‘Balachandra Menon’ is name dear and familiar to Malayalee population across the world, as a director of films, an actor, singer, writer and much more. And he has successfully realized his dream to be a director of film and became much more. While he was a pre-degree student in Fathima Matha College, Quilon (Kollam), he wrote a story in the college magazine, imagining himself as a prospective film director which showed his ambition in life. Through step by step creative efforts, he not only became a popular director, but also an actor, producer, singer and writer.
Balachandra Menon graduated from university college Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and later came out with first rank in Journalism from Press Club. Then he became a Malayalam film correspondent.
He made his entry in to the film industry in the year 1978, with the film’ Uthrada Rathri’, directed by himself. He went to Madras to become a director of cinema and established himself in the Malayalam film industry. Then there was no looking back.
Then the era of Balachandra Menon in Malayalam cinema started with films such as ‘Raadha Enna Penkutty’, ‘Aniyatha Valakal’, ‘Tharatt’, ‘Kaaryam Nisaram’, ‘Prema Geethangal’, etc. to mention a few.
Having proved himself as a writer and director, he started acting in films and became a favorite actor to the Malayalee audience by portraying a variety of roles, starting from roles as a lover and later proceeding to roles as husband, father, grand father and many other characters of diverse nature.
Balachandra Menon deserves special mention for the real life role of being a ‘God Father’ to many talents in the film field, who later became the pride of Malayalam cinema industry. Among them are Shobana, Lissy, Parvathy, Karthika, Usha, Annie, and Nanthini. And also many actors like Maniyanpilla Raju, Baiju etc.
Holding hands with Sree Vidya, he made a mark as a singer, by rendering songs in his production ‘Oru Painkili Kadha’. He also made a music album ‘Paadan Enthu Sugam’ in which he rendered P.Jayachandran’s old hits.
Gradually his versatile genius found expressions as a Music director also, in his films ‘Kuruppinte Kanakku Pusthakam’, ‘Samantharangal’, and ‘Krishna Gopalakrishna’.
Amidst such a busy schedules in different roles, he found time to flirt with his pen and thus came books such as ‘Ammayanay Sathyam’, ‘Kaanatha Sulthanu Snehapoorvam’, ‘Ninnay Enthinu Kollaam ?’, ‘and also the book versions of the film ‘Achuvettante Veedu’, ‘April 18’, ‘April 19’, and finally ‘Samantharangal’.
The film ‘Samantharangal’ in 1997 won him the best actor award at the national level and also the award for the best feature film on family welfare.
Perhaps, Balachandra Menon is the first Indian actor who won the coveted ‘Bharath Award’ by scripting and acting in the main role and also directing the picture.
Taking into the account his contribution to the Malayalam Cinema, over the past three decades, the nation honored him with the prestigious ‘Padmasree’. Thus, ‘Balachandra Menon’ from Kerala, became the pride of India also.