Category Archives: Mani Ratnam


I don’t have a clear answer either for the ‘How was Raavan?’ question or for ‘Did you like Raavan?’ Of course, the answer for the second question is definitely not a ‘No’. But it isn’t a whole-hearted ‘Yes’ either. And that’s why I didn’t even attempt to write on the movie all this while.

Spoiler Alert (But I guess this won’t matter since most of you might have watched the movie by now.)
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Couples in Mani Ratnam’s movies

In the show ‘Mani Matters’ on CNN-IBN, talking about Alaipayuthey, this is what Mani Ratnam said,

“To me, that’s where a love story starts. After hard facts of life of having to get up every morning, not just when you are trying to impress somebody, where you can be on your best behaviour, when you can charming, when you can be intelligent.

The relationship grows when it is faced with reality, when it is started…the milkman coming in, I mean, that’s where the real relationship starts.”

Hearing these lines, I started thinking about how not just in Alaipayuthey, but also in many of his movies, Mani Ratnam has portrayed the ups and downs in the relationship between a husband and a wife. His lead pair, in most of the films, has always been a married couple and not just lovers. His lead pair gets married in the course of the movie and he has always shown an equal share of romance as well as the complexities involved in the relationship.
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It’s Raavan everywhere!

Newspapers, magazines, websites, Abhishek Bachchan’s tweets, mail forwards, posters on newspapers and on the walls, trailers on all the Hindi and Tamil channels! After more than a couple of years of rumours initially about Mani Ratnam’s next film Lajjo that were doing the rounds in all the newspapers and websites and then the endless news about what next Mani Ratnam’s movie was all about, the initial names for the Hindi and Tamil versions – Raavan and Ashokavanam, the cast & crew, the problem with forest officials, rumours about the climax, etc., etc., interviews with the cast & crew & the director himself and not to mention all those non-informative news items which seemed to have been published just for filling up the space, the day of the release of the movie is just a couple of days away!

Having watched the last two movies of Mani Ratnam on the day of the release itself, I hope that I get to watch this too on the first day. Can’t wait to see Mani Ratnam delve deep into the numerous minds of Beera! My plan, as of now, is to watch Raavan first and then Raavanan. What about you?

Mani Matters

Did you watch the programme ‘Mani Matters’ on CNN-IBN this weekend? Watching not just what was a quick recap of almost all the movies of Mani Ratnam till date, with the actors and other crew members talking about their experience of working with Mani Ratnam, but hearing the man himself speak about most of his movies has only doubled up my excitement and made the wait for the release of Raavan seem even longer! The show itself was a very good one, besides it isn’t often that you get to watch Mani Ratnam speak about his movies. Seeing clippings from so many movies of his at a stretch made me wish I could watch it all once again. In case you haven’t watched the show yet, do watch it here. Also, do check out another very good interview with Mani Ratnam here.

The note on the website

Now when everybody is talking about the director’s note on the website of Raavan, let’s revisit the note that was there on the website of Alaipayuthey. Check it out here in the archived website of Alaipayuthey. Follow the links below to read the notes on Karthik’s and Sakthi’s worlds too.

P.S.: To all those who got bored of this mini-series on Alaipayuthey, I’ll try to come up with posts on other topics soon!

Raavan Theatrical Trailer

Isn’t this newly released trailer intriguing? Don’t the sun rays filtered through the trees in the shot where Abhishek & Aishwarya are going on a boat look surreal? The music at 0:24 in this trailer reminds me of the BGM in Roja for the scenes featuring the terrorists. As I read the line ‘The bond between the hunter and the hunted – between the captor and the captive’ in the ‘Director’s note’ in the website of Raavan, I immediately started thinking about how Mani Ratnam has already shown a bond between the captor and the captive in Roja too. Anyway, the trailers are making the wait for the movie release seem longer by the day!

Kadhal Sadugudu & Alaipayuthey

With this song, Mani Ratnam shows he needs neither exotic locales having nature’s beauty in abundance (Pacchai Nirame) nor a fort (Snehidhane) nor a festive atmosphere (Yaaro Yaarodi) and with just brick and cement (and not to forget those yellow and white bed spreads) as a backdrop, he can create stunning visuals too.
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The name, the font

The name itself is one among the numerous things about Alaipayuthey that instantly fascinated me. I really wish I could know what made Mani Ratnam give it a title like this and if he had any other names in his mind.

There was this programme telecast on Sun TV on the 14th of April, 2000 in which Madhavan, Shalini & Swarnamalya spoke about the movie. I remember Swarnamalya saying how much she liked the name of the movie. Seems she came to know the name only after hearing the story.


It wasn’t just the name alone. I liked the font in which it was written too. As the first few minutes of the movie alternates between Madhavan on a bike and the titles of the movie, the titles in that nice font in white colour on a black background looks good too. Even though I later saw quite a few movies using this font, I’ll always associate this font only with Alaipayuthey.

It’s end of April already!

Blame it on the lack of time or the fact that the ability to satisfactorily translate thoughts into words seems to be often eluding me nowadays or sheer laziness, I am now looking at the number of posts that I have written to celebrate 10 years of Alaipayuthey and cursing myself. I now feel like somebody who has a 3-hour exam to finish in just half an hour. 😉

Thinking about exams, I remember the first time I heard a group of people raving non-stop about Alaipayuthey. It was the day of my class 10 English board exam. Having completed the exam well ahead of time, all of us were happily standing outside the school and chatting. And that was when a group of my class mates started talking excitedly about the trailer of the next Mani Ratnam’s movie which was being telecast on the TV channels. They were talking about Madhavan, (at that time, who wouldn’t have done that? 😉 ) the music, etc. But I had not watched the trailer yet, since we still didn’t have cable connection at home! Being a mute participant to the conversation, little did I know back then that a couple of months down the line, I would become totally crazy about the movie and the craze would still be on an ever-increasing mode ten years down the line too! And that movie would be the one thing about which it’s difficult to get me to stop talking about. 🙂 I am in a nostalgic mood now!