In the mood to watch some real good love stories, well there is no discussion of romance genre in south without the movies of Mani Ratnam. This ace director captures hearts by blending the mythological stories and real-life incidents and create contemporary renderings.
His visual style of storytelling, using sun, rain, wind and the nature landscapes as the main elemenst in creating the mood for the film, slowly takes his audience into the magical trance of the movie. His movies show strong women characters especially in the movie Roja and gave some of the best lover boy characters, I mean Arvind swamy in roja and Madhavan in Sakhi can never be forgotten, simply making us set the male protagonist of his films as our ideal dream boy. How cute is Aditya Roy Kapoor as Adi in ok jaanu! The realistic nature of his characters and the screenplay which slowly but surely captures the audience makes his movies stand unique in the film history. His movies were not limited to a single language, he made his mark in Tollywood, Kollywood and even in the Bollywood.
Here are our 5 most favorite films of Mani Ratnam sir’s works:
Cast: Arvind Swamy; Madhoo
Roja, originally in made in Tamil is also dubbed and released in Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam and telugu marks the debut soundtrack album of A.R. Rahman. The song “Chinni chinni aasa” strikes a bell?? Well the whole album is a gem. The story is about Roja a simple girl from a small village, who fights to save her husband, who is on secret undercover mission gets kidnapped by the militants. The theme of the film is inspired from the Sati Savitri tale of Mahabharat. The movie shows the evolving love between Rishi (hero) and Roja; the patriotic theme and the fear of growing terrorist organizations and the courage of an innocent woman who is ready go to any ends to protect her husband. This film won three national awards including the best music director to A. R. Rahman for his debut picture itself.
Cast: Arvind Swamy, Manisha Koirala
The movie narrates the story of an inter-religious family living in Bombay. It shows how the love between Shekhar and Shaila Bhanu, overcomes the religion barriers between them. And the story leads to the disruption of the family when their children are caught in the riots after the Babari masjid was demolished. The story shows the chaos created in the lives of innocent people due to religion clashes. In the director’s own words Bombay is a positive film about communal harmony and the story of a helpless innocent man caught up in violence not of his own making. This is one of the highest grossing films of Kollywood and appreciated both critically and commercially. Bombay music album is considered as one of the greatest Indian soundtracks of all time- A.R. Rahman’s magic at his best.
3. Geetanjali- 1989
Cast: Akkineni Nagarjuna; Girija shettar
If you are a fan of “fault in our stars” and cried watching “five feet apart”, then you cannot miss Geetanjali. Way before these both movies, Mani Ratnam narrated how death itself cannot stop love between two yearning hearts. This was the first film that the director has directly worked in telugu. The movie shows the story of Prakash, carefree person but diagnosed with terminal cancer meets Geetanjali, a mischievous girl who loves playing pranks on people around her and is also suffering with terminal illness fall in love with each other. Despite their illnesses they fall immensely in love with each other, so much that they are ready to face death but cannot live knowing their other half succumbing to death. Maestro Ilayaraja’s music played crucial role in making the audience emotionally connect to the movie. This movie literally made Akkineni Nagarjuna the heart throb of Tollywood and is considered as one of the best performances.
4. Sakhi- 2000
Cast: Madhavan; Shalini
A very simple story line with exceptional screenplay is “Alaipayuthey”, dubbed in telugu as Sakhi also remade in hindi as “Saathiya”. The film shows the lives of Karthik and Shanthi, from falling in love with each other, till facing the tensions of married life. The film portrays the mindsets of the modern-day generation, the struggles and the responsibilities that marriage brings in showing the real side of the relationship and the truth that holding onto the love is not as simple as acquiring it. The humor of the movie is in the witty dialogues and A.R. Rahman’s work for the movie is just evergreen, every song of the movie is remembered by its audience for a long time. And Madhavan as Karthik continues to steal the hearts of girls even today.
5. ok Bangaram- 2015
Cast: Dulquer Salman, Nitya Menon
This film of Mani Ratnam reflects the present generation’s conflict in idea of love and marriage. The movie narrates the story of Adi and Tara who are very independent and have their respective dreams and goals, believe that marriage is something not meant for them. But after meeting at a wedding they fall in love with each other and decide to remain that way till they have to go separate ways to achieve their career goals. Parallelly the story of their landlord couple, their affection and bond make Tara and Adi reflect on their own relationship and their decisions. Originally produced in Tamil as “o kadhal kanmani”, won the hearts of telugu audience as ok Bangaram. The movie is remade in bollywoood as “ok Jaanu” starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and shraddha Kapoor. A.R.Rehman’s music refreshes the souls and keeps us engaged to the story.
Let us know about your favourite romantic love story movies that need to be added to the must watch list in the comments below.
Inputs from Kavya Sarvasiddi