Venu Nagavalli, in his avatar as an actor, played diverse characters in close to 30-odd films, but he was always bracketed (pigeon-holed/slotted) as this brooding, melancholic hero who was always doomed from the beginning, ploughing through the proceedings to his inevitable sad and painful ending . Curiously enough, it was a slew of movies, starting with his debut film, Ulkadal (1978), that reinforced this stereotype , with the same kind of characters following suit, at least for the next decade.
[The repost of a note in memoriam, published on the passing of Venu Nagavally, 9th September, 2010. It has been an year.]
It has almost become a sickening joke of this passing away of the ‘Old School’ of Malayalam Cinema, one after the other in quick succession, right before your eyes With each, goes a part of a definitive and creative force that molded the golden years (purportedly) years of Malayalam Cinema, the 80’s and the 90’s. It almost makes you cringe, as you cock an ear at the ‘BREAKING NEWS’ ticker of the foaming-in-the-mouth crop of God’s own TV Channels, and with a an air of helplessness, mutter “why, so soon?” Venu Nagavally was no stranger to the magic of Cinema, you could say he was born right into it, with an illustrious lineage, right from popular writer and commentator Nagavally RS Kurup, starting off his dabbling into films as a playback singer, on the lines of Jose Prakash, who also entered Malayalam films as a playback singer .