He has been at the forefront of transformations in aesthetics of Malayalam cinema: jury
Filmmaker Hariharan has been chosen for the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for 2019.
The award, conferred by the State government annually in recognition to an individual’s contributions to Malayalam cinema, carries a purse of ₹5 lakh, a plaque, and a citation.
He has been chosen for the award by a jury chaired by writer and filmmaker M.T. Vasudevan Nair and comprising filmmakers Harikumar, Kerala State Chalachitra Academy Chairman Kamal, actor Vidhubala, and Culture Secretary Rani George. The jury has observed that Hariharan has been at the forefront of transformations in the aesthetics of Malayalam cinema in a career spanning 50 years, during which he had made films that went on to become landmarks for the industry.
Equally adept at contemporary narratives and large-scale historical productions, Hariharan has constantly explored newer avenues and stayed ahead of the game for much of his career. After reaching Chennai in 1965, he spent seven years assisting various directors before making his debut in 1972 with Ladies Hostel. Some of his earlier films, including Sharapancharam and Panchami, became stepping stones for Jayan to superstardom.
The year 1986 witnessed the release of two of his best works — Panchagni, a woman-centric film set around the Naxalite movement, and Nakhakshathangal, which tackled teenage love, angst, and loss. Next year, he made Amrtham Gamaya, on a doctor ridden with guilt for a serious mistake he committed as a student.
His first tryst with historical dramas came with Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha, which won four national awards. Parinayam was a period drama based on the practice of Smarthavicharam that existed in the early 20th century. He would return to period dramas much later in his career with Pazhassi Raja, which also proved to be a major hit. All of these films fetched awards at the national and State levels.
His films have always been backed by some strong writing and also gifted Malayalam with some of its evergreen film songs. He also made the acclaimed musical Sargam.