Bharathi Raja

Actor, Director, Story Writer
His mother Karuththamma received the National Award from the Presidenton his behalf for his film named after her.
Bharathi Raja
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Date of Birth:: July 17, 1941(Age-69)
Place of Birth:: Alli Nagaram, Tamil Nadu

Family and Relations

Mother: Karuththamma
Spouse: Chandra Leelavathi
Son: Manoj (the hero of 'Taj Mahal')
Daughter: Janani

Mini Biography
Bharathi Raja, a critically acclaimed South Indian filmmaker. He displayed astory-teller's potential from an early age. Bharathiraja is known forhis realistic and sensitive portrayal of village-life in his movies.His mother Karuththamma received the National Award from the Presidenton his behalf for his film named after her. Among his other landmarkfilms are Muthal Mariyathai (with Sivaji Ganesan in the lead),Karuththamma, Alaigal Oyvadhillai, Mann Vasanai, Vedham Pudhithu,Kizhakku Cheemaiyile and Anthimanthaarai. Bharathiraja is credited withlaunching the careers of the several influential people in the Tamilcinema.

Bharathiraja started his film career as anassistant to director P. Pullaiya and Kannada film maker PuttannaKanagal. Eventually working with Krishnan Nair, Avinasi Mani and A.Jaganathan, he learned the grammar of film making and got his firstdirectorial opportunity in 1977. His first film 16 Vayathinile forwhich he wrote the story and the script broke convention to create anew genre of village cinema. Costumes were uncomfortably true-to-life,dialogue was as-is-spoken, and village characters were tellinglygenuine. As Bharathiraja himself agrees, the film was expected to bringin lots of accolades - which it did - but to do moderate business atthe box office - which it did not. The film was a huge commercialsuccess and kept the cash registers jingling even after severalre-releases. His next film Kizhakke Pogum Rail produced similar resultsand eventually brought in criticisms that Bharathiraja was capable ofcatering only to village audiences. This led him to make SigappuRojakkal, about a psychopathic woman hater that was totally Westernizedin terms of both conception and production. But contrary to whatseveral observers expected (and wanted), this film met with great boxoffice success as well and everyone agreed that Bharathiraja was hereto stay. Bharathiraja confirmed his versatility and refusal to be tieddown to one particular genre with an experimental film Nizhalgal and anaction thriller Tik.. Tik.. Tik. But, undoubtedly rural themes provedto be his forte as his biggest hits in the 80s Alaigal Oivadhillai,Mann Vasanai and Muthal Mariyathai were strong love stories in avillage backdrop. Of these films, Muthal Mariyathai deserves specialmention. The film starred veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan in the lead,playing a middle-aged village head. Radha is a poor young woman whomoves into his village for a living. The love that bonds these twohumans, separated not just by age but also by caste and class, is toldby Bharathiraja with poetic touches. Without doubt, this film remainsone of the most successful films for both himself and Sivaji Ganesan.Bharathiraja's Vedham Pudhithu dealt with the caste issue in a strongermanner. The film's narrative was seamless and starred Sathyaraj as BaluThevar. It contains some of Bharathiraja's trademark touches as well asseveral ground-breaking scenes. However, it does follow theanti-Brahmin trend common in Tamil films - in this respect it departedfrom his earlier success, Alaigal Oiyvadhillai, where the caste andreligion factor was given a more balanced treatment. Bharathiraja hassuccessfully managed to modernize his film making techniques for the1990s. The commercial success of Kizhakku Cheemaiyile and the awardsKaruththamma garnered stand as testimony for his ability to thrill theyounger generation as well. His mother Karuththamma received theNational Award on his behalf from the President in 1994 for the filmnamed after her. Bharathiraja was on the same stage in 1996 to receiveanother National Award for Anthimanthaarai. From the day 16 Vayathinilewas released in 1977, Bharathiraja's path has inspired several youngfilmmakers. He has plans of making short films with varying themes toattract the international audience and has currently completed hislatest venture Kadal Pookal and picked up a national award for the bestscreenplay writer for the same film. The well-known Tamil film directorBhagyaraj was one of his assistant directors. He has directed movies inMalayalam, Telugu and Hindi also.