Rajesh Pillai

Rajesh Raman Pillai (10 July 1974 – 27 February 2016) was an Indian film director best known for his work in Malayalam cinema.[2] He is credited with setting a new trend in Malayalam cinema with his thriller, Traffic (2011).

Rajesh Pillai
Rajesh Pillai.jpg
Pillai in 2012
Born(1974-07-10)10 July 1974
Died27 February 2016(2016-02-27) (aged 41)
Kochi, India
OccupationFilm director
Years active2005–2016
Spouse(s)Megha Rajesh

Rajesh Pillai made his directorial debut with Hridayathil Sookshikkan (2005) which turned out to be a commercial and critical failure.[3] His second film Traffic, written by brothers Bobby and Sanjay was released in 2011. The film has its narrative in a hyperlink format and is inspired by an actual event that happened in Chennai.[4] The film was a notable success and is widely regarded as one of the defining movies of the Malayalam New Wave.[5]

In August 2012, the director announced his next movie titled Motorcycle Diaries.[6] However Pillai put the project on hold and started the work of Mili, a heroine-centric film with Amala Paul in title role opposite Nivin Pauly.[7] The film released in January 2015 and received positive reviews from critics and became an above average grosser at box office.[8]

Vettah, a psychological thriller starring Kunchacko Boban, Manju Warrier, Indrajith Sukumaran and Kadhal Sandhya, scripted by Arunlal Ramachandran, and is touted to be the first ever mind game movie in Malayalam was released on 26 February 2016, a day before Pillai's death. Manju Warrier plays the role of Sreebala IPS, the City Police Commissioner in this film.

Suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Pillai died on 27 February 2016, at PVS Hospital, Kochi[9] He is survived by his wife Megha, father Raman Pillai, and an elder sister.


Year Title Notes
2005 Hridayathil Sookshikkan
2011 Traffic Remade in Tamil as Chennaiyil Oru Naal
2015 Mili
2016 Vettah Released a day before his death
2016 Traffic Hindi remake of Traffic (2011)
TBA Motorcycle Diaries Unfinished film

Awards and nominationsEdit

Rajesh Pillai being felicitated at IFFI (2011)
  • Won – 1st South Indian International Movie Awards for Best Direction – Traffic
  • Won – Jaihind Film Awards 2012 for Best Direction – Traffic
  • Won – Reporter TV Film Awards 2012 for Best Direction – Traffic
  • Won – Nana Film Awards for Best Direction – Traffic
  • Won – Amritha Film Award - Trend Setting Film Director
  • Won – Aimfill Inspire Film Award - Best Innovative Film
  • Won – National Film Promotion Council 2011 - Pratheeksha Puraskaram
  • Won –Mathrubhumi Film Awards 2011 - Path Breaking Movie of the Year
  • Won – Minnalai Film TV Awards-Best Director - 2011
  • Won – Audi-Ritz Icon Award 2012 - Iconic Film of the Year Malayalam
  • Won – Santhosham South Indian Film Award 2011
  • Won – Southspin Fashion Award-2012
  • Nominated – Asianet Film Awards 2012 for Best Direction – Traffic
  • Nominated – Surya Film Awards for Best Direction – Traffic


  1. ^ http://www.nowrunning.com/rajesh-pillai-no-more/118183/story.htm
  2. ^ Sebastian, Shevlin (7 January 2011). "Rajesh Pillai, Through his Wife Mekha's Eyes". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  3. ^ "'Traffic' gets the green signal". The Hindu. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Traffic review. Traffic Malayalam movie review, story, rating". IndiaGlitz.com. 8 January 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  5. ^ Sathyendran, Nita (3 July 2013). "Shot at direction". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  6. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120802090916/http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/showbiz/mollywood/m%E2%80%99town%E2%80%99s-new-hero-bike-684. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "More Rajesh Pillai Magic in his New Release 'Mili' - Malayalam Film News | Movie Gallery". Muyals.com. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Selfie clicks, becomes year's first super-hit". The Hindu. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  9. ^ https://www.deadfamous.info/rajesh-pillai-indian-film-director-died-at-41

External linksEdit