Telugu director-writer Kodi Ramakrishna passed away in Hyderabad on Friday due to prolonged illness. He was 69. The director was reportedly suffering from a lung infection, which worsened a couple of days ago.
He was taken to the AIG Hospital on Thursday after he complained about trouble in breathing and was put on life support.
Kodi Ramakrishna began his filmmaking career by assisting director Dasari Narayana Rao. In a career spanning over three decades, Ramakrishna has directed more than 100 films in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. Born in Pakakollu on July 23, 1949, he made his directorial debut with 1982 flick Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya. The director made a mark in the industry with his fascination for the usage of special effects at a time when the country was catching up with the idea of what can be achieved through computer-generated imagery.
Ramakrishna’s Ammoru made in 1995, for instance, set a benchmark for visual effects in the south Indian film industry. The fantasy drama was a huge blockbuster at the box office and became a very influential mainstream film of the 20th century. Many filmmakers tried to recreate the success of Ramakrishna’s Ammoru with disastrous results.
Kodi Ramakrishna has helmed some major trend-setting films in the history of Tollywood, including Gudachari No.1 (1983). He worked with all top stars of the past generation, including Chiranjivee and Balakrishna.
In 2009, Ramakrishna made the whole film industry sit up and take note after the release of Arundhati. The horror-thriller set in the realm of fantasy was a massive hit. It had a powerful female protagonist, impressive star cast, performance, music and above all, the film had a story which kept the audience on the edge of their seat.
Arundhati made the career of Anushka Shetty, who continues to score box office hits with the screen-queen image that she gained from it.
Ramakrishna’s last film was Nagarahavu, a Kannada venture, in which he had used his own Arundhati-templet, but the movie tanked at the box office.
According to reports, he was working on a film based on Puttaparthi Sathya. But, the production was stopped following his ill health.
Ramakrishna is survived by his wife Kodi Padma and two daughters, Deepthi and Pravallika. His last rites will be performed in Hyderabad at 12 pm tomorrow.