Cinematographer-filmmaker KV Anand passes away at 54
Anand, who began his career as a photojournalist, won a National Award for his debut as a cinematographer in Thenmavin Kombathu
Acclaimed cinematographer-filmmaker KV Anand passed away in the wee hours of Friday after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 54. Anand was one of the very few personalities in Tamil cinema to taste success in more than one role. His work as cinematographer and director were celebrated equally by the audience.
Beginning his career as a photojournalist, Anand won a National Award for his very first film as a cinematographer, Thenmavin Kombathu, starring Mohanlal and directed by Priyadarshan. He was lauded for capturing the vivid, lively colours of nature without resorting to the use of artificial lights. Before starting out on his own, Anand had assisted PC Sreeram in films like Amaran, Thevara Magan and Thiruda Thiruda.
Following his National Award win, Anand made his Tamil debut with Kathir's Kadhal Desam in 1996. He impressed once again, this time through the challenging task of elegant framing of many impossibly busy locations in Chennai, including Mount Road and the Gemini flyover. The song, ‘Mustafa Mustafa’, from this film was a national sensation at the time and benefitted from Anand’s visual sense.
He then expanded horizons and went to Bollywood where he did Akshay Khanna's Doli Saja Ke Rakhna in 1998. His partnership with director Shankar two years later in the blockbuster Mudhalvan led to three more successful collaborations from the duo, namely Nayak (2001), Boys (2003) and Sivaji (2007). Shankar’s mega-budget ventures and their vast ambition found an ally in Anand’s artistic expression.
After an illustrious journey as a DOP, Anand turned filmmaker with Kana Kandaen (2005), starring Srikanth, Prithviraj and Gopika, which told the story of an ambitious research scholar who aimed to end water scarcity by simplifying desalination. His later films would continue to express his interest in social issues and unique storytelling. The Suriya-starrer Ayan, which he helmed after a break of four years, went on to be a milestone in both the actor and the director's career. The action-thriller was appreciated by both critics and fans, and ended up as one of the top grossers of 2009.
Anand became a much sought-after director with a second consecutive hit in Ko (2011). The political thriller starring Jiiva and Ajmal proved to the audience that his films could manage the difficult task of socio-political messaging without ever losing sight of mass entertainment. He explored some rare ideas like conjoined twins, reincarnation, media corruption, and bio war in future releases like Maaattrraan, Anegan, Kavan and Kaappaan.
Anand was also one of the very few directors in Tamil cinema to openly collaborate with writers in writing his scripts. Writer duo Subha (D. Suresh and A.N. Balakrishnan) were frequent collaborators and worked with him on six out of his seven projects. The energetic filmmaker had finished co-writing a love story set in the backdrop of electoral politics, along with lyricist Kabilan Vairamuthu and Kannada writer Pratibha Nandakumar, and was to commence shooting of the film in June.
KV Anand is survived by his wife and two daughters.