It is the birthday of one of the legends of Tamil Cinema – Mani Ratnam and we look back at 5 Mani Ratnam films which shaped Tamil Cinema.
Thalapathy: This is a rare collaboration between the Superstar, Megastar Mammootty and Mani Ratnam and it led to one of Superstar’s best onscreen performances. Thalapathy is one of finest modern-day retelling of Karnan’s story, The aura of both Mammootty and Rajini combined with Raja’s music made Thalapathy an eternal classic. Right from Thodra Paakalam to Natpu na Enanu theriyuma, Suriya na enna nu theriyuma every iconic dialogue from this iconic movie is still etched in our memory.
Naayagan : Based on real-life Don Varadharaja Mudhaliar Nayagan is another great film from the maverick. Mani Ratnam sprinkles this rags to riches story with a lot of tenderness. This Don isn’t the fearful Don who strikes terror in the city. He is more of a saviour of the masses who is one among them. The most beautiful thing about Nayagan is the way it explores the relationships and the changing dynamics of Velu Nayakar and his relatives.
Aayutha Ezhuthu : This is one film which decides to decorate politics with the vibrant energy of today’s youngsters. A non-linear screenplay. We get to travel with the three main characters and identify what shapes their ideologies. As the stories unfold there is a burning desire to be part of one of their lives and be a part of this nation’s changing identity. It is a pity that Ayutha Ezhuthu wasn’t well received when it was released. Considering the current political scenario it would be interesting if is replicated in real life.
Iruvar : A story which focuses on the life of two iconic politicians MGR and Karunanidhi. The fact that he chose to write a story about these two politicians itself is a daring effort. Right from Mohanlal’s irresistible aura to Prakash Raj’s pitch-perfect transformation on screen, everything was on point. This was the film that gave us the first glimpse of the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai. He splits the film into interesting anecdotes without being too judgemental. Iruvar was true to the real-life friendship between the two leaders.
Mouna Raagam: It is one of the few films which chose to travel beyond the happily ever after. Soul-stirring music combined with sparkling chemistry made this one a gem. The changing dynamics between the two lovebirds unravels beautifully as we empathize with their situation.