(Last Updated on : 04/08/2014)
Bharat Gopi was born in 1937. He has made his stage performances unforgettable and repeated that achievement in the field of cinema. Born in Chirayankil, Thiruvananthapuram district, he became noted as a theatre artist by winning prizes for acting in an annual drama competition. He also associated himself with the Kalari movement, G. Sankara Pillai, and Prasadhana Little Theatre. He joined the amateur groups Koothambalam, Tiruvarangu, and Sopanam led by K. N. Panikkar, acting in folk-based and classical plays, doing considerably different roles. As Sandilya, the young disciple in Panikkar's production of Bodhayana's Sanskrit Bhagavadajjukiya, he created a living character out of old-fashioned dialogues. He imaginatively used all the tools at his command. As for example Kalarippayattu martial-art exercises, vocal registers, dance movements, musical rhythms. His subtle and controlled manner revealed a sense of propriety, though he could make his expressions sufficiently explicit, elaborates, or exaggerated on stage.
However, in cinema, which he entered with Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Svayamvaram i.e. 'Betrothal by Choice' in 1972 he took care to act as naturally as possible. As for instance the ruthless businessman in Adaminte variyellu i.e. 'Adam's Rib' in 1983, at the same time projecting the character's nature and behaviour unambiguously yet suggestively as a circus manager in G. Aravindan's Thampu i.e. 'Circus Tent' in 1978 or a poet in Mani Kaul's Satah se uthata admi i.e. 'Arising from the Surface' in 1980. In the lead of Gopalakrishnan's Kotiyettam i.e. 'Ascent' in 1977, he was adjudged best Indian actor in that year. His presentation of a semi-witted young man growing to maturity was a main factor in making the film a work of art. His performance was equally impressive in Aravindan's Chidambaram in 1985 as an impetuous youth who turns into a restless soul wandering about in search of peace, after having seduced an innocent village girl and run away from the scene of the crime. Most of his roles were of difficult characters and he never appeared on screen as a glamorous hero.
Even though compelled to withdraw from acting for some years in the late 1980s owing to a paralytic stoke, Gopi began to involve himself again by directing in Malayalam theatre and cinema.