V. Ravichandran (born: ) is an actor, director, producer, music director, and lyricist in the Kannada film industry. He is the son of film producer N.Veeraswamy. As producer, Ravichandran continues to run his father's production house, Sri Eswari Productions. He is popularly known as "Crazy Star" Ravichandran, a title fans have prefixed to his name.
In the mid-1980s, Ravichandran starred in lead roles in prominent films such as Swabhimana, Savira Sullu, Pralayantaka, and Naanu Nanna Hendthi. Several of these were modest successes, which brought him mediocre but not significant recognition.
Prema Loka broke several records and defined much of Ravichandran's later filmmaking. It set the stage for lavish productions in the Kannada film industry, and inspired an entire generation of directors, most notably, Upendra who credited Ravichandran for taking the Kannada film industry to the next level.
Post-Prema Loka, Ravichandran starred in several blockblusters most notably Ranadheera, Anjada Gandu, Yuddha Kaanda, Ramachari, Halli Meshtru, Gadibidi Ganda, Annayya, Sipayi, Yaare Neenu Cheluve, Mangalyam Tantunanena, and Preethsod Tappa.it should be noted that his most of his movies were remakes of Tamil or Telugu movies and Ravichandran attained notoriety as the remake king.
Ravichandran is considered a mediocre actor but a talented technician. However, his role as a mentally challenged adult in Ramachari won him critical praise. He has stuck to mostly stereo-typed roles,a police officer (Shanti Kranti and Abhimanyu), lover boy (Prema Loka, Anjada Gandu, and Preethsod Tappa), pop singer (Yuga Purusha, and Gadibidi Ganda), rustic (Sipayi, Halli Meshtru, and Malla), and lawyer (Yudha Kaanda). He continues to act and has few projects awaiting release.
He is known as a non-conformist, and created his own style of filmmaking. Most of his movies show very little influence of other directors except Prema Loka, which contains traces of Grease 2. Notable aspects of his filmmaking include a curious combination of close ups, abrupt fast-cuts, and innovative camera angles. He is renowned in the Kannada film industry for his understanding of the technical aspect of cinema. His movies are lavishly mounted and stand out for superior production values distinguished for cinematography, sound, lighting, and special effects.
A distinct directorial feature is his innovative shooting of songs. Song-picturization in movies Ravichandran has directed often involve elaborate and richly-mounted settings.
Ravichandran initially acted in, and directed movies produced by his own banner, Eswari Productions. After Prema Loka, he accepted acting offers from other producers. He has worked with leading directors of the Kannada film industry such as S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu, and D. Rajendra Babu.
His association with D. Rajendra Babu is very successful, resulting in several hits including Naanu Nanna Henthi, Annayya, Ramachari, Yaare Neenu Cheluve and Sriramachandra.
Ravichandran is close friends with producer Rockline Venkatesh, with whom he worked on several movies, notably, Yaare Neenu Cheluve, Preethsod Thappa and Ondagona Baa.
His spat with Rajendra Singh Babu was rumoured to be a hot-headed one. Singh Babu would emphasize that Director is Supreme, but Ravichandran would urge that Director still needs a Hero to convey his theme.
Ravichandran, is known to be perfectionist and artists recall him shooting a single scene/sequence, until it is perfect. He is known to have shot entire sequences again after the first cuts of the movie failed to satisfy him. However, after a lean patch in the late 90s, Ravichandran is said to have made amends to this and churned out quickies.
In 1991, Ravichandran released Shanti Kranti, the costliest movie ever made in Kannada till then. Considered his magnum opus, the film was shot over four years with a budget of 40 Million Rupees, and was simultaneously made in Kannada, Telugu, and Tamil. Shanti Kranti turned out to be a huge failure at the box office.
Ravichandran also released Ramachari the same year. Made with a modest budget, Ramachari ironically, became one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.
After a series of flops and public spat between long time associate music director Hamsalekha, Ravichandran took up the role of a music director and has given a few fine tunes in Ekangi and Aham premasmi. But critics generally consider him an average music director.
Ravichandran is also credited with "discovering" the talented Hamsalekha. Together, they worked in over 50 films and created several popular numbers. Music was one of the strengths of Ravichandran's movies. However, the duo parted company after Preethsod Thappa, only to work again in Ondagona Baa, which was a commercial and musical failure.
The music rights of Premaloka fetched a great dividends to lahari recording company. His association with Hamsalekha led to chart-buster songs in almost every movie. Inspired with this, Ravichandran started his own Audio company, Eswari Audio
He would take an even greater risk, for his brother's debut movie Aham premaasmi. He bypassed the entire music industry and sold the music-cassettes through Cable-Operators to beat piracy.
In spite of many businessmen creating new avenues of sales in kannada films, Ravichandran showed that there are still many innovations left to be explored.
Chikkejamaanru Gadibidi ganda