P. N. Menon (director)

Palissery Narayanankutty Menon alias P. N. Menon (1928 – 9 September 2008) was an Indian film director and art director in Malayalam cinema.[1] He is also famous as the Designer of Promotional Posters. Menon was also the uncle of another popular film director Bharathan, being the younger brother of the latter's father. In 2001, he was honoured with the J. C. Daniel Award, Kerala government's highest honour for contributions to Malayalam cinema.

P. Narayankutty Menon
Born(1926-01-02)2 January 1926
Died9 September 2008(2008-09-09) (aged 82)
Kochi, Kerala, India
Art Director
Promotional Poster Designer
Years active1963–2008
Spouse(s)Bharathi Menon
RelativesBharathan (nephew)

Early lifeEdit

Born in a poor family in Vadakkaanchery, Kerala, he completed his studies at Thrissur and from School of Art in Chennai. He came to Chennai when he was only 20 years old. He couldn't find any job in Chennai, so travelled to Salem and become a production boy in a Studio. But, after two-and-a-half years, the studio was shut down and went back to Chennai. He got back to sketches, then painting, then doing magazine covers. One of his designing assignments was for one of Producer B. Nagi Reddy's magazines. The production house was so impressed with his talent that when they bought Vahini Studio in 1951, Nagi Reddy's son appointed him as a paid apprentice in the painting department.

He got a job as an art director in an English play produced by the daughter of the then Andhra Chief Minister. They had three performances in Delhi, one for the then Vice president Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, another for Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the third for Army Chief Field Marshal K M Cariappa. Ninamaninja Kalpadukal was his first movie Malayalam movie as the art director and his debut in the field of film direction in the 60s with the film Rosie (1965).[2]


Menon's Olavum Theeravum based on M. T. Vasudevan Nair's script and released in 1970. It won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Film. Menon's boldest film is Kuttiyedathi (Eldest Sister), again based on a short story by M. T. Vasudevan Nair.

Perhaps his most successful commercial film was Chembarathi (Hibiscus) which was based on a script by Malayattoor Ramakrishnan and starred newcomers like Raghavan, Sudhir and Roja Ramani (Sobhana) along with veteran actors like Madhu and Rani Chandra. Another script of Malayattoor Ramakrishnan named Gayathri which was directed by him was awarded the President's Special Film Award Medal for National Integration. Menon's film Malamukalile Daivam, has won National Award too.

After a long period of absence lasting more than a decade, he directed a film, Nerkkuneraey ("Face to Face"), in (2004).[3]

Poster DesignerEdit

Menon made a name as a versatile Poster Designer as well. He artistic posters always helped the film to gain attention of cinegoers. He has also done posters even for Bollywood films like Anokha Rishta starring Rajesh Khanna. Some of the Malayalam films he had designed posters are Oomakkuyil, Kakkothikkavile Appooppan Thaadikal, Itha Innu Muthal, Poomadhathe Pennu, Aavanazhi, Amrutham Gamaya and Manivathoorile Aayiram Sivarathrikal.

Personal lifeEdit

His wife's name was Bharathi Menon and they had two daughters, named Rajasree and Jayasree. Popular film director Bharathan was his nephew, and was trained by him in direction. Bharathan predeceased his uncle.


During his last years, Menon lived with his daughter in Kochi. He suffered from many serious illnesses like Alzheimer's disease during this period. Finally, he died on 9 September 2008 aged 82, at a private hospital in Kochi.[4][5] He was cremated with full state honours at Ravipuram Crematorium the next day.


Kerala State Film AwardsEdit

National Film AwardsEdit


Year Film Notes
1965 Rosie
1970 Olavum Theeravum
1971 Kuttyedathi
1972 Panimudakku
1972 Chembarathi
1972 Mappusakshi
1973 Gayathri
1973 Darsanam
1973 Mazhakkaaru
1973 Chayam
1975 Odakkuzhal
1977 Taxi Driver
1978 Udayam Kizhakku Thanne
1979 Devathai Tamil film
1981 Archana Teacher
1982 Anu Tamil film
1983 Malamukalile Daivam
1983 Kadamba
1983 Glimpses of Kerala Documentary film
1983 Asthram
1989 Padippura
2004 Nerkku Nere


  1. ^ "PN Menon".
  2. ^ "Rediff on the NeT, Movies: An interview with Malayalam film director P N Menon".
  3. ^ http://in.movies.yahoo.com/news-detail/33382/Veteran-Malayalam-filmmaker-P-N-Menon-dead.html[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)