Sreenivasan is an acclaimed screenwriter, actor, filmmaker, and producer in Malayalam cinema known for his satirical black comedies. He is most popular for scripting T.P. Balagopalan M.A., Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam, Gandhinagar 2nd Street, Nadodikkattu , Mukunthetta Sumitra Vilikkunnu , Varavelppu, Thalayanamanthram, Sandesham, Midhunam, Azhakiya Ravanan and Udayananu Tharam. As a filmmaker, he has made and scripted Vadakkunokkiyantram and Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala.
Sreenivasan was born in a small village of Patyam, to the east of Thalassery in Kannur, northern Kerala on April 4, 1956. His father Unni was a school teacher, an active Communist, and his mother Lakshmi, a homemaker. He completed his formal education in Government High School, Kathiroor and Pazhassi Raja N.S.S. College. He did a diploma in film acting from the Film Chamber Institute, Madras in 1977 where Rajinikanth was his senior by a year. He hails from the Ezhava community which contributed a lot of freedom fighters to India.
Sreenivasan entered film industry in the 1977 P. A. Backer movie Chuchumani after finishing a course in acting from the Film Chamber Institute. In the film institute he was coached by the then vice principal A.Prabhakaran and later gave him a role in his movie Mela. A few movie roles later, he wrote his first film Oodarathuammava Aalariyam in 1984. His most famous movies as actor-writer include Gandhinagar 2nd Street, Nadodikkattu and its two sequels, Vadakku Nooki Yanthram, Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala and Chithram.
Much of Sreenivasan's movies depict problems affecting society, although these are portrayed in a comical manner. Some of his successful films includes Sandesham, Vellanakaludey Naadu, and Varavelpu. Mostly satirical in nature, his acrimonious and humorous lines are directed against matters as diverse as Police Brutality, Pulp magazines and unproductive Labour Unions.
Excellent characterization, witty (often deadpan) dialogues and self-deprecating humour are trademarks of Sreenivasan movies. His writing very often pokes fun at himself, mostly at his own unglamourous appearances, and have become commonplace in scenes with costar Mohanlal.
Some of his popular movies such as Vadakku Nokki Yanthram and Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala not only are thought-provoking but also are fine depictions of human character which elicited critical and public applause. His comedies earned popularity, some of them such as Aram + Aram = Kinnaram and chitram have been successes commercially and have left a big picture in the minds of the people.
Sreenivasan is the only Malayalam screenplay and dialogue writer who portrayed North-Keralite slang especially that of Tellicherry - which are usually unique, at times 'weird' apart from being incomprehensible to South- Keralites who generally speak literary Malayalam - in the movies.
He appeared in a popular weekly loser's speacialTV show in Kairali TV called Valiya Lokavum Cheriya Sreeniyum (translation: The Big World and the Little Sreeni).His son Vineeth Sreenivasan is a popular singer in Malayalam.