Home Entertainment Malayalam filmmaker P. Balachandran passes away

Malayalam filmmaker P. Balachandran passes away


In a creative life spanning several decades, he experimented and reinvented himself, shifting seamlessly between the stage and the screen, and writing scripts that were both critically-acclaimed and popular.

P. Balachandran, screenwriter, filmmaker, dramatist and actor, passed away at his home in Vaikom early on Monday. He was 69.

In a creative life spanning several decades, he experimented and reinvented himself, shifting seamlessly between the stage and the screen, and writing scripts that were both critically-acclaimed and popular.

Even before he turned to cinema, he had made a name for himself as a playwright, winning the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for best playwright for Paavam Usman in 1989 and the Kerala Professional Drama Award for Prathiroopangal in the same year.

His foray into cinema started with writing the script for Uncle Bun (1991), starring Mohanlal. Though his first work was an adaptation of a foreign film, Balachandran proved his mettle with his second film Ulladakkam (1994) which explored the strange obsession that a patient develops with a psychiatrist, woven around the phenomenon of transference proposed by Sigmund Freud.

Pavithram (1995) told the story of a man who is forced to be the brother and father of a much younger sister. Punaradhivasam, which he wrote in 2000, won several State awards. In 2012, he wrote and directed Ivan Megharoopan, on the life and relationships of poet P. Kunhiraman Nair, considered as one of the Mahakavis of Malayalam. It was a work which was as poetic as the works of the man it was based on, and explored Nair’s non-conformist lifestyle.

Balachandran showed a penchant for adapting to the changes in Malayalam cinema in recent times, as evidenced in the script he wrote for Rajeev Ravi’s Kammatipadam (2016). The movie tells an epic tale of the transformation of a city over several decades, showing how the down-trodden are always left behind in the quest for development. This was the most politically charged work in his oeuvre, which otherwise dealt primarily with human relationships.

Though he started his film acting career as early as 1982 as an extra in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, it was in the last decade that he became a familiar face to the audience, with performances in Beautiful, Trivandrum Lodge, Annayum Rasoolum, Kammatipadam, Charlie, Eeda and One, which is currently running in the theatres.

Born in Sasthamkotta in Kollam district, he graduated from the School of Drama in Thrissur. He had teaching stints at the School of Letters in MG University and later at the School of Drama.



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