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My money is on Mani

“Ooravittu Oddipoidalama”[Shall we elope?] whispers Girija into Nagarjun’s years and the dialogue was so short but it conveys the thought and the exubernace of the character. It is from a Manirathnam movie called “Idayatahi Thiruda” . Mani Rathnam is a genius beyound words. He extricates certain complex human emotions from the deepest chambers of your heart . Most of his movies are breezy and his way of telling a story is different from most directors. I would rank him alongside some of the greatest directors of the world.

Just like Rajnikanth, Manirathnam movies have a stamp of his master class. He has frames, shots, scenes that would stir the sentiments in you but he never ever goes overboard with those loud melodramatic scenes employed by other directors. I have never ever had the hair on the back of my neck stand up with the sense of patriotism as it did during that flag saving scene in Roja. I have never ever felt so strongly about communal riots and its consequences than when the twins in Bombay get trampled and seperated by the mob running for their lives. I still remember the old man saying to young Kamal that you can go any ends to help people. How can I ever forget that Chandramouli Chandramouli mad act by Karthik in Mouna Ragam. Rajini and Mamooty’s friendship in Thalapathy, Karthik and Prabhu’s rivalry in Agni Nakshatram and it is a credit to the man that he even made poker faced Murali look good in Pagal Nilavu.

Mani’s characterizations are always people with whom you can easily identify. Michael Vasanth in Ayudha Ezhuthu, Karthik in Alaipayuthey, Roja in Roja, Surya and Deva in Thalapathy, Gautam and Ashok in Agni Nakasthram etc etc are all people whom you would have across everyday. I think his genius was also responsible in making Tamil Cinema technically sound. But for him, we would still be like Bollywood. Short sentences for dialogues, exotic locales in India and some great music are all hallmarks of a Manirathnam film.

I want to own these DVD’s and treasure them for a lifetime because it will be hard for another Manirathnam to come by…

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

March 1, 2005 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

16 Responses

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  1. I hope he and Kamal team up soon. I’m sure it will be a good one.


    March 1, 2005 at 6:20 pm

  2. Lets Wish Manirathnam good health and hope he churns out a class movie sooner !!

    Adaengappa !!

    March 1, 2005 at 6:29 pm

  3. I hope Rajini and Mani team up 🙂


    Any time Mani churns out a movie , it has class written all over it.


    March 1, 2005 at 6:41 pm

  4. I am a big Manirathnam fan.

    I watched ‘Mouna Raagam’, ‘Nayagan’, ‘Roja’, ‘Agni Nakshathiram’ all the first day first show while I was in India.

    Of all his movies, I would rate Thiruda Thiruda and Ayudha Ezhuthu the last as far as my taste goes.

    I own a lot of the DVD’s.

    I read about his health and was worried. He has had 3 heart attacks I think. I hope and pray he stays healthy.


    March 1, 2005 at 9:15 pm

  5. suda man wat makes u feel tat he is sooooo good..its just that he takes films in the dark….makes ppl whisper instead of speak dialogues the way they are supposed to be spoken……..he just makes films for the sake of awards


    March 2, 2005 at 4:47 am

  6. besides a film can be called successful only if it satisfies the A B and C sectors….wats the use of making movies tat dont always dont do well at the box office…wat happens to the producers who have invested in you…expecting to deliver a commercial masala film tat will be enjoyed by all……


    March 2, 2005 at 4:51 am

  7. Who doesn’t like Maniratnam? his movies hav captured the attention of many…

    but has anyone blogged/written abt the flaws in Mani’s movies.. i know its hard to spot one.. but, it wd be an interesting aside to know what the critics (reasonable ones) think of the great man.

    Indian Voter

    March 2, 2005 at 6:03 am

  8. Somebody gift me the DVD collection…please



    March 2, 2005 at 9:04 am

  9. Narayanan
    Thanks for visiting the blog


    March 2, 2005 at 10:22 am

  10. Anonymous
    Most Mani movies like KM, AE are made for people who have a different level of intelliegence and it unfortunately looks like you don’t possess that kind of brains.

    Also I don’t subscribe to the views of this A, B and C center collections. A director makes his movies for a target audience. You don’t expect your mother to sit and watch cartoons or NBA because the target audience of those telecasts are not her, it is you.

    I hate mega serials but they are hugely successful because they are made for a traget audience of housewives who like melodrama.

    LIke Rajini’s last film Baba, it had an overdose of spirituality which didnt go down well with this majority audience – the outh and hence it flopped.

    Similarly, Mani’s movies cannot be appreciated by one and all. Much like Anbe Sivam. It is made for a slightly intellectual or a learned target audience.

    You can never make a movie for an award because those awards are not controlled by you. You cannot say with certainity that I have made a movie for the awards and I will win it. So you make a movie for a target audience and awards are just an offshoot t satisfying this target audience


    March 2, 2005 at 10:37 am

  11. You have inspired me to make a movie related post after the Chandramukhi oneand now this. While I felt AE could have been a little better edited, Mani’s movies are so good, even his worst is much better than most of the best of the rest. His genius lies in making us empathise with the lead characters and feel their emotions. Very few people have ever even come close to being compared to Mani in Indian cinema. He is just a class apart.

    The Last Blogger

    March 2, 2005 at 12:11 pm

  12. I like Mani’s film for his pragmatic touch, and beyond-time story/screenplay. U can watch movies like MR,Nayagan,Thalapathi even after 20-30 yrs, it’ll not look out of place. But movies like SagalakalaVallavan, Manithan are all timely hits, but one cant watch it now.
    As for me, he’s the best director when it comes to taking romantic scene. From MounaRagam to Alaipayuthe….his style is unique and superb.


    March 2, 2005 at 3:55 pm

  13. wait wait wait……. wat bout Hey Ram.that film was made for the sake of winning an oscar when kamal was at the peak of his lust for the oscars….and lemme tell u sometin.. a film is usually made for an “ELITE” audience who have the guts and dough for seeing the film repeatedly no matter how dumb **** it is…cause it has all the elements that satisfy them with out any sorta vulgar scenes…. that aint u or the rest of us cause you know y???? we prefer to sit our *** at home and watch the film at our leisure…
    Besides wassat shit bout some intelligent shit..the film is made in my mother tongue and in a language which i understand…wats there not to understand…i never said that i dont understand what message he wanted the audience to know…tis just that when u say that he is the best director i fail to comprehend y the “best” for him alone….i feel that even a director like Saran can deliver the message in a better way tat can be understood by many more other than me.
    In sucha case Balachander is the best…..u ever seen Thaneer … tats a film… besides wats the use in making a film just beliving that a “selected audience” will watch ur film and in the end they end up not….. this dude has encouraged more ppl to try out crazy concepts in film making like R. PARTHIBAN who has ended up getting divorced just because he tries sometin new like kamal and mani and turns up making disasters and financial crisis….
    besides that just for the sake of perfecting a shot u cant retake a whole sequence … tis just for the sake of publicity…
    mani ratnam’s secret lies in the fact that all his songs turn out to be good thanks to the music directors…. illayaraja and rahman.
    think of mauna ragam without that themesong or ayitha ezuthu with out jana gana mana…… he says taht he wants to take a film without songs… if he does mark mi words…..that will be the end of him…….


    March 3, 2005 at 12:13 am

  14. Anon
    I don’t really give a shit to what you think because I think Maniratnam is the best director and in my opinion, there is no one in India who is close to him.

    Saran etc. are all in a league of their own – a league characterized by cliched f***s. Balachander is good to an extent by he can come a distant second compared to Maniratnam and still mani stands light years apart.

    About Partibhan screwing up his marriage and you attributing it to Mani and Kamal, you sound like a LOSER and you make Partibhan sound like one as well. About Kamal making Hey Ram for the Oscars, I am pretty sure that he did not because if he did, then it is mightily clear that he has never ever seen an academy award winner in his life.

    Great music alone cannot guarantee a great film. If that was the cae, all of A.R Rahman’s films should have been huge success. Mani is a talent beyond the ages and if you don’t like him, don’t try convincing me otherwise because when I say he is good, I know what I am taking about.


    March 3, 2005 at 12:41 am

  15. Mani Ratnam films really have a special charm of their own, among my favorite movies are Roja and to an extent, Dil Se


    March 7, 2005 at 8:44 am

  16. nice post sudarshan but the film everyone fails to mention as usual is iruvar..most ppl just choose to neglect it. its an adaptation of a real story but i’d rather learn tamil political history from iruvar.


    March 8, 2005 at 11:05 am

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