Our deepest condolences to VIP director and cinematographer Velraj
Popular Tamil film cinematographer and director R Velraj's father S Rajamani passed away today afternoon around 1.45 PM on the 5th of July. He was 99 years old who lived in Koothiyarkundu. His cremation will be held tomorrow (6th July). Velraj took to his social media to confirm the news of his father passing - “My father R Rajamani (99) passed away today (5th July) morning!” Director Velraj was born in a village called Koothiyar Kundu near Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He started his career by assisting the National Award winning cinematographer Tirru for the movie Magalir Mattum (1994). Seeing his potential, Tirru promoted him to associate level and together they worked on films like Hey Ram (2000), Aalavandhan, 23rd March 1931: Shaheed (2001), Lesa Lesa, and Hungama (2003). In 2006, Tirru asked him to handle the camera independently for Neeraj Vora`s Phir Hera Pheri. After that, he got many opportunities in Hindi film industry, but due to the language barrier, he could not continue and returned to Chennai.
His first Tamil project was Suresh Krishna’s Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram (2007) which had Dhanush in the lead. The film opened to negative responses and was a box office disaster. After working in Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram, Dhanush recommended Velraj for his next film Polladhavan directed by Vetri Maaran. The film released in the very same year and Polladhavan is considered as a big breakthrough in Velraj`s career. With Malabar Wedding, he made his Malayalam debut. His next was Mohanlal and Amitabh Bachchan starrer Kandahar, which was loosely based on the hijacking of the Indian Airlines Flight 814 in 1999. He collaborated with Vetri Maaran again for Aadukalam (2011). In fact, he has worked in all Vetri Maaran’s films to date.
In 2014, Velraj made his directorial debut with Velaiyilla Pattathari which was Dhanush’s 25th movie. The movie got an overwhelming response and had set the cash registers ringing. His second outing as a director was Thanga Magan which was a failure at the box office. He hasn’t tried his hands on directing after that. Some of his notable works as a cinematographer are Siruthai, Engeyum Eppodhum, 3, Ethir Neechal, Udhayam NH4, Komban, Vai Raja Vai, and Power Paandi. His 2018 projects include Kadaikutty Singam, Mariyappan, and Vada Chennai.
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