IV Sasi: The kingmaker behind Mammootty and Mohanlal

26 October, 2017, 00:44 | Author: Archie Newman
  • Malayalam filmmaker IV Sasi dies at 69 in Chennai

The legendary director, who made as many as 150 movies in Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi, dominated the Mollywood industry for nearly four decades since 1970s.

Irruppam Veedu Sasidharan was born in Kozhikode in March 1948 and began his career in the role of an art director.

Aavanazhi (Quiver of Arrows, 1986 Malayalam) was the first film I saw of the explosive Mammotty, long after I saw the Tamil remake in 1987, Kadamai Ganniyam Kattupaadu (the tenets of the Indian Police Force, Duty Dignity Discipline).

Collaborations with talented writers like Padmarajan initially, and thereafter Ranjith, was one of IV Sasi's best contributions to Malayalam cinema, apart from directing films which were made from short stories, novels and M T Vasudevan Nairs works.

Some of his well-known blockbusters include Alkoottathil Thaniye, Kanamarayathu, Aksharangal and Vadakaykkoru Hrudayam, Itha Ivide Vare, Angadi, Ee Nadu, Vartha, Devasuram and Avanazhi. In the vacuum left by Jayan's untimely death in late 1980, while most of the other directors persisted with Sukumaran and Soman, Sasi chose to give opportunities to the next generation of actors including Mammootty, Ratheesh and Mohanlal.

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"My friend for 45 years I.V.Sasi is no more". Leading from the front then were Kamal Haasan, Mammootty and Mohanlal.

IV Sasi is also the only filmmaker to bring Mammotty and Mohanlal together for over a dozen films. The film was a bilingual, in which Kamal Haasan also played the lead role. It is not just in Malayalam cinema that IV Sasi made a mark. Sasi's last commercial success was also with Mohanlal in 1997 (Varnappakittu) written by Babu Janardhanan.

The director has worked with some of the biggest stalwarts in Malayalam and Tamil cinema. He was also credited with contributing to the mega star image of Mammotty. Unfortunately, the film was a huge disaster and Sasi would go on to remark that if he had stuck to Damodaran's original screenplay (SN Swami was roped in to alter it), it would have turned out differently.

He made Hindi films, too, such as Patita, Karishma, and Ankhon Ki Rishta.

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