8 Times Mani Ratnam Movies Had Some Interesting Back Stories

8 Times Mani Ratnam Movies Had Some Interesting Back Stories

2 Mar 18 @ 6:08 PM | By Sai

The reason we admire a few film makers like Mani Ratnam is the effort they put into telling us stories in a way that they will stay with us even after years. That is how they turn into classics. He is now close to 35 years into the industry. His venture starring Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari, Kaatru Veliyidai / Cheliya marks the silver jubilee movie in the legend's career. And before we go to experience another scenic movie on the screen, let's take a while to recollect a few interesting aspects in Mani Ratnam's movies. Least to be said about Mani Ratnam is that he is a perfectionist especially in the field of the screenplay. His intense stories have always been complimented with some top-notch performances by our amazing actors. He and his movies have been one of the major reasons for us to love AR Rahman even more. And if you take a closer look at few of his movies, they have some really interesting back stories before they turned out to be the classics they are now. Most of you might already be having an idea about these stories. Here we’ve added a few more scoops which show us the beauty of filmmaking by Mr. Gopala Ratnam Subramaniam aka Mani Ratnam.

  1. Nayagan / Nayakudu (1987)

    Mani Ratnam’s first crime drama that stands as one of the cult classic even today cemented his place as one of the ace directors then in the industry. The movie was inspired by real life Bombay based gangster Varadarajan Mudaliar. The movie tells the story of the struggles faced by South Indians in the city of Bombay. The death of Sakthivel (playing the role of Mudaliar) in the end was suggested by the don Mudaliar himself. It happened when Kamal Haasan and Mani Ratnam met the don in person and the later asked him how he would foresee his own death.

    Nayagan / Nayakudu (1987)
    Nayagan / Nayakudu (1987)
  2. Roja (1992)

    Standing as an ever green classic even till date, this romantic thriller was inspired by true events that director Mani Ratnam came across. An engineer was kidnapped by the terrorists when he had gone on a project to Srinagar, Kashmir. His wife fought constantly for his release and wrote an open letter to the terrorist which is exactly what Roja says in the film to Wasim Khan in jail. She appealed to the goodness of the terrorist and it was her plight that triggered Ratnam to frame this wonderful tale. It is also regarded as a modern version of Savitri and Satyavan, a story told by Markandeya to Yudhistra when the latter asks if there has been a woman whose devotion is as great as Draupadi.

  3. Bombay (1995)

    This movie had its plot centred on the communal clashes that occurred between December, 1992 to January, 1993. The demolition of Babri Masjid increased the religious tension between Muslims and Hindus in Mumbai which further led to Bombay riots. Though initially Mani Ratnam weaved his story as a political film, the consequences of these riots affected Mani Ratnam immensely and hence found their place into his story. This movie is the second movie in Ratnam’s trilogy of films that showcased human relationships against the backdrop of Indian politics.

  4. Iruvar / Iddaru (1997)

    The movie depicts the relationship cinema and politics share in the state of Tamil Nadu. It was a film that was made on the lives of the Political icons of the state M G Ramachandran and M Karunanidhi which were portrayed by Mohanlal and Prakash Raj respectively. Aishwarya Rai, who made her debut through this movie is seen in a dual role, one is a flamboyant dancer inspired by real life Jayalalithaa. The movie faced the wrath of the then political leaders of the state for portraying the darker side of their leaders. Mani Ratnam even till date claims that Iruvar has been his best work so far. 

    Iruvar / Iddaru (1997)
    Iruvar / Iddaru (1997)
  5. Dil Se.. (1998)

    The film came as the third film in the trilogy of Mani Ratnam’s movies that dealt with human relationships against the backdrop of Indian politics. Dil Se.. is a war romantic thriller that takes place against the insurgency in Northeast India. Amar played by Shahrukh Khan falls in love with Meghana who later turns out to be a part of the Liberationists group who looks to sketch multiple suicide attacks in New Delhi during the Republic Day. Its coincidence with the 50th Independence Anniversary year was one reason this movie was embraced with connection. Also few of the parade scenes were shot during the 50th anniversary of Independence.

    Dil Se.. (1998)
    Dil Se.. (1998)
  6. Guru (2007)

    This film that beautifully tells the tale of a man’s desire and ambition for success through the various challenging situations he comes across his life. The protagonist’s roots are from Gujarat who is a school teacher’s son. He works abroad in the gas company, Shell and returns to India to import polyester. This has been looked at as the biographical film of India’s business tycoon Dhirubhai Ambani. The film received high critical acclaim for the finesse Ratnam put into sketching Guru’s role set in the period time.

    Guru
    Guru
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  8. Raavanan / Villain / Raavan (2010)

    Framed on the outline of the epic Ramayana, Raavanan/Villain/Raavan is a story of a police officer on the hunt for a tribal leader who is a law breaker and has kidnapped his wife. The three lead characters go through emotional turmoil while Veeraiya is seen in title role of Raavan portrayed by Vikram and Abhishek Bachchan in Tamil and Hindi respectively. He kidnaps Ragini seen as Sita for the personal trauma he suffers where his sister was tortured, raped and killed in police custody. Senior police officer is on a mission to save his wife and hunt down Veeraiya is seen as Rama which was essayed by Prithviraj and Vikram in Tamil and Hindi respectively.

    Raavanan / Villain / Raavan (2010)
    Raavanan / Villain / Raavan (2010)
  9. Thalapathi / Dhalapathi (1991)

    This crime drama is weaved on the lines of relationship Karna and Duryodhana shared in the epic Mahabharatha. Symbolically, Rajinikanth’s character name is Surya and resembles Karna. He is abandoned by his mother with a shawl wrapped over him as soon as he is born, just like Karna. Later he joins hands with the powerful Deva, played by Mammootty who is the equivalent role of Duryodhana. They stand together against the newly appointed deputy collector, Arjun played by Arvind Swamy, who looks to eradicate violence. Arjun is the legal son of Kalyani, played by Srividya who is based on the character Kunti. However, towards the end the abandoned son and the mother meet for a happy ending.

    Thalapathi / Dhalapathi (1991)
    Thalapathi / Dhalapathi (1991)
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