Malayala Manorama reports on the Prem Nazir Foundation Award for the Year (2010) being conferred to T Hariharan, who is one of those few Directors in Malayalam Cinema, and I would say Indian Cinema, who has defiantly refused being pigeon-holed in any genre. I think it is a felicitation that was long overdue for someone whose adeptness in handling the stereotyped ‘commercial’ productions, the ‘Arty’ ones and those high in literary content as well commercial faring at the Box-Office is legion. Correct me if I am wrong but his very first film as a director, Ladies Hostel in 1973 had Prem Nazir as the lead, produced by Dr. Balakrishnan.
Hariharan was equally at home directing popcorn fare like College Girl ( which also had a certain Assistant Director collaborating called Sathyan Anthikkad), Sarapanjaram that made Jayan the machismo of Malayalam Cinema, rollicking comedies like Poocha Sanyasi (1981), after which came what I consider as one of the most fruitful phases in his career, and thankfully, equally enriching for Malayalam Cinema. His collaboaration with MT Vasudevan Nair gave us a string of movies that we could proudly flaunt and boast about at any world cinema stage and leave the rest quivering with selfless appreciation. The most fantastic part about all of these collaborations, starting with Valarthu mrugangal in 1981 and now at Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja in 2009, they were all equally successful at the box-office as well. THAT is what makes him different from his peers. His latest project Karna which has just been announced looks to outdo the budget and the production values of Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja. May his tribe increase ! ( I can hope, can’t I?)
The Prem Nazir Foundation Award, which was instituted in 1992, has since been awarded to illustrious peers including jagathy Sreekumar, P. Bhaskaran, K.J. Yesudas, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, Surya Krishnamoorthy and Adoor Gopalakrishnan. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 , a citation and a statuette. The Award ceremony will be on January 16, 2011 at Thiruvanathapuram.
Here is Manasa Veenayil Madanan from Ladies Hostel (1973)