June 2 is certainly the most special day for Tamil cinema and its lovers. Apart from ‘Isaignani’ Ilaiyaraja, legendary director Mani Ratnam also celebrates his birthday on this day.
A man of few words hailing from a family of a prestigious film Production house, Mani Ratnam directed his first film ‘Pallavi Anu Pallavi’ in Kannada in 1983 without working as an assistant to anyone, probably the first person in south Indian film industry to do so.
After this he directed Malayalam film ‘Unaru’ starring Mohan Lal before entering his home turf with ‘Pagal Nilavu’ in 1985. Mouna Ragam’ in 1986 and ‘Nayagan’ which marked his association with Kamal Haasan not only became blockbuster hits but also considered as the gems of Tamil Cinema.
While the former received the National Award for Best Tamil film, the latter made it to the list of ‘All-Time 100 Best Films’ compiled by the Times Magazine. Lqater he worked with Superstar Rajinkanth in ‘Thalabathy’ and delivered it as a super hit film of 1991.
In the mid of 90’s Mani Ratnam through his films ‘Roja’, ‘Bombay’ and ‘Dilse’ (which is his first straight Bollywood film) touched many controversial subjects relating to terrorism. In the previous decade he started the trend of multi starrers and bilinguals with his films ‘Aaytha Ezhuthu’, ‘Guru’ and ‘Ravanan’. His latest film is ‘Kadal’ that released in 2013.
He has worked with almost all the stars of the 1990’s and 2000’s either as a director or as a producer. He is the producer of crucial hit films of Ajith (Aasai) and Vijay (Nerukku Ner) at the early stages of their acting careers.
The long list of celebrities he has introduced to film includes A.R.Rahman (Roja), Aishwarya Rai (Iruvar), Aravind Swamy (Thalabathi) and Madhavan (Alaipayithe), Gautham Karthik (Kadal) and Thulasi (Kadal). He also introduced actor Suriya with his production venture ‘Nerukku Ner’ directed by Vasanth.
Mani Ratnam commands a great respect and fan following in Telugu and Hindi film industries as well. The Hindi and Telugu dubbed versions of many of his Tamil films and also his direct films in those languages have been successful and critically acclaimed.
Some of Mani Ratnam’s films have been commercial duds at the box office but there has not been a dearth of buzz around his next film ever since the date of announcement. He always remains the favorite filmmaker of thousands of fans who have born after 1980’s. It’s a dream of every actor and actress to appear in at least a frame in a Mani Ratnam directed film.
We at TamilWire take pride in wishing one of the highly respected filmmakers of Indian cinema on his 58th birthday and pray the almighty for more successes in his career and a long healthy life.