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‘Tribute to Nedumudi Venu’: Malayalam cinema mourns the untimely demise of a world-class actor

It is an irreparable loss for Malayalam cinema that actor Nedumudi Venu passed away so suddenly. However, for him, films were not his first priority. Nedumudi Venu, who excelled in folk songs, dramas, kathakali, and mridangam, never felt that cinema was more important than all of these. As a result of his irreplaceable talent, the film industry took him over.

Venu started out in the theatre before getting into the film industry. In 1978, he made his film debut with Aravindan’s Thampu. The role he played in Bharathan’s Aravam was well received. Later, he excelled as a leading actor, supporting actor, and villain. The death of Nedumudi Venu is a great loss for the Indian film industry.

Nedumudi Venu was one of the most experienced actors in M-Town. With his versatile roles, later on, the actor continued to surprise the audience with his impeccable performances. The actor’s intricate acting skills have also captured the attention of cinephiles outside of Kerala. He has been part of over 500 movies in Tamil and Malayalam during his career spanning over four decades.

The beginning
He was born on May 22, 1948, the youngest of five sons of Keshavan Pillai and Kunjikutty Amma in Nedumudi. He received his primary education from Higher Secondary School and St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Champakulam. Since childhood, Nedumudi Venu has been interested in reading and writing. He performed plays with his friends at school and at home. As a student, he took part in many cultural activities. Following his graduation from SD College, he worked as a journalist in Kalakaumudi and as a professor at a parallel college in Alappuzha.

He also worked as a teacher at a reputed institution. While in Thiruvananthapuram, however, Venu met Aravindan, Padmarajan, and Bharath Gopi. Their friendship paved the way for his acting career. Initially, Venu participated in theater productions and dramas by Kavalam Narayan Panicker. With hits like ‘Aaravam’, ‘Oridathoru Phayalwan’, and ‘Kallan Pavithran’, Venu kept capturing audiences for the rest of the 1980s.

A tribute to one of the finest actors

Venu quickly became one of Malayalam’s busiest co-stars. Nedumudi’s characters have a sense of spontaneity in their acting, body language and presentation of dialogue. He also appeared in television series while Doordarshan was in Vogue. A genius like Nedumudi can play serious and comic characters simultaneously. The artist who contributed drama to Malayalam cinema is gone. Among Nedumudi Venu’s rich repertoire of theatrical songs, melodies, and folk songs were many unique creations.

As soon as word broke that the 73-year-old actor had passed away, his fans and friends flocked to social media to pay their respects. In addition to Prithviraj Sukumaran and Sangeeth Sivan, many other actors and directors took to Twitter to bid farewell to Venu. ‘Farewell Venu uncle! Your body of work and your expertise over the craft will forever be research material for generations to come! Rest in peace legend! #NedumudiVenu,’ Prithviraj tweeted.

He has also appeared in an English film titled ‘Chaurahen’. His performances have won him 2 National awards, half a dozen State film awards as well as a special Jury mention. Malayalam cinema considers Nedumudi Venu to be one of its finest actors. Together with Mohanlal, he produced some priceless gems. Some of their most memorable movies together include ‘Thenmavin Kombath’, ‘Bharatham’, and ‘Thanmathra’.

The latest work from Nedumudi Venu was ‘Aanum Pennum’. The thespian starred in the ‘Rani’ episode of the anthology. The film was directed by Aashiq Abu and written by Unni R, and it starred Nedumudi Venu and Kaviyoor Ponnamma as an old couple. While Kaviyoor Ponnamma played a bedridden wife, Nedumudi Venu played her husband, who makes a living out of odd deeds. The actor was preparing for the upcoming release ‘Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham’, directed by Priyadarshan.


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