|T. Damodaran, one of the most successful scriptwriters in Malayalam cinema’s history, died of cardiac arrest . He was 77.
He teamed up with master director I.V. Sasi and Priyadarshan in the 1980s and 1990s to write a string of successes for the three.
Damodaran and Sasi also teamed up to produce hit films like "Angadi", "Eee Nadu", "Vartha", "Avanazhi", "Inspector Balram", "1921", "Adimakal Udamakal", and "Balram vs. Taradas".
He and Priyadarshan produced hit movies like "Aryan", "Advaitham", "Abhimanyu", and "Kala Pani".
Damodaran started his career as a physical education teacher at a school here before starting his career as a scriptwriter for numerous Malayalam dramas and then moving into the film industry.
In a career spanning over four decades, Damodaran wrote some of the biggest blockbusters in Malayalam, such as Angadi, Ee Nadu, Vartha, Avanazhi, Inspector Balaram, Aryan and Adwaitham. His other notable films include Kattathe Kilikoodu, 1921, Adimakal Udamakal, Kalapani and Innallenkil Nale. His last film was Yes Your Honour (2006) and it was a hit too.
The physical education teacher-turned-theatre-activist-turned-scriptwriter was particularly good at writing political dramas, especially for veteran director I.V. Sasi, with whom he formed a remarkably prolific partnership. From that combination was born films like Angadi, Vartha, Ee Nadu and Adimakal Udamakal (a personal favourite of Damodaran).
Damodaran had his roots in theatre, making his debut as an actor at 13. He was part of Slapstick Theatre, in which Kuthiravattom Pappu was a leading actor. He wrote and acted in several comedies and satires, even as he earned a living as a physical education teacher.
Then his friend Hariharan persuaded him to write scripts for cinema. And he wrote his first screenplay for Hariharan, Love Marriage in 1975. It was the box office success of Angadi in 1980 that established Damodaran as a writer to reckon with in Malayalam cinema.
“Damodaran was a writer with great social commitment,” Hariharan told The Hindu over telephone from Chennai. “I am glad that I was instrumental in bringing Damodaran to cinema. I could work with him only in two films because he was busy writing for Sasi, while I was making films with people like M.T. Vasudevan Nair. Damodaran was a close friend of mine; I had met him only last week in Kozhikode.”
Damodaran is survived by his three daughters – Deedi (who is also a scriptwriter), Vava and Rashmi.