This post is actually a reply to Bharath’s comment here! Don’t scold me for posting continuously about Mani Ratnam’s movies. The reply to that comment ran for more than a page! So, I thought of posting it as a post. Read his comment before reading this post.
Agreed that the difference in style from Dil Se to Alaipayuthey is quite obvious. But, there lies the genius of Mani Ratnam. He can take any form of Cinema brilliantly. 😉 As Bharath has said, hasn’t he shown the complexities of relationships in such a simplified manner?
> But he has stripped the movie of what he is best known for to achieve simplicity – classy backlighting, camerawork, and powerful acting
Exactly! It was as though the movie didn’t require any powerful acting at all since there is no powerful character in the movie! If we take Nayagan, no one other than Kamal would have fitted the role appropriately considering the kind of character that Nayagan is and the brilliant actor that Kamalhassan is. (Though I am not a fan of Kamal and don’t like his movies much, nevertheless, there is no denying that he is a brilliant actor who can handle any role with ease) But here, Karthik and Shakti are two ordinary characters. No extraordinary acting was required from Madhavan and Shalini at all! But, they did excel in the roles that were given to them.
> In one interview, he said that sometimes, he needs to put in certain songs for the front-benchers in the halls…
Yeah I have read that too. What’s a Mani Ratnam film without a song for the front-benchers? 😉 And, it isn’t only the front benchers who enjoy these songs 😉 But, again, taking the picturization of songs in other recent films into consideration, on any day, even Mani’s songs for front-benchers are worth watching and are picturized brilliantly compared to the gaana songs in all the current movies.
>many other filmmakers have copied the colour schemes after this movie but not to the same effect…
Yup! But, the one song that does seem to have been picturized beautifully with similar colour schemes as Pachchai Nirame is the title song of P.C.Sreeram’s movie, ‘Vaanam Vasappadum’.
>The shot of the blue water is probably one of Mani’s best frames ever…
That was the one shot in pachcahi Nirame that left me mesmerized when I watched the movie in theatre! 🙂
> The strong support his side characters lend to the story
Again agreed! 🙂 Btw, it was surprising to see Vivek accepting to do such a small role in the movie!
> There is a prelude to this where she is shown forced into saying yes by her mother, so I guess she has no options
Yeah that usually forms my line of argument too supporting what Shakti did.
> No mention of his movies can be complete without mention of the train
Yeah what’s a Mani’s movie without trains and rains? In case anyone is not aware, there is a Yahoo group for Mani Ratnam that is not as much active as it used to be earlier. Link: http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/maniratnam/ You will get to read some of the brilliant observations on Mani Ratnam’s movies there. And, there was a thread there long time back in which the things that form a common part in all Mani’s movies was discussed. Just follow the threads of message numbers 2836 and 251 in the group, any Mani Ratnam fan will enjoy it. 🙂
I will hopefully try to come up with a post on something other than Mani Ratnam’s movies soon!