Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanthan
1 July 1945
|Died||22 March 2020 (aged 74)|
|Occupation||Director, writer, stage actor, film actor, television host|
|Children||Lavanya, Sangeetha and Kalpana|
Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanthan (1 July 1945 - 22 March 2020), best known by his stage name Visu, was an Indian writer, director, stage, film and television actor and talk-show host. Visu initially worked as an assistant to director K. Balachander until becoming a director himself. He later began acting, with his first film being Kudumbam Oru Kadambam, directed by S. P. Muthuraman.
2 Other works
3 Personal life
6 External links
"Growing up in a joint family, I observed how each person had a difference of opinion. It wasn't bad; just that we were different. I wondered, ‘Wouldn't other joint families have similar issues?’ So I started writing scripts that reflect the day-to-day scenario in a joint family".
– Visu in 2016
In the films directed by him, all characters were given equal importance. Often in his films, there was huge house wherein a joint family would reside and the character of Visu would solve their problems. He was paired with K. R. Vijaya in Aval Sumangalithan, wherein the characters of Karthik Muthuraman and Illavarasi were given importance in the second half of the film. Again in Veedu Manaivi Makkal, he was paired with K. R. Vijaya and this film was a critically acclaimed blockbuster.
He cast his brother Kishmu opposite Manorama in Chidambara Rahasyam and Vedikkai En Vadikkai. He cast M. N. Rajam as the evil mother-in-law in Penmani Aval Kanmani and as an overcautious mother in Thirumathi Oru Vegamathi. He then cast M. N. Rajam as his wife in Naanayam Ilatha Nayanam.
His family dramas are laced with a heavy dose of comedy along with a message for the audience. The films like Samsaram Adhu Minsaaram, Penmani Aval Kanmani, Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi, Ketti Melam, Vaai Sollil Veerandi, Raja Thandiram, Dowry Kalyanam, Sakalakaala Sambandhi, Pudhiya Sagaptham, Naanayam Ilatha Nanayam, Varvu Nalla Uravu, Vedikkai En Vadikkai, Manal Kayiru, Puyal Kadantha Bhoomi, Urimai Oonjal Adigirathu, Kanmani Poonga, Pattukottai Periyappa and Vaa Magale Vaa became blockbusters in their respective years of release, with them often coming in the top five highest grossing films of the year and are considered classics today. Each of them had the combination of director, writer of dialogues and screenplay writer and the main role being that of Visu.
He often cast his brother Kishmu, S. V. Sekhar, Manorama, Kamla Kamesh, Delhi Ganesh, Dilip, Illavarasi, Illavarasan, Madhuri and Omakuchi Narasimhan in his directorial ventures.
His film produced by the AIDMK government, Neenga Nalla Irukkanum in 1992 and Meendum Savitri starring Revathi, were box office flops but were critically acclaimed.
He also directed Prabhu in a double role in Kavalan Avan Kovalan. He has sung songs in Kaavalan Avan Kovalan and Patukottai Periyappa.
He directed movies in Telugu as well. Adade Adharam was a remake of Penmani Aval Kanmani. He acted in the Telugu film Illu Illalu Pillalu, directed by Dorai Raju, which was a remake of Veedu Manaivi Makkal. He directed a remake of his film Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi in Telugu as Srimathi Oka Baahumathi.
He also acted in films, wherein he was not the director, like Oorukku Upadesham, Oomai Vizhigal, Mella Thirandha Kadavu, Veedu Manaivi Makkal, Mappilai Sir, Uzhaipali, Vanaja Girija and Vaanga Partner Vaanga — each of which had him in the main role and became hits. He subsequently acted in supporting roles in films directed by others, like Maya Bazar (1995), Irratai Roja, Arunachalam, Vasuki, Nesam, Aravindham and Middle Class Madhavan.
Visu is widely renowned for his wit and inspirational dialogues in films.
A philanthropist, Visu had been supporting the needy through his own foundation. He became known for hosting live debates on television, namely Visuvin Makkal Arangam on Jaya TV and Arattai Arangam on Sun TV. He joined and campaigned for BJP.
His wife Sundhari (Uma) is a Homemaker. He had three daughters, Lavanya, Sangeetha and Kalpana. They were married and settled. Lavanya moved to Chennai to help him in his profession. He had Kishmu, Rajamani and Kuriakose Ranga from his family who are part of film industry.
Visu died due to kidney failure on 22 March 2020.
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