Sunday, February 8, 2015


N.L.Balakrishnan was a still photographer in Malayalam films who also acted in more than 180 films in comedy and character roles.For many  years he worked as Photo journalist for 'Kerala Kaumudi Daily'.He associated with great directors like G.Aravindan,Adoor Gopalakrishnan,Bharatha,P.Padmarajan,Lenin Rajendran,K.P.Kumaran,John Abraham,K.G.George,M.T.Vasudevan Nair  etc as a still photographer.
N.L.Balakrishnan was born on 17th April 1943 at Powdikonam, near Sreekaryam in Thiruvananthapuram.He passed a Diploma course in Painting and Drawing from Maharajas School of Arts in 1965.Since he had a flair in photography he studied all aspects of photography in detail  by working in studios  like'Sivans,Roopalekha,Kalalaya and Metro'  of Thiruvanathapuram.He was introduced to film producer Sobhana Parameswaran Nair by the owner of Roopalekha Studio.Thus he worked as still photographer for  the film 'Kallichellamma' in 1969.The film was directed by P.Bhaskaran which was based on a novel by G.Vivekanandan.The film in which Prem Nazir,Sheela,Madhu acted in main roles was a big hit.Later he was  associated with award winning directors like G.Aravindan,Adoor Gopalakrishnan,John Abraham,K.G.George,K.P.Kumaran,Lenin Rajendran,Bharathan and others in many films.He was still photographer of 11 films which was directed by G.Aravindan like 'Thampu,Kanchana Seetha,Pokku Veyil,Vasthuhara,Chidambaram' etc.He was still photographer of 'Swayamvaram,Kodiyettam,Mukhamukham,Elipathayam and a documentary film 'Prathisandhi' which were directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan.He was still photographer of several films directed by P.Padmarajan such as 'Peruvazhy Ambalam,Novemberinte Nashtam,Oridathoru Phayalwan,Innale,Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal' etc.
Some other films out of the more than 300 films which he worked as a still photographer includes 'Abhayam,Poojakkedukkatha Pookkal,Gandharvam,Pavithram,Kalipattam,Ayitham,Padamudra' etc.
Director Bhadran's 'Sphadikam' was the last film he worked as a still photographer.
N.L.Balakrishnan's style was to catch the still shot while the scene were being taken by the movie camera.The other still photographers used to ask the actors to pose for them to take still pictures after the scenes were shot.Since he had training in painting and drawing , always his still pictures had an artistic touch which were marvelous which received much acclaim.He had not the practice of using flash which made his pictures more natural.He also proved that 35 mm camera can be used to take nice pictures like a 120 mm camera.
N.L.Balakrishnan had the knack to make friendship  and to maintain them  for ever.Directors like 'G.Aravindan,P.Padmarajan and Bharathan' included him in their  daily discussions used to be  held at Hotel Nikujnjam in Thiruvanthapuram.He was in friendship with many literary writers of Malayalam.

N.L.Balakrishnan debuted as an actor in the film 'Ammanam Kili' directed by 'Rajiv Anchal' in which he handled one of the main roles as a gypsy selling birds.He acted that role with much perfection and he was offered roles by other directors thereafter  which suited his body size.
His role in 'Kakkothikavile Appooppan Thadikal' in which he acted as a man who was jogging around his house who runs non stop saying there is nothing in the house to send back the beggars aroused much laughter.N.L.Balakrishnan along with Paravoor Bharathan acted as scientists and bird watchers and  were suspected as smugglers by CiD Ramdas and CID Vijayan in the film 'Pattana Pravesham' was very much liked by the audience.His role in Dr.Pasupathy was also acclaimed and thereafter he became a popular actor in many films either in comedy roles  or in  character roles.
The last film he acted was 'Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus' in 2013.
He wrote a book about his memories of cinema and photography career titled 'Black and White'.
He received Film Critics Association Award 'Chalachitra Pratibha Puraskaram' in 2012 and an Award from 'Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademy' in 2014.
N.L.Balakrishnan passedaway on 25th December 2014.
Selected Filmography
As an Actor


Kakkothikavile Appooppan Thadikal
Pattana Pravesam
David David Mr.David
Kouthuka Varthakal
Nanma Niranjavan Sreenivasan
Kallanum Policum

Mookilla Rajyathu
Manathe Kottaram
Three Men Army
Vridhanmare Sookshikkuka
Kudumba Kodathy
The Gang
Made in U.S.A.
The Mother Earth
2 Harihar Nagar
Bhoomi Malayalam
Da Thadiya
Bhoopadathil Illatha Oridam
Kanyaka Talkies
Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus

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