‘I would jokingly call him Kodumudi Venu’: Manju Warrier pens note on Nedumudi Venu

“Nedumudi Venu was a gifted actor who presented versatile characters and found a permanent place in the minds of his audience,” wrote Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Nedumudi venu
Nedumudi venu
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The friendly dad, the jealous brother, the tricky liar, the funny uncle, the singing veteran — Nedumudi Venu could pop up as any one of these characters in your head if you try to picture him. The actor — so lively and never really away from cinema in his more than four decades of acting — passed on all too sudden on Monday, October 11, without leaving any notable gaps in his career. Celebrities, politicians and his fans could not stop raving about his iconic characters and his contributions to the Malayalam film industry. His colleagues — young and senior actors — reminisced their memories with the late legendary actor, with disbelief evident in their words.

Manju Warrier, who has shared the screen with the late actor in a few movies, penned a heartrending note. “When my father died, I received a letter. 'Don't be sad... there will always be a father and a mother here.' The man named Nedumudi Venu was glowing like a firefly with his loving words. The lines in the letter that I still keep are enough to understand why his fatherly roles bring a touching, beautiful light on one’s chest. That father has now left us. Our relationship started with Daya. Then Udaharanam Sujatha, Jack and Jill, and finally Maraikkarum. Though we acted only in a few films together, he was someone I could always reach out to. I would occasionally call him, 'Kodumudi (peak) Venu' as a joke. But he had reached such heights- both in his acting and in his professional life.”

Actor Jayaram, who has acted with Nedumudi Venu in many movies, recalled him as one of the few exceptional actors whom the Malayalam film industry could always be proud of anywhere. He even reminisced how they would spend their time together whenever they worked together in a movie. “If I had a film with him, I would call him in advance and accordingly bring my chanda, mridangam and other instruments. We just needed a table. We would then start playing together for hours. That was his love for art,” he told Asianet, adding, “He was a complete actor, and his death is a deep loss for us.” 

Actor Parvathy wrote, "I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been able to work with this masterclass of an actor and just the most wonderful, loving human being. Charlie and now Puzhu, just before he’s left us. What a terrible loss. I salute his artistry and carry within me the incredible fervour for the craft he’s instilled in me as an actor through his work."

"Farewell Venu uncle! Your body of work and your expertise over the craft will forever be research material for generations to come! Rest in peace legend! #NedumudiVenu," wrote Prithiviraj.

Dulquer Salmaan posted a picture from his film Charlie, where the two had played an adorable duo — Dulquer's Charlie being a saviour to Nedumudi's aged character, still nursing an old broken heart. "Rest in Peace Venu uncle! One of our finest actors and one of the kindest human beings," he wrote.

Geetu Mohandas, writer and director, too, was shocked for words and posted a photo of Nedumudi in a black shirt, looking healthy and pleasant. "Oh my god! Venu uncle... RIP," she posted on Instagram.

“He cannot be equalled,” wrote popular playback singer G Venugopal. “He did it all — singing, drumming, acting, poetry, everything,” Venugopal wrote, reminiscing their first days together and the gatherings in Nedumudi's nature-rich abode Thambu in Thiruvananthapuram.

Singer Vidhu Prathap wrote that Nedumudi’s gentle smile had lit up everything around and his timeless characters will forever be cherished.

Actor Jagadeesh told Asianet that his relationship with 'Venu chettan' started with his second movie. "His tips, direction and love helped me in my career. He has always helped to make my character better," Jagadeesh said.

For director Faasil, the death of the veteran actor is a personal loss. “His life is an example. It is a personal loss for me. I lost my friend. Hours before being admitted to the hospital, he had called me, around 8 am. He told me it was a casual call as it had been long since they spoke. That was our last conversation,” he told Asianet.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Nedumudi played a big role in raising the standards of acting by way of expression. “He was a gifted actor who presented versatile characters and found a permanent place in the minds of his audience,” CM Pinarayi said.

Opposition leader VD Satheesan and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala too paid their condolences to the great actor.

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