Saran Kulandaivelayudam is an Indian film writer, director, and producer who predominantly handles Tamil Cinema. He started his career in the film industry by working as an assistant to veteran filmmaker, K. Balachander. He now owns two production houses in Chennai. One is Gemini Productions, and another one is Saran movie factory. He is the one filmmaker down south who has churned out many hits with actor
. Saran has always collaborated with usual music teammate Bharadwaj in his every project.
It was only twice in his career, that the producer-director Saran when he made movies like ‘Modhi Vilayadu’ (music by Colonial Cousins) and ‘Alli Arjuna’ (music composer A. R. Rahman) Saran began assisting director K Balachander when he was making the movie 'Unnal Mudiyum Thambi' which had
and Gemini Ganesh appearing together in the same movie.
As he was assisting Balachander, he also did the cartoonist job for a Tamil Magazine (Anand Viketan). But then as he could not maintain two works side by side, he left the editorial work for the magazine and then continued in cinema. It was then he came up with an idea to make his independent film too. His maiden project was 'Kaadhal Mannan' (1998) which had Ajith Kumar and Maanu in lead roles. Even music composer M. S. Viswanathan makes his debut in a supporting role. The music was composed by y Bharathwaj, and the film did roaring business at the box office.
His next project was 'Amarkalam'(1999) which again starred Ajith Kumar and Shalini in lead roles. The story of the film written and directed by him also became a blockbuster. In 2000, Saran rolled back his third project 'Parthen Rasithen ' which has Prashanth, Simran, and Laila in lead roles. It is Simran's best role as an antagonist for the first time. It was an excellent movie. His next film 'Alli Arjuna; was a flop in spite of A R Rahman's composition.
After a flop venture, the director collaborated with AVM Productions, and featured actor, Vikram for a short time in the movie, 'Gemini' (2002) and the film was a success. The film won three Filmfare awards, and this made Saran make the film in Telugu version too. The highlight of the movie was Saran's balanced script with actor Vikram's superlative performance. His next project 'Jay Jay' starring R. Madhavan did average business in 2003.
In the year 2004, Saran took up the Bollywood project 'Munnabhai MBBS'; and directed its Tamil version 'Vasool Raja MBBS', which had Kamal Haasan and Sneha in lead roles. In the same year 2004, Saran wrote and directed 'Attahasam' with Ajith Kumar, Pooja, and Sujatha. The film had Ajith Kumar in dual lead roles, and this film went to become a commercial success venture again with his lucky mascot and actor Ajith Kumar.
In the year 2004, he directed only one movie '
' with actor Suriya, which did average business. In the year 2007, K Balachander presented his movie 'Idhaya Thirudan'; but the film was a flop. Even his another venture in the same year titled 'Vattaram ' starring Arya, Napoleon,
did average business at the box office. In the year he produced 'Muni' which was directed by
, The story, screenplay, the dialogue too was handled by Raghava Lawrence.
Raghava Lawrence also played the lead role in the movie. The film was remade in Telugu, Hindi and did huge box office collections. In the year 2009, Saran came back to his peddle of direction once again with 'Modhi Vilayadu ' which was produced by
. The film had
in the lead roles. In the year 2010, Saran again collaborated with actor Ajith Kumar for his project 'Aasal' in which Ajith was credited for the story, dialogues, screenplay and co-direction of the film.
The film was made on a budget of Rs 20 crore and opened in theatres with mixed reviews. After a gap of seven years, Saran came back to filmmaking and directed the movie '
' (2017) which was co-produced, written and directed by Saran himself. The film had Vinay Rai in dual lead roles and had three more newcomers Samuthrika, Swasthika and
, as female leads. This film was declared flop at the box office.
Although only his few movies were disappointing, Saran will be remembered for box office successful films that he articulated for our cine-goers in early phases of his career. He is married to Sooba Saran, and two kids Sanjanaa Saran and Sanjith Saran. He was born in Coimbatore and his father T. Kulandaivelayudam worked with the Directorate of examinations.