|Born||Soman Priyadarshan Nair
30 January 1957
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Ethnicity||Keralite / Malayalee|
|Alma mater||Model School
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, producer|
|Years active||1984 – present|
|Parents||K. Soman Nair
Soman Priyadarshan Nair is an Indian film director, producer, and screenwriter. In a career spanning almost three decades, Priyadarshan has directed over 80 films in several Indian languages including Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Though he began his career in Malayalam cinema in 1984, Priyadarshan has been mainly active in Hindi cinema for 2001-2010. However, in 2013, he announced Rangrezz would be his last Hindi film for a while; and he is shifting focus to Malayalam Cinema.
Best known for his comedy films, Priyadrshan has also tried his hand at action and thriller films from time to time. His collaborations with Mohanlal were highly popular in Malayalam cinema during the 1980s and 1990s, with films such as Poochakkoru Mookkuthi, Mazha Peyyunnu Maddalam Kottunnu, Thalavattam, Vellanakalude Nadu, Chithram, Vandanam, Kilukkam, ;Abhimanyu, Mithunam, Thenmavin Kombath, and Kala Pani. Actors he has worked with over several films include Kuthiravattam Pappu, Jagathy Sreekumar, Nedumudi Venu, Sreenivasan, Sukumari, Mukesh and Mammukoya.
Priyadarshan was one of the first directors in India to introduce rich color grading, clear sound and quality dubbing through his early Malayalam films. Upon entering Bollywood, he has mostly adapted stories from popular comedy films from Malayalam cinema, some from his own work and some from others. These include Hera Pheri, Hungama, Hulchul, Garam Masala, Bhagam Bhag, Chup Chup Ke, Dhol, and Bhool Bhulaiyaa. Actors he has worked with multiple times in Hindi cinema include Tabu, Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna, and Suniel Shetty.
Childhood and film debut
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (December 2011)|
Born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Priyadarshan received his education at Government Model School and obtained an M.A. in Psychology from University College, Thiruvananthapuram. As the son of a college librarian, he was a voracious reader during his teenage years, and he started writing short plays and skits for Akashavani during his college days. His friends in those days included Mohanlal, M. G. Sreekumar, Suresh Kumar, Sanal Kumar, Jagadish, Maniyanpilla Raju and Ashok Kumar. It was then that Mohanlal got into movies. His friends followed him to Chennai, looking for a chance in movies. Priyadarshan, with the help of Mohanlal, got a few chances to work as assistant scriptwriter in a couple of movies and started writing scripts, with some turning into hits. Eventually, he had to come back to Kerala. In 1984, Priyadarshan, along with his close friends Suresh Kumar and Sanal Kumar, decided to produce a film. Mohanlal, who was by then a commercially viable star, was selected as the hero along with Shankar, the saleable hero. Thus in 1984, Priyadarshan made his debut as director with Poochakkoru Mookkuthi, which was a surprise hit. A slapstick comedy film shot on a low budget, it completed a successful run of 100 days in Kerala theatres.
From 1988 to 1998
1988 was a landmark year in Priyadarshan's career. He directed Vellanakalude Nadu, based on a script by Sreenivasan, with Mohanlal in the leading role. This film revolved around corruption, land mafia and other social issues. This film ended up becoming the biggest hit in Priyadarshan's career to that point. Then came Aryan, an action film based on the Mumbai underworld, which completed 150 days in theatres. Chithram, Priyadarshan's all-time biggest hit, was also released in 1988. Chithram completed 405 days in theatres and created new records in collections, until they were broken by Kilukkam in 1991. However, he could n't deliver hits in 1990 with Kadathanadan Ambadi and Akkareyakkareyakkare. In the year 1991, Priyadarshan brought out Kilukkam, loosely based on Roman Holiday, with Mohanlal, Jagathi Sreekumar and Revathi in lead roles. Kilukkam broke several collection records and is still considered one of the best films from the Priyadarshan-Mohanlal team. His next three films, Abhimanyu (1991), Advaitham (1992), and Thenmavin Kombathu (1994) successfully completed 100 days in theatres. Both Midhunam (1993) and Minnaram (1994) were able to make good response in cinemas. Meanwhile, Priyadarshan made his debut in both Tamil and Telugu cinema with Gopura Vasalile in Tamil in 1991 and Nirnayam in Telugu in 1992 respectively. Nirnayam was a remake of his earlier Malayalam film Vandanam. In the year 1992, Priyadarshan made his debut in Bollywood with Muskurahat, again remake of his own Malayalam film Kilukkam which ended up as a disastrous flop. In 1993, he made a comeback in Hindi with Gardish, an adaptation of the Malayalam film Kireedom, which was originally directed by Sibi Malayil. Priyadarshan successfully added ingredients required for Hindi audiences and the film was a huge hit, opening the doors of Bollywood to him. In 1994, Priyadarshan directed his second Telugu film, Gandeevam, starring Balakrishna. He was also assigned the direction of the Miss World 1996 event that was held in Banglore, which made him a known face around the country. In 1996, Priyadarshan came up with his dream project, Kalapani, a period film based on Indian struggle for Independence. With Mohanlal, Tabu, Prabhu Ganesan and Amrish Puri in main roles and outstanding music by Ilaiyaraja, Kalapani took Priyadarshan's career path to new heights. This film, which was originally filmed in Malayalam, was also dubbed and released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi simultaneously. Kalapani brought him several awards for the first time in his career. In 1997, Priyadarshan directed two films, Chandralekha in Malayalam and Virasat remake of Kamalhassan's Super Hit Thevar Magan in Hindi, both super hits. The success of Virasat made Priyadarshan a household name in Hindi cinema.
1998 to present
In the year 1998, Priyadarshan directed three films, Saat Rang Ke Sapne, remake of his own Thenmavin Kombathu, then Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, with story adapted from Fazil's Aniyathi Pravu and Kabhi na Kabhi, but all three bombed at the box office. Priyadarshan joined with Mammooty after a long gap in 1999 for Megham. During this period Priyadarshan received a couple of offers from Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna, actors of Telugu industry to direct them; but declined them and moved on to his next Hindi project. In 1999, Hera Pheri was released in Hindi, which for once and all changed the destiny of Priyadarshan in Bollywood. Hera Pheri, an adaptation of the Malayalam film Ramjirao Speaking (1989), was a huge hit at the box office. Starring Sunil Shetty, Akshay Kumar, Tabu and Paresh Rawal, this film is now considered a landmark in the history of Hindi cinema. The film also gave birth to the Priyadarshan-Akshay Kumar team, which in later years produced several hits. After Hera Pheri, Paresh Rawal became another regular face in Priyadarshan films. This film was followed by a series of films in Hindi including Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar, Hungama, Hulchul, Garam Masala, and Kyon Ki. In the year 2000, Priyadarshan directed Snegithiye starring Tabu and Jyothika, with story adapted from the Marathi film Bindhaast, an experimental film with all female characters, which was critically well received. Originally planned to be made in Malayalam as Raakilipattu, the film due to unknown reason released first in Tamil, while the Malayalam as well as the dubbed Hindi version, Friendship, released only seven years later in 2007. During this period, legendary actor Kamal Haasan was working on his ambitious film, Anbe Sivam. After finishing the script, Kamal Haasan approached Priyadarshan to direct the film. The pre-production commenced; but after some differences of opinion between the director and the actor; Priyadarshan opted out from the project before the first schedule. This sudden setback led to the whole crew to run out of their schedules. Hence, the producers after convincing Kamal Haasan, quickly roped in Sundar.C to direct the film. Priyadarshan's two films in Malayalam, Kilichundan Mampazham and Vettom released in 2003 and 2004 respectively, were commercial disappointments, which made him concentrate more in Bollywood. But at the same time, in Hindi, Priyadarshan continued his successful run with Chup Chup Ke, Bhagam Bhag, Malamaal Weekly, Dhol, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, De Dana Dan and Mere Baap Pehle Aap. But his subsequent films Billu, Bumm Bumm Bole, Khatta Meeta, Aakrosh and Tezz failed to live up to the expectations. His most recent release Rangrezz also failed at the box-office.
In the meantime, Priyadarshan stunned everyone with Kanchivaram, an offbeat film that revolved around the weavers in Kanchipuram. Prakash Raj, who played the central character, won the National Film Award for Best Actor in 2008. Kanchivaram also won accolades at several film festivals.
Priyadarshan returned to Malayalam films directing the Mohanlal starrer, Arabeem Ottakom P. Madhavan Nayarum in Oru Marubhoomikkadha. He has stepped into another movie in Malayalam titled"Geethanjali" Starring Mohanlal as Dr. Sunny Joseph.
Priyadarshan has won awards both from the State and Central government for his movies. His offbeat film Kanchivaram was adjudged the best feature film at the 2007 National Film Awards. He made a mulitilingual film titled Kaalapani (originally made in Malayalam), which told the story of freedom fighters in the jail at Andaman and Nicobar Islands; it starred Mohanlal, Tabu, Prabhu Ganesan and Amrish Puri, and received four National Film Awards, including awards for Santosh Sivan (cinematography) and Sabu Cyril (art direction).
- 2012 – Padma Shri
- 1994 – Kerala State Film Award for Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value – Thenmavin Kombath
- 1995 – Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Film – Kala Pani
- 2008 – Special Honour Jury Award for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema
Jaihind TV Film Awards:
- 2010 – Jaihind Rajat Mudra Award
- The Times (26 January 2012). "Anup Jalota, Priyadarshan to receive Padma Shri". The Times of India (indiatimes.com). Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- Snegithiye (2000) – Release dates
- IndiaGlitz – Howzzat? Priyan film releases and goes unnoticed! – Malayalam Movie News
- Friendship Bollywood Movie Preview, Synopsis – Bollywood movie Friendship Preview, Synopsis
- "Arabiyum, Ottakavum, P. Madhavan Nairum". Galatta. 18 January 2011.
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