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Bhavana Menon
Also known as: Karthika Menon, Bhavana, Bhavana Balachandran
Born: June 6, 1986 in Thrissur, Kerala, India
Karthika Menon, better known by her stage name Bhavana, is an Indian film actress who mainly works in the South Indian film industry. Her debut, Kamal`s Malayalam film Nammal (2002), won her critical acclaim and various honors. She has worked in many movies and is a recipient of the Kerala State Film Awards. She has acted with almost all actors in Malayalam cinema and has worked on many projects with famous Tamil actors like Ajith Kumar, Madhavan, Jayam Ravi, Bharath, Jiiva, and Srikanth.

Early life

Bhavana was born in Thrissur, Kerala, to Pushpa and G. Balachandran Menon, an assistant cinematographer, and has one brother. She did her high school graduation at Holy family Girl`s high school, Thrissur.


Bhavana debuted with the Malayalam film Nammal at the age of 16 opposite newcomers Siddharth, Jishnu, and Renuka Menon. This movie was a big success and won her Kerala State Film Award Special Jury Award for Best Actress (2002), Asianet Film Award for Best Supporting Actress Award (2002), and Mathrubhumi Award for Best New Actress (2002). Her success in the first movie itself got her numerous offers in the very next year, including Malayalam movies like Chronic Bachelor, C.I.D. Moosa, Swapnakoodu, Ivar, and Valathottu Thirinjal Nalamathe Veedu. She was seen in a cameo appearance in Thilakkam. Between 2004 and 2005, she had many Malayalam movies lined up including Parayam, Chathikkatha Chanthu, Youth Festival, Amrutham, Bunglavil Outha, Hridayathil Sookshikkan, Police, Daivanamathil, Chanthupottu, Naran and Bus Conductor. She was also seen in Runway in a special appearance, performing an item number. Her role as Sameera for Daivanamathil won her the Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actress and Asianet Award for Best Supporting Actress. Again, in Udayananu Tharam she was seen in a Cameo appearance.

Bhavana debuted in the Tamil industry with Chithiram Pesuthadi in 2006, which won her the Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Tamil. She played Charumathi, the love interest of a local goon who is whisked away by the police, leaving Charu in a complete dilemma. Post this, she played an arrogant rich girl in S. S. Stanley`s Kizhakku Kadalkarai Salai contrary to her role as an innocent girl in Vasanthabalan`s Veyil. In the same year, she also worked in a few Malayalam movies like Chinthamani Kolacase, Kisan, and Chess. In the following year too, she worked parallelly in Tamil and Malayalam films, including Deepavali for which she was nominated for Vijay Award for Best Actress, Koodal Nagar, Chotta Mumbai, Arya, and Rameswaram. In 2008, not only did Bhavana continue with more Tamil movies like Vaazhthugal and Jayamkondaan, and Malayalam movies like Twenty:20 and LollyPop, but also signed her first Telugu film with Ontari. In this film, she essayed the role of Bujji, an orphan girl who is kidnapped by a gangster. Her second Telugu movie, Hero released in the same year. She also made a cameo appearance in the Malayalam movie Mulla as a mentally challenged lady.

In the consecutive two years, she was seen in films like Sagar alias Jacky Reloaded, Robin Hood, Happy Husbands, and Marykkundoru Kunjaadu. The year 2010 marked the actress` debut in Kannada cinema with Soori`s multilingual film Jackie alongside Puneeth Rajkumar. This blockbuster, dubbed into Telugu and Malayalam, was known as one of the trendsetter films of the Kannada industry. Her next was Kudumbasree Travels where she played the role of a rich girl Aswathy whose marriage is fixed with a Chakyar Koothu, an artist from a small village. Then came her second Kannada film Pon Kumaran`s Vishnuvardhana co-starring Sudeep, which gained a huge positive response. Subsequent to this in 2012, the romantic love story Romeo saw the actress portray the role of Shruti. Her role in the Malayalam movie Ozhimuri as Adv Balamani gained her critical praises, raising the bar even higher. She then appeared in Trivandrum Lodge directed by V. K. Prakash starring Jayasurya, Honey Rose, and Anoop Menon in the lead.

Bhavana kick-started 2013 with the political satire Topiwala followed by Lal Junior`s gangster comedy Honey Bee, and Hariharan`s drama thriller Ezhamathe Varavu. All the three movies were successes with moderate reviews. In 2014, she continued to appear in Malayalam films like Polytechnic, Koothara, and Angry Babies in Love. She began the next year with a cameo appearance as herself in the Kannada/Malayalam Mythri, followed by another cameo role as Lilly in Kohinoor. Shyamaprasad`s crime thriller Ivide, based on the serial killing of IT techies in major US cities, was her next in which she played Roshni Mathew, a single mother employed in an IT company.

In her first release of 2016, Bhavana starred in the Malayalam comedy Hello Namasthe, which was directed by Jayan K. Nair. The film co-starring Vinay Fort, Miya and Aju Varghese narrates the story of two modern-day couple who find themselves at the crossroads over a jackfruit tree that stands between their homes. Upon release, the film received average reviews. Later in the year, the actress collaborated with director Kalavoor Ravikumar for the Malayalam family thriller Kuttikalundu Sookshikkuka also featuring Anoop Menon in the leading role. The film opened to average reviews but it did good business at the box office.

The actress started her campaign in 2017 with the Kannada action thriller Chowka. The first-of-its kind movie, it had five music directors, five lyricists, five cinematographer, five dialogue writers and five art directors. The film also had an ensemble cast including Vijay Raghavendra, Prem Kumar, Diganth, Priyamani and Prajwal Devaraj. Her other releases of the year include Honey Bee 2: Celebration, a comedy thriller directed by Lal Jr. and Vilakkumaram directed by Vijay Menon. Her 2019 release includes 99.
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