The who’s who of Tamil cinema expressed shock at the demise of veteran filmmaker J Mahendran this morning. Paying rich tributes, they recalled Mahendran’s contribution to cinema.
The 79-year-old filmmaker, who helmed Mullum Malarum, which turned out to be a milestone in Rajinikanth’s career, breathed his last Tuesday morning. He passed away around 7.45 am.
Mahendran had directed several memorable films like Johnny, Uthiri Pookkal and Nenjathai Killadhey.
Condoling his death, veteran filmmaker Chetan said, “Tamil film industry has lost a gem. He was a wonderful filmmaker who was committed to give only quality films. We learnt a lot from Mahendran’s films.”
Vettrimaran, a national award-winning filmmaker, said, “I am shocked to know that Mahendran sir is no more. An inspirational director, his films inspired many youngsters to take up cinema. Though he made just 12 films in his career, quality mattered the most to him. He was not bothered about numbers.”
Mahendran’s films spoke an unique language. They were adored and admired by all, he added.
Filmmakers like Mahendran and Balu Mahendra knew what they had to give and upgraded the tastes and preferences of audience with their works, he added.
Director Pa Ranjith said, “His movies spoke a single language. Films like Uthiri Pookal, Mullum Malarum are still celebrated. He ensured even class films reach the masses.’
Actress Suhasini, who was introduced by Mahendran in Nenjathai Killathey, said, “I have lost my mentor. He was the man who introduced me to cinema. It is a great loss for us.”
Director A R Murugadoss described Mahendran as a rare gem in Indian film industry. “An inspiration for many directors like me, Mahendran’s films like Uthiri Pookkal will stay in our hearts forever,” he remarked.
Director Parthiban said, “Mahendran may have left us. But his classics like Uthiri Pookkal will stay in our hearts for the next 100 years.”
Veteran actress Radhika Sarathkumar, said, “Had a great and wonderful experience working with him in Metti. A fantastic writer who changed the narrative in Tamil cinema with his iconic writing.”
Vasantabalan, condoling Mahendran’s demise, said, “Characterisation in his films were the key in his writing. His prolific writing motivated many to follow in his footsteps.”
Aristes like Manobala, M Sasikumar, Shantanu Bhagyaraj, Gayathri Raghuram, Vairamuthu, Seenu Ramasamy among others condoled Mahendran’s demise.