Category Archives: Reminiscing Mani Ratnam’s movies

The Magic of Alaipayuthey – 20 Years Later

This blog of mine has always been synonymous with celebrating all things Alaipayuthey! So, it would be highly unfair if I leave this special occasion of Alaipayuthey turning 20 without at least a passing mention here. But when have I ever been able to stick to just a ‘passing mention’ of Alaipayuthey? 😉 So, here is yet another heartfelt raving about that special movie!

Sometime in the beginning of April during one of those sleepless nights, it struck me that Alaipayuthey was turning 20 this year. Since then, there have been quite a few reminiscences going on in my mind. From thinking of 20 special things to 20 special scenes to recollecting certain write-ups of mine, Alaipayuthey has yet again been giving me quite a few relaxing moments during this much-needed anxious period!

While it would be cliched to say that this movie remains as special to me today as it was 20 long years earlier, it is indeed the case. When I saw earlier in the day that Mani Ratnam was going to be appearing Live on Facebook with Suhasini, I set a reminder and watched it from the start to finish, absolutely hooked to it. And then when Madhavan made an appearance in the show, I can’t tell you how much the Alaipayuthey fan in me was rejoiced! Is there any better way to celebrate Alaipayuthey?!

As Madhavan said the famed ‘Naan onna virumbala’ dialogue in the show, the magic in these words were as fresh today as it was when we first heard it. Madhavan asked Mani Ratnam about why there was such lengthy, filmy dialogue in this, so unlike his usual style. Before I knew it, I was thinking about several of the proposal scenes in all his other films.

When Suhasini showed a mirror with a colourful backdrop, even before she started talking about it, I shouted out loud, ‘Hey this is the Alaipayuthey mirror!’ 😀 She indeed did confirm that this was a mirror which she had bought in Hauz Khas, Delhi and was used in Alaipayuthey. Knowing yet another new trivia about anything and everything related to Alaipayuthey excited me today as much as it did during my teens. 🙂 That mirror in which the thaali is hung 🙂

If watching a mere Live conversation with Mani Ratnam gets me this excited, guess how much the movie still excites me even today!

Kaatru Veliyidai

Breathtaking visuals, beautiful colours, mesmerizing music, people with flaws and feelings abound, a leading lady in lovely costumes, a love story on a setting that makes you think beyond your normal lives and thank those brave soldiers who are helping us lead a safe life – that is Kaatru Veliyidai for you.

If you are looking for a story of two perfect and caring people falling in love with each other and leading a happy life together, then this movie is not for you.
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Alaipayuthey – The Colours!

Watching Alaipayuthey fully last Saturday, I seriously couldn’t recollect the last time I watched it fully! It definitely has been a few years! Watching it make me feel 17 years younger, got me away from feeling like an oldie having entered into my 30s. 😉 And yes, it made my hands itch to write something about it here!

I love colours – deep, rich colours, vibrant hues, bold strokes of colours on a canvas and even dull, moody tones. Alaipayuthey is one movie which literally celebrates colours through the song ‘Pacchai Nirame‘ and through almost every single frame. It is not just Pacchai Nirame, each and every scene of which glorifies the many varied hues of colours painted naturally by nature on this wide canvas called earth and sky.

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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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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!

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.

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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.

Enrenrum Punnagai!

Click here to watch the trailer of Alaipayuthey featuring this song! This was the last trailer which was released for Alaipayuthey. And it was also the only trailer which was telecast on TV for quite a long time after the movie got released. I still remember how it used to be telecast at a specific time everyday and I used to watch it too. Just look at how an entire bunch of happy & colourful scenes from the movie has been chosen for this song, matching the mood of the song having apt lines like ‘enRenRum punnagai, muDivillaa punnagai’! Brings a punnagai to your face too, doesn’t it? 🙂 Brick red, cement gray and the red and pink of Madhavan’s and Shalini’s costumes in the closing scene make such a beautiful colour combination on screen! I remember the trailer ending with Bru coffee being pouring into a green coffee mug with a voiceover in the background saying, ‘enRenRum punnagai. BruvuDan punnagai’.

P.S.: I could find only that low resolution video of this trailer.

Celebrating 10 years of Alaipayuthey!

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I can’t believe that it has been almost 10 years since the movie got released! The movie, as most of you might know, got released on April 14th, 2000. 10 long years and I still can’t have enough of it! 🙂 And I still can’t have enough of writing about it either. It would be highly unfair if I don’t celebrate my decade long passion for the movie that is so very special to me. Today, I leave you with one of my favourite stills from the movie. But, starting from tomorrow, more posts will follow. Dedicating the whole of April to Alaipayuthey! 🙂

Kannathil Muthamittal Revisited

Watching the last half an hour or so of Kannathil Muthamittal on K TV today morning, I remembered the post of mine that has been lying unfinished in the drafts for a long time now.

Sometime in June last year (this post has been in draft from that time!!), there was this thematic concert of T.M.Krishna that I went to. The theme of the concert was ‘Relationships’. As I heard a moving rendition of Mahakvi Bharatiyar’s ‘chinnanchiru kiLiye’(which he had chosen for the relationship between a father and his daughter) by TMK – how does he manage to bring so much bhava in everything that he sings! TMK rocks! 🙂 –, I couldn’t help remembering the movie ‘Kannathil Muthamittal’ the moment he sang those lines in the song. 🙂 As my thoughts drifted towards the movie, the first thing that came to my mind was what an apt title Mani Ratnam had chosen for the movie!
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