Director Sangeeth Sivan, who gave Mollywood Appukkuttan-Ashokan rivalry, passes away aged 65

'Yoddha' and 'Nirnayam' starring Mohanlal were among his Malayalam movies

Sangeeth Sivan Late director and cinematographer Sangeeth Sivan | Manorama

Director Sangeeth Sivan, best known for Malayalam hit "Yoddha" and Hindi films "Kya Kool Hain Hum" and "Apna Sapna Money Money", died at a hospital here on Wednesday after a cardiac arrest. He was 65.

His cinematographer-brother Santosh Sivan confirmed Sangeeth's death to news agency PTI via a WhatsApp message.

According to Santosh, Sangeeth was admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and died following a cardiac arrest. Last rites will be performed on Thursday at the Oshiwara cemetery, he added.

Sangeeth, the eldest of three sons of filmmaker Sivan, made his debut in 1990 with the Malayalam movie "Vyooham", starring Raghuvaran and Urvashi.

Down south, his directing credits include the popular 1992 film "Yoddha", starring Malayalam superstar Mohanlal. He reunited with the actor for "Gandharvam" (1993) and "Nirnayam" (1995).

"Yoddha" combined the evergreen combo Mohanlal and Jagathy Sreekumar, two of Malayalam cinema's legendary stars. They portrayed cousin brothers Ashokan and Appukkuttan in the comedy-action superhit, whose never-ending feud was central to the plot. The phenomenal hit, easily transitioned from being a laughter-riot to proper action drama in the second half, in the backdrop of the spiritual veils of Kathmandu -- a part of the world that was largely explored by Mollywood till then.  "Yoddha" was the second film of music maestro AR Rahman after 'Roja' earlier the year. 

'Nirnayam', was another milestone in Mohanlal's epic career and his portrayal of Dr Roy Mathews in the action thriller remains a fan-favourite to this day. 

Condoling Sivan's passing, Mohanlal said, "He commanded a style of his own in cinema, he was a craftsman capable of presenting films uniquely. I was close to his family. I share their grief at this difficult period and pray for Sangeeth Sivan's soul."

The 1998 film "Zor", starring Sunny Deol and Sushmita Sen, marked his Hindi directorial debut. "Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne", "Ek The Power of One", "Click" and "Yamla Pagla Deewana 2" are among some of his Hindi directorial ventures.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the filmmaker's demise.

Actor Riteish Deshmukh, who worked with the director in "Kya Kool Hai Hum" and "Apna Sapna Money Money", said he was saddened by Sangeeth's demise.

"Deeply saddened and shocked to know that Sangeeth Sivan Sir is no more. As a newcomer all you want is someone to believe in you and take a chance.. can't thank him enough for Kya Kool Hai Hum & Apna Sapna Money Money.

"Soft spoken, gentle and a wonderful human being. Am heart broken today, my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, his wife, kids, brothers. I will miss you Da !!!!! And your infectious laughter!!! Rest in Glory." Deshmukh wrote in an X post.

Sangeeth also directed the 2019 web series "Bhram", starring Kalki Koechlin.

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