M. R. Rajakrishnan – National award winning film audiographer from Kerala
M. R. Rajakrishnan is an extremely talented film audiographer and sound designer from Kerala, who is a recipient of multiple state and national film awards. He is the son of famous music composer, M. G. Radhakrishnan and nephew of famous playback singer, M. G. Sreekumar. Mostly associated with Malayalam cinema, he has also done Audiography for Bollywood, Bengali, Marathi and other south Indian language films. In 2019 he won National Film Awards for Best Audiography for Telugu film, Rangasthalam. He is also a recipient of Kerala State Film Award for Best Sound mixing thrice – Charlie (2015), Chaappa Kurish and Urumi (2013) and Manchadikuru (2012) and Kerala Film Critics Award for Best Sound Mixing for Keerthichakra, apart from many other honours.
Born into a musical family closely linked with cine field
Rajakrishnan was born on May 25, 1977 in Thiruvananthapuram into a musical family. Born as the son of renowned music composer M. G. Radhakrishnan and his wife Padmaja Radhakrishnan, an artist and writer, he too chose film world. His uncle M. G. Sreekumar and aunt K. Omanakutty too are associated with music field. His aunt is an academician and carnatic vocalist. Rajakrishnan took formal lessons in music from his aunt, yet he chose a different field, though associated with films and music. In fact audiography and sound design are closely linked to sound and music.
Started his film journey as an assistant under Deepan Chatterjee
Initially he worked at Chethana Studio, Thrissur as a sound designer, and later joined as an assistant under sound engineer under music composer, Deepan Chatterjee. In this long term association he worked under the artist for 70 movies belonging to different languages. Deepan Chatterjee worked for several Priyadarshan movies since late 1990s, and Rajakrishnan became close to the director since then. He later joined as an assistant at Four Frames Sound Company, Chennai, and later turned chief sound engineer. Till now he has done sound designing and Audiography for more than 200 films, predominantly in Malayalam.
As an independent sound mixer, Aparichithan was his first movie. He married Manju soon after movie release, and has one daughter – Gauri. In 2006 his work for Keerthichakra earned him Kerala Film Critics Award for Best Sound Mixing. His work for – Classmates and Achan Urangatha Veedu released same year also got noticed. Same year he debut Tamil cinema through Navarasa & E, and started worked in both these industries simultaneously.
Now he has turned one of the top audiographers of Indian film industry
Some of his major works in Malayalam are Charlie, Manchadikuru, Kunjali Marakkar, Jomonte Suvisheshangal, Guppy, Kali, Ezra, Godha, Pathinettam Padi, Calcutta News, Sathyam Paranja Viswasikkuvo, Prathi Poovankozhi, Take Off, Oru Mexican Aparatha, Neram, Premam, Keerthichakra, Classmates, Pathinettam Padi, Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha, Thattathin Marayathu, Thira, Kalki, Amar Akbar Anthony, Traffic, Romans, 1983, Om Shanti Oshana, Bangalore Days, Mili, Kunjiramayanam, Ustad Hotel, Shutter, Ayaalum Njaanum Thammil, Diomond Necklace, Achan Urangatha Veedu, Ananthabadhram, Cocktail, Neelathaamara, Urumi etc. Most of his films met with commercial success, which helped him to bag more projects.
When it comes to Bollywood, he initially worked with Priyadarshan. Bhool Bhulaiya was his first project. His Bollywood projects include Kabir Singh, De Dhana Dhan etc. He also worked in other south Indian languages and a few more regional languages. Aditya Varma, Avane Srimannarayana, Soodhu Kavvum, Paradesi, Dear Comrade, Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal, Devi 2, Rangasthalam, Vikram Vedha, 36 Vayadhinile, U Turn, Nerkonda Paarvai, Daivathirumakal, George Reddy, Madras Pattinam, Kirik Party etc are other major works belonging to other languages.
M. R. Rajakrishnan – Some interesting and less-known facts
1. Born into a musical family of artists, he took formal lessons in Carnatic music from his aunt. However he chose sound designing as his profession, a derivate to music.
2. As a child he used to accompany his father and uncle for music concerts.
3. He turned a music composer with Jayaram starrer Winter in 2009. However he didn’t concentrate on that field. He has also done jingles for Malayalam filmmakers like Priyadarshan and Major Ravi.
4. He did the sound mixing of Anandabhadram, the last movie of his father as a music composer. The movie won awards to both.
5. Kakkakuyil is the first movie in association with his uncle M. G. Sreekumar.
6. He did Audiography and sound designing for a series of hit movies starring Nivin Pauley. They include – Neram, Premam, Bangalore Days, Thattathin Marayathu, Kunjiramayanam, 1983, Action Hero Biju etc. Some of them are landmark movies of Nivin’s career.
7. He has also done several movies of Dulquer Salman which include – Bangalore Days, Ustad Hotel, Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal, Theevram, Jomonte Suvisheshangal, Charlie etc.
8. Telugu remake of Premam and Kannada movie Maya marked his debut in respective industries.