Sangs’ post was what made me write this post. She has written that most of Mani Ratnam’s heroines are epitomes of innocence. But, I don’t think so.
Taking their own decisions, choosing how their life has to be, speaking their mind out and at times, being real stubborn – to me, these are what characterize the women in Mani Ratnam’s movies. Of course, some of their decisions do get influenced by their parents or others around them. But that, definitely, doesn’t make them innocent.
Let me start with Mouna Raagam. The heroine in this movie has no traces of innocence whatsoever! Divya of Mouna Raagam till date remains one of the well-portrayed women in Mani Ratnam’s movies. She does what she wants to. She remains very stubborn in complete contrast to her a-bit-too-sweet husband.
Coming to Roja, though Rishi might have said, ‘nee vaaya tharandha unnoda ignorance veLiya vandhuDum’, she is, like how Dr. Chandramurthy says in the scene where Rishi introduces her to him, ‘bayam, accham idhellaam illadha poNNu’. That scene might have shown the innocent side of her when she tells Dr. Chandramurthy whatever her husband had told her. But see the way she doesn’t even let her husband near her till he clarifies that there was no mistake on his part or when she boldly asks Nasser if his reaction would have been the same had it been a minister’s husband who had been taken as hostage instead of her husband.
In Bombay, where the heroine leaves behind her family and home and goes to an unknown place to marry the guy she loves, where is innocence in the girl who realizes her husband is lying when he pretends to read out his father’s letter or when she goes ahead and tells her full name to their house owner when her husband doesn’t and tries to conceal the fact that she is a Muslim? It’s only her insecurity that later makes her ask her father-in-law not to separate her husband from her.
In Iruvar, though Pushpa (Aishwarya Rai) is shown as the usual sweet village girl, still she isn’t shown to be too innocent. It is Maragadham (Revathy) who is shown as the innocent girl in this movie. In complete contrast to her is Kalpana (Aishwarya Rai) – wanting to marry a man who is much older than her and breaking from him when she realizes that’s not going to happen. Tabu, the other lady in the movie, boldly asks Prakash Raj what is the name that is going to be given to his relationship with her.
Chithra (Revathy) of Anjali, Shakti (Shalini) of Alaipayuthey, Anjali (Amala) of Agni Nakshatram, Sujata (Aishwarya Rai) of Guru, Sashi (Meera Jasmine) of Aayitha Ezhuthu, Rasathi (Heera) of Thiruda Thiruda and, I would say, even Subbulakshmi (Shobhana) of Thalapathy aren’t exceptions to this either. Doesn’t Subbulakshmi know what kind of a person Surya is before she falls in love with him? She lets go of her love only for her father.
Apart from all those mentioned above, let’s not forget that Manisha Koirala played the role of a terrorist in Dil Se!
Coming to think of it, on a lighter note, not even kids in Mani Ratnam’s movies are innocent, Amudha (Keerthana) of Kannathil Muthamittal being the best example to prove that both kids as well as females in his movies are not innocent. 😉 What say, people? 🙂
It has been a long time since I had some discussion on Mani Ratnam’s movies here! Waiting to know your views on this topic! 🙂