Viswanathan, who made his debut with Jayaraaj’s film ‘Kaliyattam’, was battling cancer for some time, his family said.

Kaithapram Viswanathan Namboothiri in a grey shirt looking to the right of the cameraScreengrab | CinemaOne
Flix Death Wednesday, December 29, 2021 - 17:45

Well-known Malayalam music composer Kaithapram Viswanathan Namboothiri, known for his unique music scores in a handful of Malayalam movies, died at a hospital here on Wednesday, family sources said. He was 58 and was battling cancer for some time, they said.

The award-winning composer, who carved out his own space among the top-rated composers in Mollywood through a limited number of movies, was the younger brother of renowned lyricist-musician Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri. Born in a family of musicians in Kaithapram hamlet of northern Kannur district in 1963, Viswanathan attained the 'ganabhooshanam' title from the Swathi Thirunal Music College in Thiruvananthapuram.

He worked as a music teacher in a local school and later started his own institution for learning music before stepping into the world of cinema. Viswanathan made his debut as an independent music director with director Jayaraaj’s 1997 film Kaliyattam. Kaliyattam is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic play Othello, and the film starred Suresh Gopi, Manju Warrier and Biju Menon. The film also marked actor Lal’s debut.

Viswanathan composed music for over 20 movies including Kannaki, Thilakkam and Daivanamathil. The background scores for Kannaki won him the Kerala state film award in 2001. Arguably, his most famous song is 'Sire Sire Sambharae' from the 2003 film Thilakkam, which stars Dileep, Kavya Madhavan and Thiagarajan in the lead.

Viswanathan is survived by wife Gauri and three children.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and leader of opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan condoled the death. CM Vijayan in his message said the untimely death of Viswanathan was extremely painful.

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