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J. Alexander (25 July 1939 – 2 April 2019), known professionally as Mahendran, was an Indian film director, screenwriter and actor, known for his work in the Tamil film industry. Mahendran is regarded as one of the greatest film makers of Tamil cinema and has influenced several filmmakers of the generations followed.[3]

Mahendran
J Mahendran at Veena S Balachander Felicitation.jpg
Mahendran in April 2016
Born
J. Alexander

(1939-07-25)25 July 1939[1]
Died2 April 2019(2019-04-02) (aged 79)
Occupation
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • actor
  • literary editor
Years active1966–2006, 2016–2019
Spouse(s)Jasmine[2]
ChildrenJohn Mahendran

Mahendran entered the film industry as a screenwriter, writing scripts for nearly 26 films. He made an immediate impact with his first directional venture Mullum Malarum (1978). Mahendran's next film Uthiripookkal, based on a short story written by Pudumaipithan, firmly established him as an important filmmaker in Tamil cinema. His Nenjathai Killathe won three National Film Awards including the award for the best regional film.

He has also acted in films during the latter part of his film career, including Kamaraj (2004) ,Theri (2016), Nimir (2018) and Petta (2019). Before his death, he was the head of the direction department of BOFTA Film Institute in Chennai.

Contents

BiographyEdit

Mahendran was born on 25 July 1939[4] to Joseph Chelliah, a teacher and Manonmani.[5] Mahendran did his schooling in Ilayangudi and completed his intermediate at American College, Madurai.[5] Later he joined Alagappa Government Arts College to do a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. During his college days, he was very active in stage plays. It was during that time when M. G. Ramachandran (M.G.R) was invited as the chief guest for the college day during which Mahendran gave a speech that directly criticized the commercial elements that existed in cinema.[5] Impressed by his speech M.G.R praised Mahendran and said that he could become a good critic.[5] After completing his degree, he went to Madras to study law. Seven months after joining the course he had to discontinue due to financial concerns.[5] He then decided to go back to Ilayangud However, on the insistence of Karaikudi Kannappa Valliappan he joined Inamuzhakkam, a periodical as a journalist.[5] It was during this time he met M.G.R again and he was asked to write the screenplay of Ponniyin Selvan after the former decided to make a film based on the story.[5] The idea of developing the screenplay into a film got delayed, and M.G.R asked Mahendran to write a story for his drama troupe.[5] Mahendran wrote a script titled Anaadhaigal.[5] M.G.R decided to make a film based in the play. He named the film Vaazhve Vaa and acted in the lead role alongside Savitri.[5] The project got shelved after three days of shooting. Soon M.G.R acted in a film called Kaanchi Thalaivan and he recommended Mahendran to the director make him an assistant. He is very good person.[5]

Mahendran made his breakthrough as a screenwriter for the film Naam Moovar in 1966.[6] After the success of the film he got more offers from the same banner and worked in films like Sabaash Thambi and Panakkara Pillai, both released in the subsequent years.[6] He also wrote the script for Nirakudam starring Sivaji Ganesan.[6] He announced that he was working on a new film in 2014 starring newcomers, for which Ilaiyaraaja would score music.[7] He also worked as an actor the films Kamaraj (2004), Theri (2016),[8] and Nimir (2018).[9] He was also a part of the Blue Ocean FIlm and Television Academy (BOFTA) in Chennai where he headed the filmmaking and direction course.

Mahendran died on 2 April 2019, at the age of 79.[10][11]

AwardsEdit

Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil - Mullum Malarum (1978)

IIFA Utsavam Best actor for Performance in a negative role - Theri (2016)

FilmographyEdit

Year Film Credited as Ref.
Director Story Screenplay Dialogues Actor
1966 Naam Moovar  Y
1967 Sabash Thambi  Y
1968 Panakkara Pillai  Y
1969 Nirai Kudam  Y
1972 Ganga  Y
1974 Thirudi  Y
1974 Thangapathakkam  Y  Y
1975 Thottadhellam Ponnagum  Y
1975 Nambikkai Natchathiram  Y  Y
1975 Vaazhndhu Kaatukiren  Y  Y
1975 Avalukku Aayiram Kangal  Y  Y
1976 Vazhvu En Pakkam  Y  Y
1976 Mogam Muppadhu Varusham  Y  Y
1977 Sonthamadi Nee Enakku  Y  Y
1977 Chakravarthi  Y  Y
1977 Sonnathai Seiven  Y  Y
1977 Aadu Puli Attam  Y  Y
1978 Mullum Malarum  Y  Y  Y
1979 Pagalil Oru Iravu  Y
1979 Uthiripookkal  Y  Y  Y
1980 Challenge Ramudu  Y
1980 Rishi Moolam  Y  Y
1980 Poottaatha Poottukkal  Y  Y  Y
1980 Kaali  Y  Y
1980 Johnny  Y  Y  Y
1980 Nenjathai Killathe  Y  Y  Y  Y
1981 Nandu  Y  Y  Y  Y
1982 Hitler Umanath  Y
1982 Metti  Y  Y  Y  Y
1982 Azhagiya Kanney  Y  Y  Y  Y
1984 Kai Kodukkum Kai  Y  Y  Y
1986 Kannukku Mai Ezhuthu  Y  Y  Y
1991 Thaiyalkaaran  Y  Y
1992 Naangal  Y
1992 Oor Panjayathu  Y  Y  Y  Y
1999 Kallazhagar  Y
2004 Kamaraj  Y
2006 Sasanam  Y  Y  Y
2016 Theri  Y
2017 Katamarayudu  Y
2018 Nimir  Y
2018 Mr. Chandramouli  Y
2018 Seethakaathi  Y
2019 Petta  Y
2019 Boomerang  Y
2019 Rustum  Y Posthumous release
2019 Pon Manickavel  Y

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bibekananda Ray; Naveen Joshi; India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Publications Division (1 January 2005). Conscience of the race: India's offbeat cinema. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 122. ISBN 978-81-230-1298-8. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  2. ^ https://www.deccanchronicle.com/entertainment/kollywood/030419/veteran-writer-director-mahendran-passes-away.html
  3. ^ "cinemanewstoday.com". Archived from the original on 1 December 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  4. ^ Bibekananda Ray; Naveen Joshi; India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Publications Division (1 January 2005). Conscience of the race: India's offbeat cinema. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 122. ISBN 978-81-230-1298-8. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "எம்.ஜி.ஆர். மூலமாக திரை உலகில் நுழைந்த மகேந்திரன்". Maalai Malar. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "முள்ளும் மலரும் படத்தின் மூலம் இயக்குனர் ஆனார் மகேந்திரன்". Maalai Malar. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Illayaraja's music has been my films' soul: Filmmaker Mahendran". Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  8. ^ "The cinema of J Mahendran: Social milieu was his canvas". The News Minute. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  9. ^ Vijayakumar, Sindhu (5 October 2017). "Mahendran titles Priyan's movie Nimir". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  10. ^ Muralidharan, Kavitha (2 April 2019). "J Mahendran, the reluctant filmmaker: What the man who gave us Rajinikanth was like". The News Minute. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  11. ^ Noted director J. Mahendran passes away, https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/noted-director-j-mahendran-passes-away/article26708828.ece

External linksEdit