Today, June 2, is 59th birthday of Mani Ratnam, and while wishing him Happy Birthday, I’m sure all my readers would like to join me in wishing him all the best in his life.
Mani Ratnam, as we may all be aware of, is one of India's most acclaimed and influential filmmakers, widely credited with revolutionising the Tamil film industry and altering the profile of Indian cinema. His films are noted for their realism, technical finesse, and craft. Mouna Ragam (1986), established him as a leading filmmaker in Tamil cinema. He followed that with the Godfatheresque Nayagan (1987), which is regarded as a cult film over the years. Mani Ratnam is well known for his "Political trilogy" consisting of Roja (1992), Bombay (1995), and Dil Se.. (1998). The commercial and critical success of Roja established him as a leading filmmaker in Indian cinema. Iruvar with Mohanlal, Aishwarya Rai, Tabu and Prakash Raj in the lead, his next film as director, was honoured the Best Film at the "Festival of the Auteur Films" at the FEST film festival held in Belgrade. In 1998 came the third part of his "terrorism trilogy", named Dil Se.. and starring Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala, with the latter fabricating the second collaboration. It showed the relationship between a young man and a dangerous, disturbed woman. Although they fall in love, she is unable to take the romance further due to her bleak past. The soundtrack album, again composed by A. R. Rahman, gained mass appeal and gave Rahman his next Filmfare Award for Best Music Direction in 1999. Unlike his previous two projects, Dil Se.. opened with well note among the film critics and the film poorly performed in the domestic market despite being a success overseas. It was screened in many international film festivals, and won the Netpac award (Ex-Aqueo) in the Berlin International Film Festival.
Mani Ratnam, who has been predominantly associated with south movies, has given an indelible contribution to Bollywood films as well:
Dil Se (1998)
Starring Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala this movie was Mani Ratnam‘s first Hindi language film. The film was, however, rejected by audiences as it couldn’t garner much box-office collections, but the flick based on Northeast disturbances definitely impressed critics. AR Rahman’s songs made the film even more popular and till date people can be seen humming to the tunes from the film.
Starring Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukherji, this was a remake of a Tamil film, Alaipayuthey, directed by Ratnam. The cute love story also featured Shahrukh Khan and Tabu in cameo appearances. Saathiya, however was Ratnam’s production and the directorial reigns were held by his protege Shaad Ali. The movie did well at the box office and its music, AR Rahman, did exceedingly well.
Starring Ajay Devgan, Abhishek Bachchan, Vivek Oberoi, Esha Deol, Rani Mukherji and Kareena Kapoor, the film gave birth to multi starrer films in Bollywood. The film was a youth oriented movie, which showcased how one activity changed three different lives. It had a background student politics theme to it.
Starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, R. Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Arya Babbar and Mithun Chakraborty, Guru is supposed to be based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries. The film did really well at the box office and made Abhishek Bachchan a star to look out for in the future.
Starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Vikram is a thriller in which Abhishek played a stark negative role. This film could not garner much appreciation commercially, but it’s Tamil version did exceedingly well at the box office. The music of the film, by AR Rahman, was appreciated a lot
Once again, wishing Mani Ratnam a very Happy Birthday!