Nedumudi Venu – The Legend of Mollywood

Malayalam movie industry has seen many legends, who with their extra-ordinary acting skills and vibrancy have conquered the whole movie industry. Ace actor Nedumudi Venu is one such person, who gets fit to any role which comes on his way. Whether the 'Thampuran' in 'His Highness Abdullah', a revolutionary in 'Margam', Father in 'Chamaram', the old aged man in 'Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam' – he handles any role very easily.

'Venu' or 'Venugopal' was born to P K Keshanavan Nair and P Kunjikuttiyamma in Nedumudi, Alappuzha. Art and music was always there in his blood. This has lead him to choose an acting career. Venu's friendship with legendary directors like Padmarajan and Aravindan and actor Bharath Gopi ultimately leads his path to the silver screen.

Nedumudi Venu was not an actor who had a direct entry into the movie world. His journey was slow and steady. He started his career with theater and was also being part of the drama troupe of Kavalam Narayana Panickar. Venu's debut movie was 'Thambu' directed by his friend G Aravindan. The movie got released in 1978 and Venu shared screen with Bharath Gopi. The very next year, Venu got a chance to be part of Bharathan's movie 'Thakara'.

1980's seems to be the golden era in Venu's career. The movies like Chamaram, Thenum Vayambum, Palangal, Yavanika, Chillu, Alolam, Panchavadi Palam, Appunni, Nokatha Doorathu Kannum Nattu, Sarvakalashala, Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam, Vaishali, Vandanam etc happened during these years. Venu's first state award for best actor is credited for his role as a  'Father' in the movie 'Chamaram'. That was a role, which brought great fame to Venu.

The romantic face of 'Venu' was  revealed in the movies Thenum Vayambum and Palangal. 'Palangal' was his another association with director Bharathan and actor Bharath Gopi. His chemistry with Gopi was critically acclaimed. Later they joined hands in the movie, Yavanika too. For his performance in various films, once again 'Venu' was honoured with the Kerala State Award for Best actor in 1981.

Venu is a very talented actor, who is able to bring varieties of emotions on his face. The romantic Balagopalan, a flirt in Alolam, the Rajaguru of Vaishali proves his extraordinary brilliance in molding himself into different characters. The role of Rajaguru in the class movie 'Vaishali' hes been ever memorable. 'Vaishali' was a historical movie directed by Bharathan. Perfect cast, best cinematography and unique treatment were the highlights of 'Vaishali'.

'Oru Minnaminunginte Nuruguvettam' was a milestone in the acting career of Nedumudi Venu. His character Ravunni Nair will always leave a sorrow in our heart. Venu's chemistry with actress Sharada was also well appreciated in the movie. For his performance, Venu got his next Kerala State Award for Best Actor. The movie released in 1987 was another treat to the movie lovers from the ace director Bharathan.

Nedumudi Venu's association with Mohanlal had always done magic in the theatres. 90's saw such movies, which were some of the wonderful cinematic experiences. Lal Salam, His Highness Abdulla, Appu, Kizhakkunarum Pakshi, Dhanam, Bharatham, Kamaladhalam, Sadhayam, Chitram etc were memorable with their spectacular performances.

Venu was always keen to be part of movies with music or dance background. Thus happened Bharatham, Sargam, His Highness Abdullah etc. The emotional movie 'Bharatham' was one of the surprises for Malayalees. Who can forget the two brothers Ramanathan and Gopinathan done by Venu and Mohanlal respectively. Venu received Kerala State Special Jury Award for his performance in Bharatham along with another movie Santhwanam.

'His Highness Abdullah' was another movie which really utilized the performer in Venu. The movie was directed by Sibi Malayil and Venu appeared as Udhaya Varma thampuran. Venu was honoured with the National Award for Best Supporting Actor with this movie. Venu and Mohanlal combination worked well in 'Thenmavin Kombathu' too.

The years haven't brought any change in the acting caliber of Nedumudi Venu. His latest movies prove this fact. The movies like Akashathinte Niram, Friday, North 24 Katham, Sapthamashree Thaskaraha etc are his recently released movies. In which North 24 Katham was a great surprise for the viewers. The role 'Gopalan' was safe in Venu's hand.

Apart from Malayalam movies, Nedumudi Venu has been part of some Tamil projects like Silambattam, Poi Solla Poram, Anniyan, Indian, Mogamul, Roja etc. In all these movies, Venu had prominent roles. Venu is a multifaceted actor, who has done some television serials too, along with scripting for Kattathe Kilikoodu, Savidham, Oru Katha Oru Nuna Katha etc.

Nedumudi Venu is basically a person, who is in love with art and culture. His love towards music is well known and that may be the reason, characters with a musical background comes in search of Venu. The long 37 years of acting career have not shattered this passion from him. He is busy with his upcoming projects and is keen to dedicate his life for art and music. Venu is married to Susheela and they have two sons – Unni and Kannan.

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