Tribute to Mr BaluMahendra: One of Tamil Cinema’s Priceless Treasures

Tribute to Mr BaluMahendra: One of Tamil Cinema’s Priceless Treasures

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As the entire Tamil Film fraternity mourns the demise of one of Tamil Cinema’s prolific filmmakers, let us take a moment to cherish the wonderful contributions he has been to the industry. 
Just like how the Industrial Revolution sparked developmental innovations in technology and medicine in the 1870s, Tamil cinema saw a revelation in the 1970s through to 1980s in film making styles via the use of cinematography. Back in the 1950s and 60s, filmmaking was strongly influenced by the directors input. However, that perception and school of thought changed when Balu Mahendra pioneered the use of Cinematography to make cinema a pleasant and enjoyable experience to enjoy in theatres.  His simple, yet powerful use of low to moderate lighting techniques created reality, that helped to churn out emotions in the characters in his films. Many reputed award-winning cinematographers such as P.C Shreeram, Ravichandran, Santhosh Sivan and Rajeev Menon were inspired by his significant efforts in film crafting. 
One of his unique filmic features was the use of music to create a sense of communicative nostalgia between characters that made us viewers connected with the harmony created with respect to the plot and picture. This trend is noted in his student’s films who worked with him as his assistant directors. This encompassed Bala, Ameer, Ram, Seenu Ramasamy and Na Muthukumar, with all of them achieving success in the form of National Awards with the latter showing his proficiency in being a lyricist. 
It was Balu who helped Mani Ratnam in his first movie Pallavi Anu Pallavi as the former was the cameraman, which paved way for the latter’s illustrious career, which spread, to all regions of India. How can we not forget the strong rapport that occurred between Balu and Kamal Haasan as this led to the highly acclaimed film Moondram Pirai.  What is evident in Balu’s films was the amazing holistic combination of music, character emotions and cinematic style that created an experience in cinema among film viewers. 
Tamil cinema has lost a great legend and let us celebrate the enormous contribution that he has made that lead to the rest of India heed of Tamil Cinema as a formidable industry in terms of talent and filmmaking. 
We will truly miss you. 
May Your Soul rest in Peace. 
dhivahar sri ranjan

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