Priyadarshan – The Man at 66, and The Director at 39


Priyadarshan knows how to tickle our funny bones. He has proven this numerous times throughout his 39-year career as a director.Well, is that all he’s done? Absolutely not! He has also given some of the biggest names in the Indian film industry the roles that defined their careers.

Priyadarshan is celebrating his 66th birthday today.

From Malayalam superstar Mohanlal and Bollywood icon Akshay Kumar to Paresh Rawal, Kareena Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, Rajpal Yadav, Nedumudi Venu, KPAC Lalitha, Revathi, Shobana, Jagathy Sreekumar, Lissy, Innocent, and MG Soman, the list goes on.Priyadarshan started off by working as an assistant director in the 1978 Malayalam film Thiranottam, which also marked the acting debut of long-time collaborator Mohanlal. Several people who went on to become prominent figures in the Malayalam film industry, including actor Maniyanpilla Raju and producer G Suresh Kumar, also worked on this film.

The film was delayed from its initial release due to reported censorship issues, and it finally came out in 2005.The whizz, who has so far directed over 90 movies in four Indian languages—Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, made his directorial debut with the screwball comedy Poochakkoru Mookkuthi in 1984.His most well-known Malayalam films include Kilukkam, Chithram, Mazha Peyyunnu Maddalam Kottunnu, Vellanakalude Nadu, Vandanam, Thalavattam, Thenmavin Kombath, Kaalapani, Chandralekha, and Mithunam; however, he received pan-India recognition for his Bollywood movies such as Hera Pheri, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Hungama, Garam Masala, Bhagam Bhag, and Hulchul.

In his resplendent film journey, Priyadarshan has had many ups and a fair number of downs, especially in his home ground. But it cannot be denied that he was responsible for some of Malayalam cinema’s greatest successes. As he turns 66 on January 30, let’s look at the director’s Malayalam cinema career over the years.

The 80sWhile Malayalam cinema was witnessing a paradigm shift with pioneers such as K G George, G Aravindan, Bharathan, P Padmarajan, and Adoor Gopalakrishnan delivering back-to-back masterworks, Priyadarshan arrived with his jocund Poochakkoru Mookkuthi (1984), starring Mohanlal, Shankar, Menaka, Nedumudi Venu, and Sukumari among others. In addition to being a great hit, the movie spawned a tonne more screwball comedies in Malayalam.


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