P Bharathiraja

Other names of P Bharathiraja: Chinnasaamy Periyamayathevar, P. Bharathiraja
Birthday: 17-07-1941
Age: 77
Star sign: Leo

Director P Bharathiraja is a popular person, who ruled the Tamil cinema industry once. He is one among the super directors of Indian film industry, who produced many talented actors to the Film industry. He has given many super heroes and heroines to the Tamil film industry including R. Radha, Karthik Muthuraman, Radhika Sarathkumar, K Bhagyaraja, Rathi Agnihothri, Revathi, Ranjitha and many more. He has directed Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. His son Manoj was introduced by him in the film Tajmahal alongside Riya Sen. But he did not shine well in the film industry. Right from his debut movie 16 Vayathinile, starred by Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Sridevi, till his latest venture Annakodi, he has made different stories and scripts that had a lot of acting scope to the performers.

This versatile director was born in Theni district and started his career as a post master. During his tenure as the postmaster, he had connections with Ilayaraja, who was also in the same district. At that time Ilayaraja was not in the film industry. They both searched for a good opportunity to enter the film industry and Ilayaraja got a chance in Annakili and got fame. Similarly, P Bharathiraja joined as an assistant to Kannada director P. Pullaiya.

Till now, he has bagged 6 National Awards for his films. He also got Awards from the Tamilnadu Government two times. His notable films are 16 Vayathinile, Kizhakke Pogum Rayil, Tik Tik Tik, Sigappu Rojakkal, Alaigal Oivathillai, Man Vasanai, Mudhal Mariyadhai, Kadalora Kavithaigal, Vedham Pudhithu, Karuthamma, Kizhakku Cheemayile and Bommalattam. This versatile director has acted in few films too. His latest appearance was in the film Pandianadu as Vishal Krishna’s father.

Another Version of this story…

Born on the 17th of July 1941, he is a one of a director. Mostly having given game- changing films in the Tamil movie industry, he is most known for his beautiful portrayals of the rural scene with an artistic touch to a degree as unseen before. Born to Periyamayakallar and Karuthammal as Chinnasamy, he got married to Chandra Leelavathi and had two children Manoj Bharathiraja (who acted in ‘Taj Mahal’) and Janani.
Puttana Kanagal, the greatest of all directors in Kannada was the first director, with whom he assisted. After that, he worked under P.Pullaiya, Krishnan Nair and etc. His first movie as a director was ‘16 Vayathinile’(1977). This film is said to have brought in an entirely new genre of village cinema and is considered a turning point in Tamil Cinema. ‘16 Vayathinile’ received much critical appreciation.

His next movie ‘Kizhakke Pogum Rail’ met with criticism in the sense that critics thought he was sticking to his comfort genre of village cinema and to prove them wrong, he came up with his next movie ‘Sigappu Rojakal’ dealing with his characters in an entirely westernised manner. This movie made his standing in the industry firm.

Nizhalgal’ and ‘Tik Tik Tik’, which was an action thriller, proved his real talent- his versatility. Sivaji Ganesan starred in his movie ‘ Muthal Mariyathai’. But despite his versatility and experimenting fervour, what stood out throughout his career was his dexterity when it came to dealing with concepts and stories with the village theme. That was, without a doubt, his forte.

The caste dynamics and the anti- Brahmanical sentiments common in Tamil cinema at that time came out in his movie ‘Vedham Pudhithu’ with some ground -breaking explicit scenes pointing out the reality, unlike his earlier movies that dealt with the issues lightly. In the 1990s, he modernised his movies for the younger audience and films like ‘Kizhakku Cheemaiyile’ and ‘Karuthamma’ are ample examples in this regard.

1996 saw two of his ventures being shelved, and also, him receiving a National Award for his movie ‘Anthimanthaarai’. He has undertaken directorial ventures in Telugu, Kannada and Hindi as well. He later tried his hands in short-films to garner an international audience, and his movie ‘Kadal Pookal’ of 2001 won a National Award.

In 2004, the Government of India honoured him with Padma Shri. He has in total garnered National Film Awards, two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and an innumerable number of other accolades.


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