In an era of style and mannerisms, Gopy had none of it.

 

For Bharat Gopy, acting was consuming passion, near-sinful temptation, and deep meditation. It was never just a vocation. It was the demon which drove him and the God which lured him. He came like a stream out of a strange land, enriched Malayalam cinema, and meandered out silently.

From the haunted jobless man in ‘Swayamvaram’ to the lonely old father in ‘Rasathanthram,’ Gopy portrayed characters aplenty, infusing them with energies, which he drew deep from some mysterious well. At times, when we listen and watch his portrayals carefully, we can hear the lapping of water in that mythical well. But we can never see the glorious moon which was reflected in them. That was Gopy’s privilege and perhaps his burden too.

Biographers trace Gopy’s roots to theatre. But when one sees him express a world of hurt with a grimace, one suspects that his roots lie elsewhere, in something more primeval than drama, in something as ancient as the waters from which life itself emerged. Perhaps he knew it, or perhaps, as the Vedas say, even he did not.

Gopy’s uniqueness was his access to this mysterious source of creativity and his humility before it. Since this humility was real, it appeared in sullen tones. For he knew that every such a gift comes with a curse.

It enabled him to allow even thinly-drawn characters to enter his self and emanate as live beings through his eyes and face. He re-created them inside. Rebelliously abandoning the writer’s pen, they became Gopy’s myriad avatars. In an era of style and mannerism, Gopy had none of it. His style was substance or vice versa. Mimics who live by imitating thespians failed before Gopy. For he did not imitate himself and thus was inimitable. Each of his characters was illumined by a brushstroke, uniquely Gopy’s, but which made them uniquely unlike him.

There could be nothing further apart than the glee of Kodiyettam’s Sankarankutty when he sees a speeding lorry and the sado-masochistic guffaw of the judge in Sandhya Mayangum Neram. Both are Gopy’s portrayals but neither are him. Perhaps the only actor who could have exchanged notes with Gopy was Laurence Olivier, another inimitable. But this alchemy of actor and character took its toll on his body in the long run, as it would. The great ones pay great prices.

In Gopy’s story, the cliché of an artist putting his soul in his work becomes a golden beatitude — a glowing and tragic truth. His genius was the strange mix of volcanic talent, smoldering passion and saintly earnestness. Too profound to be a textbook actor, Gopy remains a textbook for actors. That is, for the ones who like hard lessons.

K Venugopal.
 

About the Author.

K Venugopal was one of Kerala’s most brilliant and respected journalists, having held key positions with the leading newspapers of the land, including The Hindu, The New Indian Express, News Time, The Deccan Herald and Deccan Chronicle. Known for his no-holds barred, lucid and searingly honest style of reporting, he was the Senior Editor of Deccan Chronicle when he passed away at the age of 42. And this would remain the finest tribute ever written on Bharat Gopy, the film maker, the phenomenon, the legend. Read more about K Venugopal, here and here.
 

 

Bharat Gopy’s Filmography

Bharat Gopy - Complete Filmography
Bharat Gopy’s uniqueness as a film actor lay in his brilliant portrayals onscreen, based on narratives that spoke of life in all its simplicity, with a profundity that bordered on the divine. Take me there.

Awards and Honors

Awards-and-Honors-for-Bharat-Gopy 4 National Awards as Actor, Producer and Director and Author, the Kerala State Award for the Best Actor in 1977, 1982, 1983 and 1985 – the accolades did not stop there. Show me the complete list.

23 Comments

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  1. Nimi mammen says:

    Bharath Gopi will be remembered as an actor who lived through his characters in each and every role he played. What a brilliant actor!!!! A rare breed indeed.

  2. saleem Dharmadam says:

    He is great, and you marvelouse

  3. I just wanted to say that I am a huge fan of your writing and movies. Please write more. Your father is a legend; his acting style was very subtle and effortless. That’s why he was able to create pure magic on the screen.

  4. Muralikrishnan S. says:

    He was the one of the godfathers of malayalam cinema I ve a dream to act will u fulllfill ma dream sir

  5. P R SUMERAN says:

    ലോകം ഒരിക്കലും മറക്കുകയില്ല…….

  6. A Great tribute to a great artist.

  7. He was really a complete actor

  8. ഭാരതീയ സിനിമാരംഗത്ത് സമാനകളില്ലാത്ത ഒരു നടനായിരുന്നു ശ്രീ ഗോപി. ഓരോ ചിത്രത്തിലും തികച്ചും വ്യത്യസ്തമായ റോളുകൾ ചെയ്യുന്നതിലെ അനായാസത – അത് അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ മാത്രം സവിശേഷതയായിരുന്നു.
    ഭാരതത്തിന്റെ അതുല്ല്യ നടന്റെ ഓർമ്മക്കുമുൻപിൽ നമിക്കുന്നു.

  9. U r a wonderful actor im a huge fan of ur, nice tribute to bharat gopi sir

  10. Narmadhakumar says:

    hi,I am fan of Murali Gopi,when I was searching on web I got this website,now i understand about his father barath gopy the legend who was multitalented,good work for his father,keep it up Murali gopy.

  11. Great tribute to a great artist. Have seen many his movies through DD. Yavanika many times in vcd. Lot more not available in market. Hope to grab them through this website

    kudos to the team behind it!

  12. Murali Gopi is the new gen Bharat Gopi
    gifted &blessed!

  13. Roy Paul.K says:

    An actor with immense histrionic talent who can be included in the genre of actors like Nasirudheen Sha and Ompuri.

    He was actually the first actor to be associated with the new wave cinema in Kerala.

    Gifted directors Adoor Gopalakrishnan (kodiyettam), G.Aravindhan (Chidambaram), K.G.George (yavanika), Bharathan (Ormakkayi), Padmarajan (Kallan Pavithran) have associated with this great Actor….

  14. A great tribute to a great actor. Kudoz to the team behind it.

  15. The best actor malayalam has ever produced. I would rate him at No.1 among the Bharat award winners.

  16. The best actor malayalam has ever produced.

  17. Jijeesh Upendran says:

    Excellent “write up”for an awesome actor !!

  18. Udayakumar says:

    അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ അഭിനയചാതുര്യത്തെ ഇന്ത്യന്‍ സിനിമ ലോകം ഒരിക്കലും മറക്കുകയില്ല, എന്റെ ജീവിതത്തിലും കാരണം ഞാന്‍ ആദ്യമായി നേരില്‍ കാണുന്ന നടന്‍ അദ്ദേഹമായിരുന്നു 25 വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കു മുമ്പ് എന്റെ 8-ാം വയസ്സില്‍.കൊടിയേററത്തില്‍ തുടങ്ങി രസതന്ത്രത്തില്‍ വരെ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ നടന വെെഭവം ആസ്വദിക്കാന്‍ നമ്മള്‍ക്ക് ഭ ഭാഗ്യം ലഭിച്ചു .ഈശ്വരന്‍ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ ആത്മാവിന് നിത്യ ശാന്തി നല്‍കട്ടേ എന്ന് പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിക്കുന്നു.

  19. muraliyettan undallo ath mathi..ellam athil kanan kazhiyunnu.

  20. Nicely done website. Well deserved for the amazing actor India had seen. Great job

  21. I was unable to see the movie “kodiyettam” when it was released, because at that time I was 3 years old, but I saw the movie in you tube. I am a hardcore fan of Sri. “Bharath Gopi” who broke all the conventional concepts of masculine beauty of Malayalam Film industry.
    The movie “kodiyettam” was a unique blend of two genius, Sri Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Sri Bharath Gopi, the versatile actor.
    Whatever the character he did it was remarkable and Gopi sir was extricate to cast any character. With a great flexibility he manifest himself in an unrivaled place in the film industry. Without making strident dialogues or heavy actions, he became the unchallenged hero of Malayalam movie History for ever.The demise of such a great genius is a melancholy to Malayalam film industry. Hats off sri. Gopi sir..I would like to remember his dialogue in ‘AGNNIDEVAN’ ഞാന്‍ എഴുതിയതൊന്നും ഇതുവരെ അച്ചടിക്കതിരുന്നിട്ടില്ല” . It’s true , what ever the character he did , what ever the work he did it was remarkable in the history of malayalam movie.

  22. I was watching the film SNEHAPOORVAM MEERAKKU. All of a sudden i realised that Mr.Gopy was an actor in an era where overacting and over expressions were norms,But ,Mr. Gopy, had a normal LIFE SITUATION style of acting .A small wrinkle at the corner of his eye, the faint hint of smile ,few short hands of style which is either broad or rough but ,he could convince his audience ,which is an intangible quality.I have a void of language to describe the quality of his acting style.Effortless, Sensitive, Talented ,Flexible,,that was himself,,creating WAR that is titanic while he was acting.

    Great acting comes from a highly developed imagination — your unconscious, infinitely vast dream world. As an actor in a technological world, you must work even harder to develop and connect to your imagination. And i think Mr.Gopy was all of above.

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