Look back at some of the important faces in Tamil cinema over the years, and Mani Ratnam’s name will definitely go into the first few in the list. All through his career, the director has found an unusual path to narrate his stories, which brim with social issues, relationships and extraordinary situations. Though Mani Ratnam’s recent films have taken strides towards taking a deeper look into complicated relationships, he was a director who had broken a lot of barriers in handling intense crime drama. We list out five films of that sort you should revisit this weekend before the bloody Chekka Chivantha Vaanam arrives on Thursday.
Agni Natchatiram was Mani Ratnam’s formula of an entertainer, and he focused on two step-brothers locking horns. The film depicted the adventurism of the new generations in a tense format that also gave room to romance, songs and what not. Watch out for the brilliantly staged scenes involving the brothers.
Kamal and Mani Ratnam got together for what is one of the best films in the history of Tamil cinema on the whole. Although some scenes were inspired from the Godfather, this went down as a fictional documentary on one of Mumbai’s dons. There’s no wonder why it has been listed in TIME magazine’s 100 movies to watch before you die.
With a stellar star cast one step lower to what he has achieved with Chekka Chivantha Vaanam today, Mani Ratnam brought us an enticing story that had different perspectives on the same situation nicely getting intertwined. Maddy, Suriya and Siddharth had contrasting roles to play, each with their own vulnerabilities.
Mani Ratnam loosely based his lead characters on the traits of Karna and Duryodhana from the Mahabharata for his emotional drama Thalapathy, which is drawn out like a Shakespeare’s play with its own share of masala moments too.
If Thalapathy was about the Mahabharata, Ravanan tackled the Ramayana through a reverse engineering process that brought a brand new perspective to the epic. With Vikram’s fantastic performance, the director gave way to a triangular conflict that had its own razor-sharp turns.
Just like how AR Rahman called it at the audio launch, Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam could take us back to the Nayagan days. The veteran director returns to the fore with an action drama filled with exciting characters, and from what we get to see in the trailers, it surely looks like he’s back in the league. Possibly, this film could join the list we’ve just made here, so bookmark your calendar and watch out for it on the 27th.