Ranjith (director)

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Ranjith Balakrishnan (born 4 September 1964) is an Indian film director, screen writer, producer and actor known for his .

Early life[edit]

Ranjith was born in Balussery in Kozhikode, Kerala. He graduated from School of Drama and Fine Arts, Thrissur in 1985.[1]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

During the late eighties, Ranjith tried his hand at skits and television serials for Doordarshan.[citation needed] In 1987 he made his debut as a writer in Oru Maymasa Pulariyil directed by V.R Gopinath.[2] In the year 1988, Ranjith made his formal entry into the film world by writing the story for Orkkapurathu, a fun-adventure film directed by Kamal with Mohanlal in the lead. The immediate success of Orkkapurathu brought Ranjith several chances to work in films. In the late eighties and early nineties, Ranjith wrote scripts for several small budget films mainly for Kamal, including Peruvannapurathe Visheshangal (1989), Pradeshika Varthakal (1989), and Pookkalam Varavayi (1991). Another director with whom Ranjith joined hands in those days was Viji Thampi. This team brought out Witness (1988), Nanma Niranjavan Sreenivasan (1990), Nagarangalil Chennu Raparkam (1989), and Kaalalpada (1990), all with Jayaram in the lead role. In the year 1992, he wrote Neelagiri for I. V. Sasi, which was not very successful at the box office. This was followed Johnnie Walker, directed by Jayaraj, which also ended up as a big flop.

From 1993 to 2001[edit]

The year 1993 was a huge turning point in Ranjith's career. Devasuram, his film based on the life of Mullassery Rajagopal,[3] a fatherlike figure to him, turned into a huge hit at the box office. With Mohanlal in the lead and directed by I. V. Sasi, Devasuram was both critically and commercially a very big success. Mohanlal's performance was highly appreciated and it opened a new genre of feudal stories in Malayalam cinema. Within two months of the release of Devasuram, his next movie, Maya Mayuram (directed by Sibi Malayil and starring Mohanlal) was released, but it did not meet its anticipated success. According to Ranjith, Maya Mayuram is one of his best films and its failure affected him greatly. Ranjith mentioned in an interview that when several directors, whom he approached with the script, showed no interest in Maya Mayuram, it was Mohanlal who convinced Sibi Malayil to take it up. Yadavam, his next film in 1993 (directed by Jomon and starring Suresh Gopi) did him no good in career. In the year 1994, Ranjith joined hands with Shaji Kailas for Rudraksham, again starring Suresh Gopi, who was at the peak of his career. This film generated significant hype in the market as Shaji Kailas- Suresh Gopi was a hot selling team at the time. But the loose script and clichéd punchless dialogues led to Rudraksham becoming a flop. His next piece of work, Rajaputhran, directed by Shajun Karyal, again with Suresh Gopi in the lead, became only an average grosser.[4] In the year 1997, he teamed again with Shaji Kailas for Asuravamsham, starring Manoj K Jayan and Biju Menon. This film yielded an average commercial response. But he was just biding his time. Towards the end of 1997, Ranjith penned Aaraam Thampuran, one of the blockbuster hits of his career. Directed by Shaji Kailas, this film broke several collection records and went on to become a financially and critically acclaimed hit. This film was also a turning point in the career of Mohanlal. With this film, Ranjith gained a reputation as a commercially viable scriptwriter. Then came Kaikudanna Nilavu, in 1998, directed by Kamal, starring Jayaram, yet another average grosser. In 1998 Ranjith scripted Summer in Bethlehem, directed by Sibi Malayil, starring Suresh Gopi and Jayaram, a super hit.[5] In 1999, Ranjith and Shaji Kailas produced the film Ustaad, directed by Sibi Malayil, starring Mohanlal. This film, written by Ranjith was a super hit at the box office.[6]

2000s[edit]

The year 2000 began with the release of Narasimham, directed by Shaji Kailas. With Mohanlal playing the lead role, this film became one of the biggest hits ever in the history of Malayalam cinema till then.[7][8] Yet again in 2000, together with Shaji Kailas, Ranjith repeated history. His Onam release Valliettan starring Mammooty was a commercial success. (Last script for Shaji Kailas).[9] With this film, Ranjith became the most successful scriptwriter of the time.

In 2001, Ranjith made his directorial debut with Ravanaprabhu, the sequel to Devasuram.[10] With Mohanlal appearing in dual roles as father and son, this film turned out to be another blockbuster.[11] In the year 2002, Ranjith came back with another blockbuster, Nandanam, starring Navya Nair and a new face, Prithviraj Sukumaran.[12] Ranjith produced this film along with his friend and actor Siddique. Nandanam, revolving around an innocent girl, her love for Lord Sri Krishna and her lover boy, was an entirely different and unexpected theme from Ranjith at that time. Despite the film having no big stars, fights or punch dialogues the film and that it was shelved after some pre-production activities, it became a hit.[13] In the year 2003, Ranjith directed Mizhi Randilum starring Dileep and Kavya Madhavan, another family drama, which failed to impress the masses, but was critically acclaimed. In the same year Ranjith scripted Ammakilikood, directed by Padmakumar, with Prithviraj in the lead, which also got the cold shoulder from the public. In 2004, Ranjith teamed up with Mammooty for Black, which was a complete commercial entertainer targeting the fans of Mammootty, but became a success at box office.[14][15] Then came Chandrolsavam, starring Mohanlal in 2005. The film was panned by the critics for its lack of content and it failed to endear to even the fans of Mohanlal.[16] However, Ranjith believes that it was not a bad film. He says, "Mohanlal fans expected too much. I don't think it was a bad film. Many who watched it on DVD called to say they were surprised it did not do well. Fans come in with pre-conceived notions on how the actor will be in the movie and the kind of story it will be, hence they could not grasp the poetic element in the film."[17] In 2006, he scripted and directed Prajapathi, starring Mammootty, was also blasted by critics,[18] and was another disastrous movie.[19] His next venture was an offbeat film Kaiyoppu. Though a flop at the box office, Kaiyoppu brought critical appreciation from far corners and that compelled Ranjith to work with plots and themes without any commercial ingredients. Notably, its lead actor Mammootty, took no payments to act in the film as the script impressed him so much.[20]

Renjith in Sharjah Book Fair-2012

In 2007, he regained commercial success by teaming up with director Joshiy for the first time for the big budget film Nasrani starring Mammootty, which became a superhit at the box office.[21][22][23][24] Ranjith's next venture, Rock & Roll, starring Mohanlal, was unable to attract critics and was a massive flop.[25][26] In the year 2008, Ranjith again stunned Kerala with his film Thirakkatha, based on actress Srividya's life,[27] which won the National Award for the Best Malayalam Feature Film. Starring Anoop Menon and Priyamani in the lead, the movie featured Prithviraj and Samvrutha Sunil in important supporting roles. The movie was able to bring out the best in the actors.[28] The movie did well at the box office as well and garnered many awards.[29] In 2009, Ranjith directed and wrote the script for Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Katha, which was widely acclaimed critically.[30] Mammootty's performance was widely appreciated in this film. Ranjith also introduced about thirty Malayalam stage artists through this film.[31] In the same year he came up with another unique creation, Kerala Cafe — a fusion of ten different short films by ten directors. Ranjith helmed this venture, which proved to be an experimental breakthrough in the Malayalam film industry. The different segments in the movie were conceived and connected based on the concept of Yatra or journey.[32]

2010 onwards[edit]

In the year 2010, Ranjith wrote the story for the film Penpattanam, directed by V. M. Vinu. He then scripted and directed, Pranchiyettan and the Saint, starring Mammooty, was also widely accepted by movie buffs and the common people of Kerala,an excellent movie. It became the most popular film of the year and was also a commercial success. He is also occupied in the respected position of School Director for Cochin Media School, first authentic Film & Broadcasting Institute in Kerala.[33] Ranjith also appeared as judge in "Mammootty the Best Actor Award – II", an acting talent hunt reality show aired in Asianet.[34] In 2011 Ranjith scripted and directed a critically acclaimed satirical film Indian Rupee starring Prithviraj which was well received by the critics and was a commercial success. His next film, Spirit, primarily focused on the increasing habits of alcoholism in Kerala. Starring Mohanlal in the lead role, the film was critically acclaimed and was a box office success. He then produced and scripted for G. S. Vijayan's Mammootty starrer Bavuttiyude Namathil in 2012 which was a hit at the box office. His next film with Mammootty, Kadal Kadannoru Mathukkutty, in 2013 became profitable, but underperformed at the box office.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Credited as
Director Producer Screenwriter Story Actor
2014 Njan Yes Yes
2013 Kadal Kadannoru Mathukkutty Yes Yes Yes
Annayum Rasoolum Yes
2012 Bavuttiyude Namathil Yes Yes Yes
Jawan of Vellimala Yes
Spirit Yes Yes Yes
2011 Indian Rupee Yes Yes Yes
Bhakthajanangalude Sradhakku Yes
2010 Pranchiyettan and The Saint Yes Yes Yes
Best Actor Yes
Penpattanam Yes
2009 Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha Yes Yes
Kerala Cafe Yes Yes
2008 Gulmohar Yes
Thirakkatha Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
2007 Rock & Roll Yes Yes
Nasrani Yes Yes
Kaiyoppu Yes Yes
2006 Prajapathi Yes Yes
2005 Chandrolsavam Yes Yes
2004 Black Yes Yes
2003 Ammakilikkoodu Yes
Mizhi Randilum Yes Yes
2002 Nandanam Yes Yes Yes Yes
2001 Ravanaprabhu Yes Yes Yes
2000 Narasimham Yes
Valyettan Yes
1999 Ustaad Yes Yes
1998 Summer in Bethlehem Yes
1997 Aaraam Thampuran Yes
Asuravamsam Yes
Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu Yes
1996 Rajaputhran Yes
1994 Rudraksham Yes
1993 Yadavam Yes
Maya Mayuram Yes
Devasuram Yes
1992 Johnnie Walker Yes
1991 Neelagiri Yes
Pookkalam Varavayi Yes
Georgootty C/O Georgootty Yes
1990 Nagarangalil Chennu Raparkam Yes
Marupuram Yes
Nanma Niranjavan Srinivasan Yes
Pavakkoothu Yes
Shubhayathra Yes
1989 Peruvannapurathe Visheshangal Yes
Pradeshika Vaarthakal Yes
Kalal Pada Yes
1988 Orkkappurathu Yes
Witness Yes Yes
1987 Oru Maymasa Pulariyil Yes
Ezhuthappurangal Yes

Awards[edit]

National Film Awards:

Kerala State Film Awards:

Kerala Film Critics Awards

Asianet Film Awards

Filmfare Awards South

Other Awards:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Renjith Biography". Oneindia.in. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Germinating story ideas". The Hindu. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "An award in the name of a music lover". The Hindu. 8 September 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2011. "Ranjith had told me that he was planning to make a film on Raju (Devasuram)" 
  4. ^ "Destiny's child". The Hindu. 11 August 2006. Retrieved 2 March 2011. "This is not Shajoon's first hit. Thachiledathu Chundan, released in 1999, with Mammootty in the lead role, was his first hit." 
  5. ^ "Focusing on social issues". The Hindu. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Shobha Warrior (3 September 2003). "25 years, 25 landmarks". Rediff. Retrieved 3 March 2011. "A bad year for Mohanlal. Only two releases: Olympian Antony and Ustad. Both eminently forgettable films." 
  7. ^ R. Krishnakumar (22 July 2000). "Greasepaint, and beyond". Frontline. The Hindu. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Narasimham – Malayalam's biggest ever grosser". Rediff. 26 January 2000. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Portrayal of tones of grey". The Hindu. 18 November 2005. Retrieved 3 February 2011. "Valyettan, which went on to become a big hit" 
  10. ^ "Painting a portrait of love – Section: The Shooting of Ravana Prabhu". The Hindu. 18 July 2001. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  11. ^ "Journey of music". The Hindu. 19 July 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2011. "Ravana Prabhu is one of the biggest hits of Malayalam cinema" 
  12. ^ "Youngsters leave a mark". The Hindu. 4 January 2003. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  13. ^ Prema Manmadhan (9 January 2010). "Sitting Pretty". The Hindu. 
  14. ^ "Year 2004 — a flashback". The Hindu. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  15. ^ "Malayalam cinema- Analysis 2004!". Sify. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  16. ^ "Boom year for mollywood". The Hindu. 30 December 2005. Retrieved 3 February 2011. "Chandrolsavam flopped owning to lack of content" 
  17. ^ "Daring to be different". The Hindu. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Done in by a poor story". The Hindu. 11 July 2006. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  19. ^ "Prajapathi bombs". Sify. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  20. ^ "Offbeat Films". The Hindu. 16 December 2006. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  21. ^ http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/malayalam/article/34093.html Bumper initials for Nasrani
  22. ^ http://www.movies-malayalam.com/2012/01/nazrani.html#!/2012/01/nazrani.html
  23. ^ http://entertainment.oneindia.in/malayalam/movies/nasrani.html
  24. ^ "Treat in store for film buffs". The Hindu. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  25. ^ "Rock N Roll Review". Oneindia.in. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "Mohanlal in Malaysia". Oneindia.in. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  27. ^ "Dream makers". The Hindu. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  28. ^ "Attempting a different kind of cinema". The Hindu. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  29. ^ "Thirakkatha doing well at box office". Yahoo. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  30. ^ "Unveiling a mystery". The Hindu. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  31. ^ P. K. Ajith Kumar (3 February 2011). "The gems of Paleri Manikyam". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  32. ^ "Kerala Cafe – official". Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  33. ^ "Cochin Media School: About". Cochin Media School. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  34. ^ "The ‘reality factor’ in acting"
  35. ^ "56th National Film Awards". Public Information Bureau. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  36. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards 2009 Declaration". Keralafilm.com. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  37. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards 2001". Keralafilm.com. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  38. ^ a b c "Critics award: 'Gaddama' adjudged best film". The Indian Express. 26 February 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  39. ^ "Atlas Film Critics' Award 2009 announced". Yahoo. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  40. ^ a b "Atlas Film awards for Lal and Sukumari". Oneindia.in. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  41. ^ "Film Critics’ Award for Mammootty, Padmapriya". Indiaglitz. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  42. ^ "Film critics' awards announced". The Hindu. 1 February 2004. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  43. ^ a b "Film Awards". The Hindu. 29 January 2003. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
  44. ^ "നക്ഷത്രങ്ങള്‍ മണ്ണിലിറങ്ങി; ഉത്സവമായി ഏഷ്യാനെറ്റ് അവാര്‍ഡ് നിശ". (in Malayalam). Mathrubhumi. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  45. ^ "നക്ഷത്രങ്ങള്‍ മണ്ണിലിറങ്ങി; ഉത്സവമായി ഏഷ്യാനെറ്റ് അവാര്‍ഡ് നിശ". (in Malayalam). Mathrubhumi. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  46. ^ "Mammootty, Mohanlal bag Asianet film awards yet again". Indo-Asian News Service. NDTV. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  47. ^ "Pazhassi Raja selected as best film". Thiruvananthapuram: The Hindu. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  48. ^ "Star-studded show marks award nite". The Hindu. 8 March 2004. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  49. ^ a b "The glitter, the gloss, the razzmatazz". Times of India. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  50. ^ "The Kochi Times Film Awards 2011". 23 June 2012. 
  51. ^ "Vayalar Ramavarma Chalachitra Television Award 2011". Yentha.com. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  52. ^ "Vanitha Film Awards announced". Keraltv.in. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  53. ^ "Award ceremony". The Hindu. 16 January 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  54. ^ a b "Amrita Film Awards 2009". Oneindia.in. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  55. ^ "Padmarajan awards for Ranjith, Meera". The Hindu. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  56. ^ "Briefly: Award for Ranjith". The Hindu. 5 March 2005. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 

External links[edit]