Director Bharathiraja is a very important name in the Tamil film industry. At a time when Tamil films had gotten used to shooting only indoors and in studios, he was the pioneering filmmaker who has the unique distinction of taking Tamil films outdoors and to villages. Today, on July 17, the veteran celebrates his 78th birthday. Hailing from a small village - Alli Nagaram in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu, Bharathiraja’s debut film was Pathinaaru Vayadhinilae, in the year 1977. Featuring the current stalwarts of the industry - superstar Rajinikanth, the late Sridevi, and Kamal Haasan, till date this film remains an important milestone in the careers of all those involved.
In his illustrious career, Bharathiraja has made close to fifty films and each film of his is a gem in its own right. His combination with maestro Ilaiyaraja was also one of the major USPs of his films. Bharathiraja’s films always had realistic and sensitive portrayals of characters that became a trademark of this director. To list the best films in his career could be a long-drawn-out affair. But all the same, some of his stand-out films are Kizhakkae Pogum Rail, Sivappu Rojakkal, Alaigal Oyvadhillai, Niram Maaradha Pookkal, Mudhal Mariyaadhai, Kaadhal Oviyam, Nizhalgal, Kadalora Kavidhaigal, Tik Tik Tik, Captain Magal, Kizhakku Seemaiyilae, Karuthamma, and Bommalattam. He was the one who gave a totally new dimension to the late Sivaji Ganesan, in his film Mudhal Mariyaadhai, that talked about an aged man’s affection for a younger woman in a very dignified manner.
He has made his on-screen appearances as an actor and Mani Ratnam made use of his unique face-cut for the portrayal of an antagonist in his film Aayudha Ezhuthu. Bharathiraja has won numerous awards for his work. He has won six National Film Awards, four Filmfare Awards South, two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and a Nandi Award. The Government of India honoured the director with the Padma Shri award, India's fourth-highest civilian honour, in 2004, for his contribution to the film industry. We wish the director a very very happy birthday and look forward to seeing more of his work on the big screens.Read More