Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan (1 July 1945 – 22 March 2020), best known by his stage name Visu, was an Indian writer, director, stage, film and television actor and talk-show host.[3] Visu initially worked as an assistant to director K. Balachander until becoming a director himself. He later began acting, with his first film being Kudumbam Oru Kadambam (1981), directed by S. P. Muthuraman.[4]

Visu
Visu Director.png
Born
Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan[1]

(1945-07-01)1 July 1945[2]
Tamil Nadu, India
Died22 March 2020(2020-03-22) (aged 74)
Chennai, India
OccupationDirector, writer, stage actor, film actor, television host.
Years active1981–2016
Spouse(s)Sundhari
(m.1975–2020)
ChildrenLavanya
Sangeetha
Kalpana
RelativesKishmu (brother)

CareerEdit

He started his career as a theatre artist, working with Y. G. Parthasarathy’s drama troupe. He was writing scripts for stage dramas before getting into the film industry as an assistant to legendary director K. Balachander. During his time with Balachander, he wrote screenplays for numerous films including Pattina Pravesam (1977), Avan Aval Adhu (1980), Thillu Mullu (1981) and Netrikkan (1981). Thillu Mullu and Netrikkan, which were both released in 1981, became box office hits for actor Rajinikanth.The script and the flawless screenplay gave Rajinikanth a platform to prove that he can do comedy and not just action movies. Visu made his debut as an actor in the film Kudumbam Oru Kadambam (1981), for which he also wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by S. P. Muthuraman. Though Visu acted as a protagonist in a few of his own films, he was largely known as a character artist.

His first film as a director was Kanmani Poonga (1982). Most of his films including Manal Kayiru (1982), Dowry Kalyanam (1983), Samsaram Adhu Minsaram (1986), Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi (1987), Penmani Aval Kanmani (1988), Vedikkai En Vadikkai (1990) and Pattukottai Periyappa (1994) spoke about the issues of urban middle-class Brahminical families. These films, which were released in the mid-80s, turned out to be crowd pullers, particularly with regard to the female audience.[5] His other super hit was Chidambara Rahasiyam (1985), which is considered a cult-classic.[6]

Samsaram Adhu Minsaram (1986) was the first Tamil film to win the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

As a writer, Viswanathan was known for his sharp and witty dialogues, that lent itself to family dramas. While he has directed a rage of actors on screen, he and his brother Kishmu used to star in his films as well in memorable roles. His film Neenga Nalla Irukkanum won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues in 1992. Based on prohibition, the film was the last onscreen appearance of then chief minister, J. Jayalalithaa.[7]

He has also shared the screen with superstar Rajinikanth in successful films such as Nallavanukku Nallavan (1984), Mr. Bharath (1986), Mannan (1992), Uzhaippali (1993) and Arunachalam (1997).

During the ending phase of his career, he made movies which did not leave a lasting mark on the audience as Vaa Magale Vaa (1994), Meendum Savithri (1996) and Sigamani Ramamani (2001).[8]

Actor and stage artiste S. Ve. Shekher, who has worked in over 20 films with Visu, said that he was an extremely disciplined and committed.[9]

As an actor, he was last seen in Manal Kayiru 2 (2016), the sequel to one of his earliest directorial successes, Manal Kayiru.

The versatile actor is known to have starred in over 60 films and directed around 25 films.[10]

StyleEdit

"Growing up in a joint family, I observed how each person had a difference of opinion. It wasn't bad; just that we were different. I wondered, ‘Wouldn't other joint families have similar issues?’ So I started writing scripts that reflect the day-to-day scenario in a joint family".

 – Visu in 2016[11]

In Visu's films, all the characters were given equal importance. Often, there was huge house wherein a joint family would reside and the character of Visu would solve their problems. Many of Visu's film titles contain rhyming words, a trait which began with Samsaram Adhu Minsaram (1986). His movies focused on many family issues like dowry, need of remarriage for women, mother in law-daughter in law disputes and so on which were occurring that time. In most of the films he directed there is a character named Uma, named after his wife.[12][13][14]

Other worksEdit

A philanthropist, Visu had been supporting the needy through his own foundation. He became known for hosting live debates on television, namely Visuvin Makkal Arangam on Jaya TV and Arattai Arangam on Sun TV.[15][16] He joined and campaigned for BJP.[17]

DeathEdit

Visu died due to kidney failure on 22 March 2020 at Chennai.[18][19][20][21]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Credited as Role Notes
Director Writer Actor
1977 Pattina Pravesam  N  Y  N
1978 Sadhurangam  N  Y  N also dialogue
1980 Avan Aval Adhu  N  Y  N
1980 Mazhalai Pattalam  N  Y  N
1981 Thillu Mullu  N  Y  Y As a film crew Voice-Over Actor (Dubbing)
1981 Netrikkann  N  Y  N
1981 Keezh Vaanam Sivakkum  N  Y  N
1981 Kudumbam Oru Kadambam  N  Y  Y Srinivasa Raghavan
1982 Kanmani Poonga  Y  Y  Y Cricketer Ramkumar
1982 Simla Special  N  Y  N
1982 Manal Kayiru  Y  Y  Y Uthramerur Narathar Naidu
1982 Pudhukavithai  N  Y  N
1983 Oru Kai Parpom  N  N  Y
1983 Dowry Kalyanam  Y  Y  Y Ganesh
1984 Nallavanuku Nallavan  N  Y  Y Owner Gangadharan
1984 Puyal Kadantha Boomi  Y  Y  Y Nammaalu alies Namachivaayan
1984 Rajathandhiram  Y  Y  Y Bairavan
1984 Vaai Sollil Veeranadi  Y  Y  Y Vengapuli Varadhachari
1984 Naanayamillatha Naanayam  Y  Y  Y Veerapandi
1984 Oorukku Upadesam  N  N  Y Sankaran
1985 Puthiya Sagaptham  Y  Y  Y Ramadasaradan
1985 Aval Sumangalithan  Y  Y  Y Watchman Aarumugam
1985 Ketti Melam  Y  Y  Y
1985 Chidambara Rahasiyam  Y  Y  Y Beemarao
1986 Mr. Bharath  N  Y  Y Kumaresa Gounder
1986 Samsaram Adhu Minsaaram  Y  Y  Y Ammaiyappa Mudaliyar National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
1986 Oomai Vizhigal  N  N  Y Rathnasabapathy
1986 Mella Thirandhathu Kadhavu  N  N  Y Thulasi's father
1986 Thaaiku Oru Thaalaattu  N  N  Y Ponnambalam
1986 Anandha Kanneer  N  N  Y Paapa
1987 Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi  Y  Y  Y Naagarkoil Naadhamuni
1987 Kavalan Avan Kovalan  Y  Y  Y Prabhu's Father-in-law
1987 Aadade Aadharam  Y  Y  Y Telugu film
1987 Kathai Kathayam Karanamam  N  N  Y
1988 Penmani Aval Kanmani  Y  Y  Y Radio Mama
1988 Veedu Manaivi Makkal  N  N  Y Subbaiah Pillai
1988 Mappillai Sir  N  N  Y Sock Puppet
1989 Sakalakala Sammandhi  Y  Y  Y Mayavaram Malayappan
1990 Varavu Nalla Uravu  Y  Y  Y Appa Ambalavanar Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Story Writer
1990 Vedikkai En Vadikkai  Y  Y  Y Kaavisattai Kandasamy
1992 Mannan  N  N  Y Viswanathan
1992 Urimai Oonjaladugirathu  Y  Y  Y Kasturi's Father
1992 Neenga Nalla Irukkanum  Y  Y  Y National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues
1993 Uzhaippali  N  N  Y Barrister
1993 Chinna Mapillai  N  N  Y Marriage Broker
1994 Pattukottai Periyappa  Y  Y  Y Pattukottai Periyappa
1994 Aranmanai Kaavalan  N  N  Y CBI Officer
1994 Vaa Magale Vaa  Y  Y  Y Viswanathan
1994 Vanaja Girija  N  N  Y Business man Ramanathan
1994 Vaanga Partner Vaanga  N  N  Y Ganapathi
1995 Mayabazar  N  N  Y Vishwanathan
1995 God Father  N  N  Y Viswanatham Telugu film
1996 Irattai Roja  N  N  Y Anchor Guest appearance
1996 Meendum Savithri  Y  Y  Y Narayana Moorthy
1997 Nesam  N  N  Y Himself
1997 Aravindhan  N  N  Y
1997 Adimai Changili  N  N  Y
1997 Vasuki  N  N  Y Ramasamy
1997 Arunachalam  N  N  Y Adv. Rangachari
1997 Sishya  N  N  Y Aadhimoolam
1997 Vaimaye Vellum  N  N  Y
1998 Bhagavath Singh  N  N  Y
1999 Mannavaru Chinnavaru  N  N  Y Shanmugasundaram
1999 Anbulla Kadhalukku  N  N  Y Chandrasekhar
2000 Kakkai Siraginilae  N  N  Y Judge
2000 Vaanavil  N  N  Y Himself
2001 Sigamani Ramamani  Y  Y  Y Sundaramoorthy
2001 Krishna Krishna  N  N  Y Advocate Viswanathan Guest appearance
2001 Middle Class Madhavan  N  N  Y Advocate
2001 Vadagupatti Maapillai  N  N  Y Gomathi Shankar
2001 Looty  N  N  Y Dr. Kuzhanthavelu
2003 Thithikudhe  N  N  Y Himself
2004 Maha Nadigan  N  N  Y
2005 Ji  N  N  Y Raghavan
2007 Cheena Thaana 001  N  N  Y Governor Guest appearance
2007 Nenjirukkumvarai Ninaivirukkum  N  N  Y Guest appearance
2008 Ellam Avan Seyal  N  N  Y
2009 Innoruvan  N  N  Y Judge
2009 Kannukulle  N  N  Y
2013 Alex Pandian  N  N  Y Chief Minister
2013 Oruvar Meethu Iruvar Sainthu  N  N  Y Judge
2016 Manal Kayiru 2  N  Y  Y Uthramerur Narathar Naidu

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "CHATTING for a cause". The Hindu. 19 August 2004. Archived from the original on 19 October 2004. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  2. ^ "TANTIS". tamilfilmdirectorsassociation.com. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  3. ^ Balasubramanian, V. (3 April 2014). "I never left the stage". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2019.
  4. ^ https://www.filmibeat.com/celebs/visu/biography.html
  5. ^ https://thefederal.com/states/south/tamil-nadu/tamil-actor-director-visu-passes-away/
  6. ^ https://www.theweek.in/news/entertainment/2020/03/22/veteran-tamil-actor-director-visu-passes-away-at-74.html
  7. ^ https://www.newindianexpress.com/entertainment/tamil/2020/mar/23/remembering-veteran-actor-visu-pioneer-of-successful-family-friendly-tamil-films-2120299.html
  8. ^ https://nettv4u.com/celebrity/tamil/director/visu
  9. ^ https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/actor-director-visu-dies-at-75-funeral-to-be-held-on-monday/article31136715.ece
  10. ^ https://www.indulgexpress.com/entertainment/cinema/2020/mar/22/veteran-tamil-actor-director-visu-dies-of-prolonged-kidney-related-ailments-at-age-74-23355.html
  11. ^ "Looking back at the golden years". The New Indian Express. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  12. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (26 March 2020). "Visu, a colossus". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  13. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (23 March 2020). "A Tribute To Visu, Known For His Middle-Class Melodramas Like Samsaram Adhu Minsaram". Film Companion. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Remembering Visu, the king of the middle-class family drama". The News Minute. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  15. ^ thmrn. "The Hindu: Inimitable Visu". hindu.com. Archived from the original on 24 January 2005. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  16. ^ Devalla, Rani (11 November 2014). "A Passionate journey". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Veteran actor Visu joins BJP". Deccan Chronicle. 31 January 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Veteran Kollywood director Visu passes away at 74". The New Indian Express. 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  19. ^ "உடல்நலக்குறைவால் நடிகர் விசு காலமானார்..!" [Actor Visu expired due to illness]. Dinamalar (in Tamil). 22 March 2020. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Director Visu passes away". The Times of India. 22 March 2020. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Veteran Kollywood director Visu passes away at 74". The News Minute. 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.

External linksEdit