Filmmaker Balanathan Benjamin Mahendran populary known as Balu Mahendra passed away after suffering a heart attack on Thursday. He was 74. He started out as a cinematographer and went on to direct many legendary films.
He directed films in all the four southern languages. Here's listing four of his best movies.
Moondram Pirai: In the Tamil film world, Balu was regarded for Moondram Pirai, which he later directed in Hindi as Sadma with Kamal Haasan and Sridevi. The film revolves around a girl (Sridevi) who regresses to the state of a child, after suffering from an accident. How Kamal Haasan comes in her life and helps and protects her in every possible way, only to lose her in the end, as she gets back to her normal, state forms the crux of the movie.
Olangal: His Malayalam directorial film Olangal was later adapted to Hindi as Masoom by Shekhar Kapur. Olangal stars Amol Palekar, Poornima and Ambika. Amol and Poornima play a married couple who are leading a happy life with their only daughter. Life changes for them when Amol's lovechild appears on the scene.
Thalaimuraigal: Balu Mahendra's last Tamil directorial Thalaimuraigal was a befitting farewell to his illustrious career. The film was not a box office winner but was lauded by critics. The master himself acted in this one. It starred Sashi Kumar Subramani as Sivaraman and Ramya Shankar as Stella.
In the film Balu Mahendra mentors a city bred child of a doctor couple and helps him learn Tamil culture.
Kokila: In 1977, Balu wielded the megaphone for the Kannada romantic-drama Kokila, which was also written by him. The film won the Karnataka State Award for the best screenplay. It starred Kamal Haasan, Mohan and Shoba. It tells the story of a medical student Kokila who falls in love with her paying guest Vijayakumar.