Visu

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Visu
Visu Director.png
Born
Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan[1]

(1945-07-01)1 July 1945[2]
Tamil Nadu, India
Died22 March 2020(2020-03-22) (aged 74)
Chennai, India
OccupationDirector, writer, stage actor, film actor, television host.
Years active1977–2016
Spouse(s)Sundhari
(m.1975–2020)
ChildrenLavanya
Sangeetha
Kalpana
RelativesKishmu (brother)

Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan (1 July 1945 – 22 March 2020), best known by his stage name Visu, was an Indian writer, director, stage, film and television actor and talk-show host.[3] Visu initially worked as an assistant to director K. Balachander until becoming a director himself. He later began acting, with his first film being Kudumbam Oru Kadambam (1981), directed by S. P. Muthuraman.[4]

Career[edit]

He started his career as a theatre artist, working with Y. G. Parthasarathy’s drama troupe. He was writing scripts for stage dramas before getting into the film industry as an assistant to legendary director K. Balachander. During his time with Balachander, he wrote screenplays for numerous films including Pattina Pravesam (1977), Avan Aval Adhu (1980), Thillu Mullu (1981) and Netrikkan (1981). Thillu Mullu and Netrikkan, which were both released in 1981, became box office hits for actor Rajinikanth.The script and the flawless screenplay gave Rajinikanth a platform to prove that he can do comedy and not just action movies. Visu made his debut as an actor in the film Kudumbam Oru Kadambam (1981), for which he also wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by S. P. Muthuraman. Though Visu acted as a protagonist in a few of his own films, he was largely known as a character artist.

His first film as a director was Kanmani Poonga (1982). Most of his films including Manal Kayiru (1982), Dowry Kalyanam (1983), Samsaram Adhu Minsaram (1986), Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi (1987), Penmani Aval Kanmani (1988), Vedikkai En Vadikkai (1990) and Pattukottai Periyappa (1994) spoke about the issues of urban middle-class families. These films, which were released in the mid-80s, turned out to be crowd pullers, particularly with regard to the female audience.[5] His other super hit was Chidambara Rahasiyam (1985), which is considered a cult-classic.[6]

Samsaram Adhu Minsaram (1986) was the first Tamil film to win the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.[7]

As a writer, Viswanathan was known for his sharp and witty dialogues, that lent itself to family dramas. While he has directed a rage of actors on screen, he and his brother Kishmu used to star in his films as well in memorable roles. His film Neenga Nalla Irukkanum won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues in 1992. Based on prohibition, the film was the last onscreen appearance of then chief minister, J. Jayalalithaa.[8]

He has also shared the screen with superstar Rajinikanth in successful films such as Nallavanukku Nallavan (1984), Mr. Bharath (1986), Mannan (1992), Uzhaippali (1993) and Arunachalam (1997).

During the ending phase of his career, he made movies which did not leave a lasting mark on the audience as Vaa Magale Vaa (1994), Meendum Savithri (1996) and Sigamani Ramamani (2001).[9]

Actor and stage artiste S. Ve. Shekher, who has worked in over 20 films with Visu, said that he was an extremely disciplined and committed.[10]

As an actor, he was last seen in Manal Kayiru 2 (2016), the sequel to one of his earliest directorial successes, Manal Kayiru.

The versatile actor is known to have starred in over 60 films and directed around 25 films.[11]

Style[edit]

"Growing up in a joint family, I observed how each person had a difference of opinion. It wasn't bad; just that we were different. I wondered, ‘Wouldn't other joint families have similar issues?’ So I started writing scripts that reflect the day-to-day scenario in a joint family".

 – Visu in 2016[12]

In Visu's films, all the characters were given equal importance. Often, there was huge house wherein a joint family would reside and the character of Visu would solve their problems. Many of Visu's film titles contain rhyming words, a trait which began with Samsaram Adhu Minsaram (1986). His movies focused on many family issues like dowry, need of remarriage for women, mother in law-daughter in law disputes and so on which were occurring that time. In most of the films he directed there is a character named Uma, named after a teacher to whom he first presented his script for Samsaram adhu minsaram and got praise. Visu promised her to always name one of his characters Uma in his films.[13][14][15]

Other works[edit]

A philanthropist, Visu had been supporting the needy through his own foundation. He became known for hosting live debates on television, namely Visuvin Makkal Arangam on Jaya TV and Arattai Arangam on Sun TV.[16][17] He joined and campaigned for BJP.[18]

Death[edit]

Visu died due to kidney failure on 22 March 2020 at Chennai.[19][20][21][22]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Credited as Role Notes
Director Writer Actor
1977 Pattina Pravesam Red XN Green tickY Red XN
1978 Sadhurangam Red XN Green tickY Red XN also dialogue
1980 Avan Aval Adhu Red XN Green tickY Red XN
1980 Mazhalai Pattalam Red XN Green tickY Red XN
1981 Thillu Mullu Red XN Green tickY Green tickY As a film crew Voice-Over Actor (Dubbing)
1981 Netrikkann Red XN Green tickY Red XN
1981 Keezh Vaanam Sivakkum Red XN Green tickY Red XN
1981 Kudumbam Oru Kadambam Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Srinivasa Raghavan
1982 Kanmani Poonga Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Cricketer Ramkumar
1982 Simla Special Red XN Green tickY Red XN
1982 Manal Kayiru Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Uthramerur Narathar Naidu
1982 Pudhukavithai Red XN Green tickY Red XN
1983 Oru Kai Paappom Red XN Red XN Green tickY
1983 Dowry Kalyanam Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Ganesh
1984 Nallavanuku Nallavan Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Owner Gangadharan
1984 Puyal Kadantha Boomi Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Nammaalu allies Namachivaayan
1984 Rajathandhiram Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Bairavan
1984 Vaai Sollil Veeranadi Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Vengapuli Varadhachari
1984 Nanayam Illatha Nanayam Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Veerapandi
1984 Oorukku Upadesam Red XN Red XN Green tickY Sankaran
1985 Puthiya Sagaptham Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Ramadasaradan
1985 Aval Sumangalithan Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Watchman Aarumugam
1985 Ketti Melam Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
1985 Chidambara Rahasiyam Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Beemarao
1986 Mr. Bharath Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Kumaresa Gounder
1986 Dharma Pathini Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Lawyer "Vicks" Vardarajan
1986 Samsaram Adhu Minsaaram Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Ammaiyappa Mudaliyar National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
1986 Oomai Vizhigal Red XN Red XN Green tickY Rathnasabapathy
1986 Mella Thirandhathu Kadhavu Red XN Red XN Green tickY Thulasi's father
1986 Thaaiku Oru Thaalaattu Red XN Red XN Green tickY Ponnambalam
1986 Anandha Kanneer Red XN Red XN Green tickY Paapa
1987 Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Naagarkoil Naadhamuni
1987 Kavalan Avan Kovalan Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Prabhu's Father-in-law
1987 Aadade Aadharam Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Nandi Award for Second Best Story Writer[23]
Telugu Film
1987 Kathai Kathayam Karanamam Red XN Red XN Green tickY
1988 Veedu Manaivi Makkal Red XN Red XN Green tickY Subbaiah Pillai
1988 Penmani Aval Kanmani Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Radio Mama
1988 Illu Illalu Pillalu Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Telugu film
1988 Mappillai Sir Red XN Red XN Green tickY Sock Puppet
1989 Sakalakala Sammandhi Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Mayavaram Malayappan
1990 Varavu Nalla Uravu Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Appa Ambalavanar Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Story Writer
1990 Vedikkai En Vadikkai Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kaavisattai Kandasamy
1992 Mannan Red XN Red XN Green tickY Viswanathan
1992 Urimai Oonjaladugirathu Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kasturi's Father
1992 Neenga Nalla Irukkanum Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues
1993 Uzhaippali Red XN Red XN Green tickY Barrister
1993 Chinna Mapillai Red XN Red XN Green tickY Marriage Broker
1994 Pattukottai Periyappa Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Pattukottai Periyappa
1994 Aranmanai Kaavalan Red XN Red XN Green tickY CBI Officer
1994 Vaa Magale Vaa Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Viswanathan
1994 Vanaja Girija Red XN Red XN Green tickY Business man Ramanathan
1994 Vaanga Partner Vaanga Red XN Red XN Green tickY Ganapathi
1995 Mayabazar Red XN Red XN Green tickY Vishwanathan
1995 God Father Red XN Red XN Green tickY Viswanatham Telugu film
1996 Irattai Roja Red XN Red XN Green tickY Anchor Guest appearance
1996 Meendum Savithri Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Narayana Moorthy
1997 Nesam Red XN Red XN Green tickY Himself
1997 Aravindhan Red XN Red XN Green tickY
1997 Adimai Changili Red XN Red XN Green tickY
1997 Vasuki Red XN Red XN Green tickY Ramasamy
1997 Arunachalam Red XN Red XN Green tickY Adv. Rangachari
1997 Sishya Red XN Red XN Green tickY Aadhimoolam
1997 Vaimaye Vellum Red XN Red XN Green tickY
1998 Bhagavath Singh Red XN Red XN Green tickY
1999 Mannavaru Chinnavaru Red XN Red XN Green tickY Shanmugasundaram
1999 Anbulla Kadhalukku Red XN Red XN Green tickY Chandrasekhar
2000 Kakkai Siraginilae Red XN Red XN Green tickY Judge
2000 Vaanavil Red XN Red XN Green tickY Himself
2001 Sigamani Ramamani Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Sundaramoorthy
2001 Krishna Krishna Red XN Red XN Green tickY Advocate Viswanathan Guest appearance
2001 Middle Class Madhavan Red XN Red XN Green tickY Advocate
2001 Vadagupatti Maapillai Red XN Red XN Green tickY Gomathi Shankar
2001 Looty Red XN Red XN Green tickY Dr. Kuzhanthavelu
2003 Thithikudhe Red XN Red XN Green tickY Himself
2004 Maha Nadigan Red XN Red XN Green tickY
2005 Ji Red XN Red XN Green tickY Raghavan
2007 Cheena Thaana 001 Red XN Red XN Green tickY Governor Guest appearance
2007 Nenjirukkumvarai Ninaivirukkum Red XN Red XN Green tickY Guest appearance
2008 Ellam Avan Seyal Red XN Red XN Green tickY
2009 Innoruvan Red XN Red XN Green tickY Judge
2009 Kannukulle Red XN Red XN Green tickY
2013 Alex Pandian Red XN Red XN Green tickY Chief Minister
2013 Oruvar Meethu Iruvar Sainthu Red XN Red XN Green tickY Judge
2016 Manal Kayiru 2 Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Uthramerur Narathar Naidu

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CHATTING for a cause". The Hindu. 19 August 2004. Archived from the original on 19 October 2004. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  2. ^ "TANTIS". tamilfilmdirectorsassociation.com. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  3. ^ Balasubramanian, V. (3 April 2014). "I never left the stage". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Exclusive biography of #Visu and on his life".
  5. ^ "Tamil actor-director Visu passes away". 22 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Veteran Tamil actor, director Visu passes away at 74".
  7. ^ "50 Tamil movies to watch before you die - 31- Samsaram Adhu Minsaram". 13 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Remembering veteran actor Visu, pioneer of successful family-friendly Tamil films".
  9. ^ "Kollywood Director Visu Biography, News, Photos, Videos".
  10. ^ "Actor, director Visu dies at 75, funeral to be held on Monday". The Hindu. 22 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Veteran Tamil actor-director Visu dies of prolonged kidney-related ailments at age 74".
  12. ^ "Looking back at the golden years". The New Indian Express. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  13. ^ Ashok Kumar, S. R. (26 March 2020). "Visu, a colossus". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  14. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (23 March 2020). "A Tribute To Visu, Known For His Middle-Class Melodramas Like Samsaram Adhu Minsaram". Film Companion. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Remembering Visu, the king of the middle-class family drama". The News Minute. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  16. ^ thmrn. "Inimitable Visu". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 January 2005. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  17. ^ Devalla, Rani (11 November 2014). "A Passionate journey". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Veteran actor Visu joins BJP". Deccan Chronicle. 31 January 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Veteran Kollywood director Visu passes away at 74". The New Indian Express. 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  20. ^ "உடல்நலக்குறைவால் நடிகர் விசு காலமானார்..!" [Actor Visu expired due to illness]. Dinamalar (in Tamil). 22 March 2020. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Director Visu passes away". The Times of India. 22 March 2020. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Veteran Kollywood director Visu passes away at 74". The News Minute. 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  23. ^ "నంది అవార్డు విజేతల పరంపర (1964–2008)" [A series of Nandi Award Winners (1964–2008)] (PDF). Information & Public Relations of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 21 August 2020.(in Telugu)

External links[edit]