By Deepa Balasubramanian
Mani Ratnam is one of the creative geniuses who rule the Tamil silver screen of our times. There is something astoundingly unique about Mani Ratnam films. There are some of his followers who aspire and make something close, but not really. Mani Ratnam films occupy a cult status of their own. Romance being his prime Genre, Mani Sir never fails to perfect the ploy against all odds.
Predictably so, this has to do with the unique treatment that is laid out in all of his films. And more often that not, the same cannot be replicated by others, come what may.!!
Five Unique Treatments In Mani Ratnam Films
These five factors should make you agree on why Mani Ratnam always stands apart in the group of leading directors in Tamil Cinema.
Hero Establishment – Real To Life
The leading men of Mani Ratnam films are not super heroes. They are people derived from real life. The hero element is always built around traits such as stubbornness, rebellious, eccentric and born leader kinds. Starting from Surya in Thalapathi to Adithya in O Kadhal Kanmani (OK Bangaram) , the heroes are high and mighty in their own grounded space.
The Leading Lady Calls The Shots
This is a very clever treatment coming from MR always. The woman of the movie may be victimised, crippled, traumatised and what not, but she always emerges out as a strong force. We can call it the simple picturization of the ladies in the average Tamil middle classes and elsewhere. That resilience to question, fight, ask and choose comes naturally to all Mani Ratnam heroines.
Brilliance Of The Main Casting
After watching a Mani Ratnam film, a movie lover will eventually walk out remembering the names of all the main characters in the film and not just the leading pair. This is called as Mani Ratnam magic. He makes sure that the top line cast is established in a powerful and a significant manner. This makes it all the very reason why we still adore the Deva character player by Mammootty (Thalapathi) or Col Rayappa played by Nassar (Roja) even today.
The Villain – He Has Substance
The Mani Ratnam villains are not cheap goons. They have immense substance and class. That’s the way this genius director loves to play his plot. The bad men who constitute a large part of his films are all about depth. Remember the character played by Vikram in Raavanan (Villain) or Kota Srinivasa Rao in Gaayam? Simply outstanding!!
Tales Derived From Epics
A Mani Ratnam film will run a modern story on the fore front and yet, has a base outline that is derived from any of the Hindu epics. Say Ramayana, Mahabharata or even MeghaSandesham. Nevertheless, we always enjoy his stories with some nostalgia of having heard something similar in our lives.
These are five of his unique treatments.
Tamil and Telugu Cinema thanks Mani sir for rendering timeless sagas and immortal on screen characters.