P. Bhaskaran: If Neelakuyil the milestone Malayalam movie in the year 1954 won accolades from all quarters, it also witnessed the genesis of a highly creative personality in the form of Mr. P. Bhaskaran. This multifaceted character was destined to dominate, especially the Malayalam filmdom for a long time to come. And indeed, he did so with a string of soul stirring songs, and some good movies, which often provided one with insights to life in general.
Born in Kodungallur in Thrissur district, Mr. P. Bhaskaran is widely acknowledged for his prowess in poetry, but has also proved equally adept in various departments of filmmaking. He proved this in his debut venture as director for the movie Neelakuyil in 1954. The film also fetched the Malayalam movie world its first national level recognition. This black and white film won the Rajat Kamal Award for Malayalam cinema. The film also saw the emergence of Mr. Ramu Kariat as a promising director, who co-directed Neelakuyil, and placed music composer Mr. K. Raghavan in the limelight.
According to Mr. P. Bhaskaran "to make a film with some social relevance" was the objective before starting the work on Neelakuyil and this idea had the unflinching support of a group of youngsters who looked towards movies as a medium to make social impacts.
Event though Neelakuyil from a debut point of view gains significance, the critics and the Malayalam film world consider Iruttinte Aathmavu as the best directorial work by Mr. P. Bhaskaran. The film literally brought forth the full potential of the late Mr. Prem Nazir as an actor, which was never realized before.
Mr. P. Bhaskaran has remarked in the past that his communist ideologies clubbed with his affinity towards music and interest in poetry enabled him to pen evergreen songs. Indeed, this holds true if one is to recall some of the memorable songs like Naalikerathintte Naattilundenikoru which instantly reminds one of home, especially to Keralites working abroad, Elaarum Chollanu portraying the musings of a young village girl, Nazhuri Paalu Kondu and Apaara Sundara Neelakasam touching upon the socio-cultural traits of the land and the many facets of natural beauty.
Stepping into his eighties, if one looks at the contributions made by Mr. P. Bhaskaran, one can easily point out the passionate efforts taken by him to link literature and music to the world of cinema. In his words "I remained true to the principles I believed in and my films had a social content and outlook. They were all rooted in reality."
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