P. Vasu

Last updated

P Vasu
P.Vasu at Aayirathil Oruvan (1965) Audio Launch.jpg
Vasu in 2014
Born
Vasudevan Peethambaram

(1955-09-15) 15 September 1955 (age 68) [1]
Occupation(s)Director, writer, producer, actor
Years active1981 – present
SpouseShanthi Vasudevan
Children Shakthi Vasudevan
Abirami Vasudevan

Vasudevan Peethambaram, known professionally as P Vasu, is an Indian director, writer and actor who works predominantly in Tamil and Kannada films apart from a few Telugu, Hindi, and Malayalam language films. In a career spanning three decades, Vasu has directed over 65 films to his credit. [2]

Contents

Early life and education

P. Vasu's father, Peethambaram, worked as a make-up man for M. G. Ramachandran and N. T. Rama Rao in their films during his time. [3] He was one of the leading make-up artists during his period and was elected as the president of the make-up union Tamil Nadu for 30 years. He later went on to become a producer.

He produced about 25 films in Tamil and Telugu and became one of the leading producers in the south. He produced with his brother M. C. Sekhar, who was a cinematographer. M. C. Sekhar had worked as a cinematographer for more than 150 films. Peethambharan died on 21 February 2011 at the age of 89. [4]

Vasu is an alumnus of Wesley High School, Chennai. Vasu is married to Shanthi and has a son, Sakthi Vasu, who is a former film actor and a daughter, Abhirami Vasudevan. His mother is Kamala. Vasu's brothers are Vidyasagar and Vimal, and his sisters are Vijaylakshmi, Vasantha and Vanaja. [5] He is a Malayali from Nedumbal, a village in Thrissur district, Kerala, but settled in Tamil Nadu.

Career

Vasu joined director C. V. Sridhar as an assistant. Vasu started his career with Santhana Bharathi as a co-director and made films such as Panneer Pushpangal (1981), Madhu Malar (1981), Mella Pesungal (1983), Sahasame Jeevitham (1984) and Needhiyin Nizhal (1985). "We compromised on certain things as we had different approaches to the subject. That's the reason why some of our other movies failed to make a big impression in the box office, prompting us to take our own paths," said Vasu and moreover Vasu was more interested in making commercial films while Bharathi wants to make different kind of films. [6] [7]

During his career, films like Panakkaran (1990), Nadigan (1990), Chinna Thambi (1991), Mannan (1992), Walter Vetrivel (1993) and Sethupathi IPS (1994) have become blockbusters.

The director went through a career slump in the mid-1990s after a series of failures, through his high budget romantic musical Love Birds (1996). [8] [9] He has made films in all the four South Indian languages and he has worked with almost all top stars. [10]

From the 2000s, Vasu also began as an actor. He usually portrays a supporting role or an antagonistic role. His directed films Apthamithra (2004) went on to cross the one-year mark, while legendary Chandramukhi (2005) has had a record run of 800 days and more. [11] Elated with the grand success of his Kannada film Aptharakshaka (2010), which happens the last project of Vishnuvardhan. He completed remaking the film in Telugu titled Nagavalli (2010) (Chandramukhi 2), features Venkatesh in the lead role. Earlier P. Vasu had plans about remaking the film in Tamil with Superstar Rajinikanth titled Chandramukhi 2. However, the project didn't happen as the actor got busy with Shankar’s Enthiran (2010). [12]

Soon after the grand success of Chandramukhi, P Vasu was initially supposed to sign Kamal Haasan for a film featuring him in triple action roles. However, Kamal Haasan couldn't take up the project as he already got committed to Dasavathaaram (2008), where he had to play 10 roles. [13]

Vasu made a film called Thottal Poo Malarum (2007), with his son Shakthi. The young actor is not new to acting; he has acted as a child in his father's films. [14]

In June 2013, P. Vasu revealed that he was set to direct an English film titled Curry in Love, with an apparent star cast of Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Vijay, Eddie Murphy and Jon Voight. However, the supposed cast denied the reports as baseless and P. Vasu postponed the film, citing a delay in production. [15] [16] Later in April 2017, Vasu revealed that he still had intentions of making the film if he found a producer to help finance the project. [17] Similarly in early 2014, P. Vasu released an official statement claiming that his next film would be an animatronics venture titled Aishwaryavum Aayiram Kaakkavum and that Aishwarya Rai would feature in the leading role. Aishwarya Rai's team later denied claims citing that such allegations of an agreement were premature. [18] [19]

Actor Raghava Lawrence have teamed up for the first time with the director in Shivalinga (2017) that too for the remake of Vasu's Kannada blockbuster Shivalinga (2016) as horror-comedy genre. Shivalinga is saved by its packaging as a commercial family entertainer and Vadivelu's comedy. [20] Vasu is also his outing with Shiva Rajkumar in Ayushman Bhava (2019). [21]

Style of working

Vasu's films are usually in the masala genre, with melodrama as a key theme. [22] Indiaglitz wrote: "Vasu ruled the early 90's with his sentimental tearjerkers, The joke in film circles was that Vasu came to the studios with a `thali' (mangalsutra) and a script. He started using sister-brother- mother- father sentiment". [23] According to Behindwoods, "Vasu's style of storytelling has pervasive dramatization with a more-than-usual touch of sentiment". [24]

Vasu learnt the finer nuances of direction from Sridhar, under whom he started off as an assistant director, and added that he never followed Sridhar's style of filmmaking and has always tried to be original. [6] Vasu said that during childhood, "I found myself watching films and narrating the stories to my friends in school. If the school would begin at nine I would reach there by eight and narrate the story for an hour". [25]

Accolades

Vasu has won recognition for his work from the film fraternity and the state government. He won state awards for three years in a row from 1990, for Best Screenplay and Dialogues in Nadigan , in 1991 as Best Director in Chinna Thambi . He was awarded the Filmfare award for Best Direction for the 2004, Kannada movie Apthamitra . He also won the Tamil Nadu State Film Honorary Award  J. Jayalalithaa Award in 2002. [26] He was awarded the Kalaimaamani Award in 2004, reminiscent of his father Shri M. Peethambaram who was an awardee for Best make-up.

Vasu is a member of the state award selection committee and jury member of the committee for tax-free movies. [27]

Filmography

As director

YearFilmLanguageNote
1981 Panneer Pushpangal TamilCo-directed with Santhana Bharathi
1981Madhu MalarTamilCo-directed with Santhana Bharathi [28]
1983 Mella Pesungal TamilCo-directed with Santhana Bharathi
1984 Sahasame Jeevitham TeluguCo-directed with Santhana Bharathi
1985 Needhiyin Nizhal TamilCo-directed with Santhana Bharathi
1986 Kathanayaka Kannada
Guri Kannada
1987 Jayasimha Kannada
Jeevana Jyothi Kannada
1988 Daada Kannada
En Thangachi Padichava Tamil
1989 Pillaikkaga Tamil
Ponmana Selvan TamilRemake of Karunamayi
Vaathiyaar Veettu Pillai TamilRemake of Nammoora Raja
1990 Panakkaran TamilRemake of Laawaris
Velai Kidaichuduchu Tamil
Nadigan TamilRemake of Professor
Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Dialogue Writer
1991 Chinna Thambi Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film
Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Director
Adhikari TamilRemake of Guri
Kizhakku Karai Tamil
1992 Mannan TamilRemake of Anuraga Aralithu
Rickshaw Mama Tamil
Idhu Namma Bhoomi Tamil
Amma Vanthachu TamilRemake of Ee Jeeva Ninagagi
Senthamizh Paattu Tamil25th Film
1993 Walter Vetrivel Tamil
Uzhaippali Tamil
Udan Pirappu Tamil
1994 Sethupathi IPS Tamil
Sadhu Tamil
1995 Kattumarakaran Tamil
Coolie Tamil
Mr. Madras Tamil
1996 Love Birds TamilRemake of Ratha Sapthami
1997 Vaimaye Vellum Tamil
Paththini Tamil
1999 Suyamvaram Tamil
Malabar Police Tamil
Ponnu Veetukaaran Tamil
Hogi Pyaar Ki Jeet Hindi
2000 Seenu TamilRemake of Bharatham
Vanna Thamizh Pattu Tamil
Kakkai Siraginilae Tamil
2001 Asathal TamilRemake of Thoovalsparsham
2002Prudhvi NarayanaTelugu
2003 Hrudayavantha Kannada
Kadhal Kisu Kisu Tamil
2004 Apthamitra KannadaRemake of Manichitrathazhu
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Kannada
Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada
2005 Chandramukhi TamilRemake of Manichitrathazhu
Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film
2006 Paramasivan Tamil50th Film Remake of Kartoos
2007 Maharadhi Telugu
Thottal Poo Malarum Tamil
2008 Krishnarjuna Telugu
Kuselan Tamil
Kathanayakudu Telugu
2010 Aptharakshaka Kannada
Nagavalli TeluguRemake of Aptharakshaka
2011 Puli Vesham TamilRemake of Muniya
2012 Arakshaka Kannada
2014 Drishya KannadaRemake of Drishyam [29]
2016 Shivalinga Kannada
2017 Shivalinga TamilRemake of Shivalinga
2019 Ayushman Bhava Kannada
2021 Drishya 2 KannadaRemake of Drishyam 2
2023 Chandramukhi 2 TamilSequel to Chandramukhi [30]

As actor

YearFilmRoleLanguageNotes
2000 Vallarasu Kandhasamy Tamil
Seenu KesavanTamil
2001 Ee Parakkum Thalika R. K. Santhanam Malayalam
Thenkasi Pattanam DevarajTamil
2002 Seema Simham MP Kaaleswara Rao Telugu
Sundara Travels Gayathri's fatherTamil
Kadhal Virus HimselfTamilSpecial appearance
2003 Banda Paramasivam Chidambara UdayarTamil
Kadhal Kisu Kisu Inspector Vasu DevanTamil
Anjaneya DGPTamil
2004 Arasatchi SaravanaperumalTamil
Maha Nadigan ArivanandanTamil
2005 Chandramukhi HimselfTamilSpecial appearance in song "Devuda Devuda"
2007 Manikanda Mahalakshmi's grandfatherTamil
2008 Dasavathaaram J. Ragavendra (Jaa Raa)Tamil
Kuselan HimselfTamilSpecial appearance
Kathanayakudu HimselfTeluguSpecial appearance
Nenu Meeku Telusa? Aditya's FatherTeluguSpecial appearance
2010 Naane Ennul Illai HimselfTamil
Aptharakshaka HimselfKannadaSpecial appearance in song "Chamundi Thaayiyaane"
Thanthonni Adv. Anand SharmaMalayalam
2017 Shivalinga HimselfTamilSpecial appearance in song "Saarah Saarah"

As writer

YearFilmCredited asLanguageNotes
StoryScreenplayDialogue
1986 Ee Jeeva Ninagagi YesYesKannadaRemade in Tamil as Amma Vandhachu
1986 Ratha Sapthami YesKannada
1987 Karunamayi YesKannadaRemade in Tamil as Ponmana Selvan
1988 Nammoora Raja YesKannadaRemade in Tamil as Vaathiyar Veettu Pillau
1993 Purusha Lakshanam Yes Tamil
1998 Ayushman Bhava Yes Malayalam

As producer

YearFilmCastLanguageNotes
1993 Walter Vetrivel Sathyaraj, Sukanya TamilProduced by his wife Shanthi
1994 Sadhu Arjun Sarja, Raveena Tandon Tamil
1999 Malabar Police Sathyaraj, Khushbu TamilProduced by his wife Shanthi
2007 Thottal Poo Malarum Sakthi Vasu, Gowri Munjal Tamil

As singer

YearFilmSongComposerNotes
1989 Pillaikkaga "Un Annai Naan" Gangai Amaran [31] [32]

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