a director stands above actors," Innocent said.
Hugely popular writer-director Ranjith said he heard the news at his hotel room in Kozhikode. It was in this room that Sasi always stayed when he directed his films in this city.
"I scripted for him a while back and even when we met recently, he again asked me for a script. The only thing in his blood was films and films. Malayalam film industry has lost one of its legends," he said.
Actor-director Joy Mathew said Sasi was a creator and made memorable movies when technology that's available now was never there.
"Sitting on his chair, he would easily complete a shot in which hundreds of people were acting in. In his days, he never had the luxury of seeing the shot on a TV monitor, but he could visualise the scene and the shot with precision and that was his greatness."
Actor Dulquer Salmaan said Sasi "created an era of his own in Malayalam cinema". Actor-producer Nivin Pauly said Sasi was an "icon who created cinema that stood the test of time" and "bridged the gap between commerce and art in Malayalam cinema".
Although Sasi hailed from Kozhikode in Kerala, he was based in Chennai. The love Kozhikode and the industry had for Sasi was seen in a huge public reception held there in 2013 when almost everyone who acted in his films turned up. Leading from the front then were Kamal Haasan, Mammootty and Mohanlal.
Kamal was Sasi's friend for 45 long years.
My friend for 45 years I.V.Sasi is no more. The industry & I mourn a great technician. My support & love to my sister Seema Sasi &family— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) October 24, 2017
Sasi's glorious career as a director began after the stupendous success of Avalude Raavukal (Her Nights) in 1978. It told the tale of a prostitute, a role essayed by Seema who later became the director's wife.
In the two decades starting in the 1980s, Mammootty and Mohanlal established themselves in the category of superstars. Of the nearly 150 films that Sasi directed, Mammootty starred in more than three dozen of them. Mohanlal's hit movie Devasuram, scripted by Ranjith, was directed by Sasi. The two superstars also acted together in a dozen of Sasi's films.
Sasi's biggest hit Angadi, released in 1980, starred Jayan. They worked in six films. Sasi's magic last worked in 2003 when Balram Vs Tharadas met with reasonable success. After that, he did just one film. Since then, he was cooling his heels in Chennai, while his wife Seema found more visibility on TV screens than on the silver screen