Acclaimed cinematographer MJ Radhakrishnan is one of the names that defined cinematography in Mollywood as an academic subject passed away following a heart attack on Friday. With the death of the 61-years-old veteran, the era of cinematographers who swore by the aesthetics of natural lighting is coming to an end. MJ Radhakrishnan, who left his native village of Punaloor to become a photographer and found the allure of the video camera within years. Being a still photographer from the times when you had only one chance to get it right, Radhakrishnan was known for his precise sense of light and timing. Apart from the early movies of his mentor Shahi S Karun, cult classic Panchavadippalam is a movie where Radhakrishnan worked as a still photographer.
Having been an ace cinematographer for over three decades, Radhakrishnan has done over 75 films and has the record of winning the Kerala state award for best cinematographer seven times. This distinction is matched only by late cinematographer Mankada Ravi, who also has a national award in this category. He has also won awards at international fests for his work in Bioscope at the South Asian International Film Festival and Papilio Buddha at the Oaxaca Film Fest (2013) among others. His work in Maranasimhasanam won him the Golden Camera Award during the 1999 Cannes Festival.
Radhakrishnan won state awards for his works in Deshadanam (1996), Karunam (1999), Adayalangal (2007), Bioscope (2008), Veetilekkulla Vazhi (2010), Akashathinte Niram (2011) and Kaadu Pookunna Neram (2016). The veteran was a respected name in the art house section of movies too. After Mankada Ravi Varma, Radhakrishnan was probably the only cinematographer to earn ace director Adoor Gopalakrishnan's respect. The last films that Radhakrishnan worked for are Shaji N Karun’s Olu and Dr. Biju’s Veyil Marangal. Radhakrishnan's son Yadu is also a cinematographer.Read More